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Arthritis in our Pets

In the winter months, underlying problems such as arthritis can start to flare up, due to the colder weather causing stiffness on your pets joints.

Is your pet showing any of these symptoms? You may notice changes in your pets behavior that could mean that they are in pain. 

These changes can be subtle or occur gradually and may include: 

– Sleeping more 
– Less interest in playing
– Change in alertness 
– Becoming reluctant to get up to greet you when you come home 
– Hesitant about jumping up on the couch
– Becoming overly cautious when climbing stairs,

These may be the first indicators of joint discomfort from arthritis.

We can all notice the symptoms of arthritis in our pets from the outside (decreased activity and changes etc). However, the diagram above shows us what arthritis would look like from the inside. We cannot manage a condition before we try to understand it.

Osteoarthritis is a common problem affecting older dogs with general ageing and stiffness of the joints, as well as dogs with hip and elbow dysplasia.This is a degenerative condition, meaning it gets worse over time, that affects the joints and leads to pain, inflammation and discomfort.

If you are worried your fur child may have arthritis, here is what you can do:

– Make sure to keep them warm and dry, cold and damp conditions can aggravate the condition.
– Monitor exercise – make sure that your pet isn’t over exerting itself, quite often they simply do not realize that they need to take it easy.
– Keep your dog slim, he/she may even need to lose a bit of weight – keeping your dog slim can help the condition by decreasing the load on his joints.
– Make sure the bedding is appropriate for a pet with arthritis.
– It would be a good idea to bring your arthritic dog/cat to us at Blue Cross for a vet check. The vet can then recommend what to do from there and draw up a treatment plan.
– Ask our veterinarians about their recommended arthritis supplements and/or pain medication
-Depending on the severity of the condition, your vet may even recommend a non-weight bearing exercise such as hydrotherapy.

Blue Cross Veterinary Hospital.

Your Pet, Your Vet, Our Passion!


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