Has your pet lost its bounce this winter? It may be suffering from arthritis. This painful joint disease is the most common cause of chronic pain in dogs and affects two-thirds of cats 12 years and older. The symptoms are often more evident during colder weather and include stiffness, limping or difficulty rising from rest.
Cats may be reluctant to jump. Here’s the expert’s plan on how to put the ‘spring’ back into your pet’s step:
- Firstly being overweight is a big no-no; “Excess weight puts additional strain on the joints and increases inflammation,” says Dr Guy Fyvie, veterinary advisor for Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Maintaining optimum weight should be a priority for all arthritic pets.
- Seek a professional diagnosis. “The vet will objectively assess weight, recommend nutritional and lifestyle changes, and prescribe pain relief or anti-inflammatory medication as necessary.”
- Feed correctly. Eight out of ten owners said their pet was walking, running, playing and rising from rest more easily after being fed Hill’s Prescription Diet j/d, the only food clinically proven to improve mobility in as little as 21 days. Made with high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, Glucosamine and Chondroitin, this completely balanced food is proven to interrupt the inflammatory cycle of osteoarthritis and reduce reliance on pain medication.
- Moderate, low impact daily exercise is important – such as walking on a leash or swimming. Animal rehabilitator Sister Dawn Jones also recommends physical rehabilitation: “Massage improves circulation, enhances muscle tone, releases spasm, improves motion and stimulates endorphins. Ideally, massage at least once per week and after exercise.” She also recommends keeping joints warm, “use heat packs or water bottles but not too hot.”
- Food and water bowls at ground level or within easy reach, a soft bed in a draught-free area, a low-sided litter tray and anti-slip mats are all ways to make home easier to navigate.
For more advice on caring for an arthritic pet speak to your vet or visit www.hopskipjump.co.za. To hear what owners say about Hill’s j/d check out the Rate & Review section on www.facebook.com/HillsPetZA.
Special Offer – from mid-May:
Don’t wait for your cat or dog to suffer from stiffness or painful joints this winter, try Hill’s Prescription Diet j/d, a completely balanced food clinically proven to reduce the symptoms of arthritis in just 21 days. From mid-May, vets will give a free bag of Hill’s j/d worth up to R829 (approximately one month’s food) to pets diagnosed with arthritis that have not tried j/d before, while stocks last. Speak to your vet or visit www.hopskipjump.co.za.