As the body ages, the joints and muscles slowly wear out. Likewise, strenuous activity can wear out the joints and bones even in healthy, young bodies, including those of our pets. Arthritis in pets is a common issue and it is one your dog, cat, or other pet may have to deal with. If you believe your pet is suffering from arthritis or joint pain, it’s time to speak with a veterinarian. Residents in and around Ishpeming can rely on our veterinarians at Northern Veterinary Associates when it comes to pet arthritis prevention and treatment.
Arthritis in Pets Explained
Arthritis in pets refers to inflammation in the joints found throughout your pet's body. This inflammation can result in severe pain and is especially common in the joints found in your pet’s legs. In peak condition, your pet’s joints will typically function quite well. Sprinting, let alone running, will not result in serious joint pain. As time wears on, however, so do the joints. Sometimes the joints in even young, healthy animals can become damaged or dysfunctional.
Arthritis is more common in older animals. As your pet ages, the risks of arthritis increase. A dog or cat that is only a year or two old may love playing with your family, whether that is fetching a ball or chasing after some string. A pet at 10 years of age, on the other hand, may struggle to simply walk up a short flight of stairs.
Pets suffering from arthritis may be reluctant to play and exercise. Your cat or dog may also move slowly and exhibit signs of pain, especially while moving. Your pet’s movement may seem stiff to the eye. Arthritis is often worse for people and pets when the weather is cold or damp.
Relief for Pet Arthritis
If your pet is suffering from arthritis, you will want to limit physical exertion. This does not mean that your pet must suffer a bedridden life. Instead of a long walk on the beach, where sand makes moving difficult, your pet can still enjoy a gentle, short walk around the neighborhood. Likewise, if your pet is struggling to eat from a bowl on the ground, a raised bowl can make dinner time easier.
Our veterinarians may also be able to prescribe a variety of treatments to combat arthritis. Cartilage protectors, anti-inflammatory medications, and joint supplements could improve joint health. Some medications can reduce pain. Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, can also be beneficial. If your dog is overweight at any age, it can increase strain on the joints, bones, and muscles.
Contact Our Veterinarians in Ishpeming, MI
Bring your pet to Northern Veterinary Associates to discuss pet arthritis prevention and treatment options with one of our veterinarians. Call our team today at (906) 485-6145 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.