“Oh, he’s fine! He is not crying or anything, he is just getting old and slowing down I guess” says the pet owner to the vet about their geriatric doggie.
Have you ever dropped a heavy object on your foot? This was probably a good opportunity for you to ‘cry out in pain’, but if you have a constant (chronic) pain in your back or hip or knees, you don’t CRY out in pain, do you? You probably just ‘slow down’ too.
How do you know if someone is experiencing chronic pain? The only time you will ever know this is when they tell you. This brings us back to our pets. More often than not your pets will not be crying out in in pain when they are experiencing it. They will also not be able to tell you if they are in pain, but they sure as apples are going to be ‘slowing down’.
The best way to understand our pets is to keep a close eye on their behaviour. If it changes, even gradually over time, then it’s very important that you arrange for a visit to the vet.
Behavioural changes could include:
- Pets can’t jump on the bed any more.
- Your cat can’t jump on the kitchen counter any longer.
- They prefer to not climb the stairs or when they do, they do it very slowly.
- Cats might start avoiding their litter tray as its might be too high for them to get into or out of.
If your pet has started to slow down then the probability is that your pet is suffering from Osteoarthritis, a bone degenerating disease that causes severe chronic pain.
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.
What can you do when you find out your pet has Osteoarthritis?
Professional diagnosis is your first step, from here the following would apply:
- Clinically proven foods designed to support joints.
- Anti-inflammatory drug medication.
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements.
- Environmental changes to the home e.g. a warm bed, magnetic therapy, placing food bowls and litter trays within easy reach, steps to assist climbing onto bed / couch etc
- Weight control.
- Supportive exercise & physical therapy.
Will you be able to afford this speciality care for your dog or cat? To avoid these untimely extra expenses, it is advised to consider PawPaw Pet Insurance for financial peace of mind. This condition will not be covered if there is a history of it, or 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.