It can sometimes be difficult to wade through the large amounts
of information on the subject of canine and feline arthritis.
Sometimes you just don’t have time to read every little thing
Luckily for you, we’ve compiled the five things you should know
about arthritis when it comes to
keeping your pet healthy. Read this, and you'll be well on your
way to taking great care of your pet!
1. Arthritis is not life-threatening.
In the end, arthritis will not kill your pet. However, it can
severely hinder your pet’s quality of life by making it much
harder for them to move around and to play with both you and
other dogs. No one wants their pet to be in pain or to watch
their dog struggle to climb stairs, which is why you should
treat your pet for arthritis as soon as the symptoms first
begin to show themselves.
2. Old age is the most common cause of arthritis.
In a lot of cases, a lifetime full of playing, jumping, and
running wears down the cartilage on your pet’s joints. As your
pet gets older, their cartilage regrews in a more jagged and
less complete way, causing pain in their joints. It's not that
your pet is unhealthy. It's simply time starting to catch up to
your dog or cat. And while old age is the most common cause of
arthritis, it certainly isn't the only cause. The condition can
also come from previous joint ailments like hip dysplasia.
3. Watch for a limp. It could be a sign of arthritis.
If your pet is exhibiting a noticeable limp, they may have
arthritis. The limp should be especially noticeable after your
pet has been sleeping or resting for a long time. If your pet
struggles to get up after being still consistently, you should
have them checked out by a vet. You should also look to see if
one of your pet's limbs has lost a noticeable amount of muscle
mass. This could be a sign that they have been trying to keep
their weight off that leg, because the joint has been bothering
4. Keep your pet trim to help with arthritis pain.
Exercise is important when treating arthritis, because it will
keep your pet slim and thus keep weight off their joints. Less
weight means less strain! Overweight dogs put more stress on
their joints than those that are healthy. But you have to be
careful. Over-exercise could damage your pet’s joints even
more. That’s why some recommend hydrotherapy for pets suffering
from arthritis. Swimming is a low-impact form of exercise that
spares your pet’s joints from too much pounding.
5. There are two main types of arthritis medicine: pain killers
and joint health supplements.
The most common types of arthritis
medications for dogs and cats are nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs, otherwise known as NSAIDs. Think of NSAIDs
as a dog version of Tylenol or Advil. Popular NSAID type drugs
like Rimadyl and Deramaxx help fight inflammation in
your dog’s joints, as well as give them pain relief that can
help them move more freely. While NSAIDs can be toxic for cats,
both cats and dogs can take joint health supplements. However,
make sure to only give cats products like Cosequin joint supplement for cats that
are specially engineered for them. Many supplements that
support joint health for dogs
and cats come in capsule form and can easily be taken with
food. They work to help your pet’s cartilage rebuild, while
also fighting inflammation.
See? That wasn't that hard. You now know a lot more about
canine and feline arthritis than you did just a few minutes
ago. Now go help your pet live the best life they can!
Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs and Cats
Here's the best way to describe the symptoms of arthritis in
dogs and cats. Imagine it’s the morning after a killer workout.
You get out of bed and start moving, but it’s really hard. You
have to drag yourself across the room on your sore and tired
legs. Your muscles hurt! And your joints are stiff!In summary,
you’re moving like a pet with arthritis. Keep in mind that the
pain your pet is suffering is likely to be a dull, aching sort
of pain. That means you shouldn’t expect your dog and cat to be
constantly whimpering. Rather, here are some more clear
symptoms that your pet may show when they are suffering from
If you see your pet limping or walking stiffly around the
house, especially after they have been resting for a long
period of time, they may be suffering from arthritis. Watch
your pet when they wake up in the morning. Are they having a
hard time standing up? Is it hard for them to “get their motor
going” and get their legs to move?
When you watch your pet, also look to see if they are suddenly
changing their walk to favor one limb over the others or if
they are trying to keep their weight off a certain limb. This
is a sign that the joints in that particular leg may be
bothering them and that they may be suffering from
osteoarthritis, otherwise known as degenerative arthritis, in
Another way to observe if your pet is suffering from
osteoarthritis is to see if any of their limbs have noticeably
less muscle than the others. This can be caused by your pet
favoring one leg over the others. If they keep their weight off
a leg for long enough, it will begin to atrophy and lose muscle
mass. The difference between the legs sometimes is not very
visible from far away so don’t be afraid to get up close and
take a good look at your pet’s legs to see if there is a clear
difference between them.
THE JUMP TEST
Another way to test the condition of your pet’s joints is
what’s called the Jump Test. It can be as simple as calling
your pet over when you are sitting on the couch and seeing if
they will jump up to join you. You can also see if they will
jump up to greet you when you come home, or if they will jump
to catch a tennis ball.Whatever you choose to do to inspire
your pet to get airborne, the point is that a healthy dog who
is not suffering from arthritis is much more likely to be
willing to jump and then land. If your pet can no longer jump
or whines in pain after landing, they may be suffering from
Other symptoms of arthritis in dogs and cats may include
- Difficulty sitting
- A tendency to sleep more
- A more grumpy attitude
- Not wanting to play as much
- Less energy
As you can see, none of these symptoms of arthritis are
life-threatening. But they can affect your pet’s well-being and
quality of life. That’s why you need to treat arthritis the
best you can. Luckily, there are many treatment options out
there to help your pet.
Causes of Dog and Cat
Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs and
Dog and Cat Arthritis Treatment
This information is for informational purposes only and
is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or
diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to
your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed
veterinarian for accuracy.