Managing osteoarthritis in dogs and cats

Arthritis is the most common cause of chronic pain in adult dogs and affects two-thirds of older cats.  ~  Article courtesy of Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Osteoarthritis in Pets

When protective cartilage wears away, joints become stiff and painful, and mobility progressively decreases. Because arthritis is not curable, early detection and treatment are vital to prevent further degradation.
 

Osteoarthritis in petsIs your pet:

· Stiff, lame or limping

· Having difficulty in rising from rest

· Struggling to climb stairs or jump on / off surfaces

· Lagging behind on walks

· Less enthusiastic and playful

· Having trouble squatting or lifting leg to eliminate

· Irritable towards family or other pets

· Whimpering  or snapping when touched

· Having difficulty grooming especially around the tail area

· Slower, sleeping more or becoming more reclusive

 

Causes & Risk Factors

Any dog or cat, of any age or breed can suffer from arthritis, although older pets and certain breeds are at higher risk. Contributing factors:

Age: Joint cartilage progressively wears away with age so arthritis is much more common in senior dogs and cats.

Breed: Larger breeds and highly active dogs are at higher risk e.g. Labradors, Retrievers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Collies. In cats Himalayans, Persians and Siamese are more commonly affected.

Excess weight: Extra kilos place additional stress on joints.

Genetics: Some pets may have congenital or hereditary conditions, such as elbow or hip dysplasia that make them more prone.

Accidents and trauma: Injury to a joint may lead to mobility problems later in life. Dogs that are highly active or involved in high impact performance sports when younger can wear out joint cushioning quickly.

 

Managing Osteoarthritis

First of all get a professional diagnosis from your veterinarian who will then recommend a management plan which may include:

·         Clinically proven foods designed to support joints e.g. Hill’s Prescription Diet j/d a revolutionary pet food clinically proven to reduce stiffness and arthritic symptoms in as little as 21 days.  Speak to your vet this winter to find out if your cat or dog qualifies for a free bag.

·         Anti-inflammatory drug medication

·         Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements

·         Environmental changes to the home e.g. a warm bed, placing food bowls and litter trays within easy reach etc

·         Weight control

·         Supportive exercise & physical therapy

·         Surgery

For more advice and information speak to your vet or visit www.hopskipjump.co.za.


To avoid these untimely extra expenses, it is advisable to consider PawPaw Pet Insurance for financial peace of mind.  This condition will not be covered if there is a history of this condition or it is considered as a pre-exsisting condition, which is why it is very important to make sure your pets are covered before this could happen to them too.

 

 

 

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