Arthritis can affect both humans and animals. It is common among middle-aged to senior cats and dogs. Arthritis can cause chronic pain and affect your pet's quality of life. It is essential to understand the symptoms of arthritis and how you can get help for your pet. If you suspect your furry friend is dealing with arthritis, contact our veterinarians at South Hall Veterinary Hospital in Oakwood, GA.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is an ailment that affects the joints. It occurs when a joint’s cartilage is damaged. Cartilage is a slippery substance that cushions the bones and joints. It facilitates the painless movement of the bones around and over each other. Cartilage can be damaged by poor structure or development, diseases, excessive weight, and unusual gait.
The Symptoms of Arthritis in Pets
The symptoms of arthritis in pets may not be noticeable in the early stages. Cats especially tend to hide any signs of weakness or injuries. The common symptoms of arthritis in pets include:
- Reduced mobility
- Abnormal posture
- Abnormal grooming as the pet tends to bite or lick at the painful areas
- Reduced activity because it becomes tired easily
- Muscle atrophy is a decrease in your pets muscle mass
- Your pet becomes irritable
In cats, arthritis usually affects the shoulders, elbows, knees, hips, and ankles. In dogs, arthritis affects the elbows, shoulders, hips, wrists, knees, spine, and ankle joints.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Arthritis in Pets
Our veterinarians will diagnose arthritis using a physical exam, x-rays, joint fluid test, or blood sample. Arthritis does not have a cure. However, there are things that our veterinarians and you can do at home to relieve your pet’s pain and improve its quality of life. These include:
- Exercise: Exercise helps maintain the strength in the tendons, ligaments, and muscles around the joints.
- Pharmaceuticals: Veterinarians prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and opiate derivatives to manage arthritis symptoms in pets.
- Diets: Diet changes can reduce arthritis symptoms. For example, you may need to use supplements that are rich in essential fatty acids to minimize inflammation.
Get Arthritis Treatment for Pets in Oakwood, GA
Our team at South Hall Veterinary Hospital provides a wide range of pet care services, including treatment for arthritis in pets. Call us today at (770) 532-4449 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Townshend or Dr. Dennis.