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JANUARY: Arthritis Awareness Month!

01-14-19 3:59 PM by tillemavetclinic
JANUARY: Arthritis Awareness Month!

It's cold, it's rainy and anyone who has been on this glorious planet for a few years is most likely suffering from aches and pains. Arthritis plagues many of us on a daily basis, but did you know it could also be affecting your pets? YEP. You got it, our furry friends are not immune to joints that pop, crack and are painful. 

Arthritis is one of the most common ailments affecting middle aged to senior dogs and cats. It can be a source of chronic pain and negatively affect their quality of life. Also known as degenerative joint disease, arthritis occurs when a joint is unstable causing the bones to move abnormally within the joint. A shiny and slippery substance called cartilage lines the joints and acts as a barrier between bones. As with humans, over time this abnormal movement erodes the cartilage and the two ends of the bones begins rubbing against one another creating chronic inflammation and pain.

The most obvious sign of arthritis is a limping dog or cat. However, there are numerous other subtle signs that may indicate your pet is uncomfortable. Often what people notice is that their older pet seems to be “slowing down.” Perhaps your dog doesn’t charge up the stairs like he used to or takes a bit longer to recover after a long day of playing. If your dog used to follow you around the house and now he just stays in one place this could also be a sign of mobility issues.

Since cats aren’t usually as active as dogs, their signs of arthritis may be revealed differently. Cats with arthritis may start urinating or defecating out of the litter box because it is too painful for them to jump into it. You may also notice that your cat is grooming excessively in one area, which could indicate focal arthritis pain. These are just a few examples. Bottom line: if you notice any changes in your pet’s behavior, talk with your veterinarian immediately.

 

Prevention and treatment all depends on your pet and their particular needs. If you have any questions at all about you're pets health, please do not hesitate to call us and set up an appointment! 


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