Many kinds of conditions affect both humans and pets, one of which is arthritis. It can be debilitating, making it difficult for the affected pets to lead a normal life. Our veterinarian at Annapolis Veterinary & Wellness would like to answer some of the commonly asked questions about arthritis in pets.
How Do Pets Get Arthritis?
Pets can get arthritis in the same way that humans do. The disease is typically caused by aging and wear-and-tear on the joints or injuries to the joints. Certain breeds of dogs are also more susceptible to developing arthritis. It can be hard to identify in pets because they have the instinctual ability to mask pain. It’s important to get pets checked for arthritis if you notice that they are having trouble getting up or going down stairs or if their mobility is beginning to slow.
What Are the Signs of Arthritis in Pets?
Pets with arthritis will experience pain, stiffness, and swelling in their joints. Arthritis affects the joints of all animals, but it is most common in older pets. The signs are similar to those seen in humans with arthritis. However, some symptoms may be unique to the animal. Look for the following signs:
- Reluctance to get up from a resting or sleeping position
- Stiffness in the morning after being still all night
- Loss of appetite, especially if it is a new behavior for your pet
- Unexplained weight loss
- Restlessness at night and during the day
- Lameness (in cats)
How Can Our Veterinarian Treat Arthritis?
Treatment for arthritis in dogs and cats consists of a combination of medications, supplements, and lifestyle changes. Depending on the severity of the condition, Dr. Hamilton may recommend different treatments based on your pet's breed or tolerance levels. However, rest assured, we will provide the treatment your pet needs to regain its independence and mobility.
Can Pet Arthritis Be Prevented?
Prevention is always the best medicine. Pets who are overweight are at a higher risk of developing arthritis because it can place extra stress on their joints. One of the best ways to prevent arthritis is to keep your pet at a healthy weight. Also, consider at least an annual checkup with our veterinarian. Wellness exams allow us to screen for early signs of arthritis and other conditions that may contribute to joint pain. It's also just a good time to check the overall health status of your pet.
Make an Appointment with Our Veterinarian in Annapolis, MD
Annapolis Veterinary & Wellness is the place to call if you're seeking treatment for pet arthritis. Dr. Hamilton will evaluate your pet and provide the best treatment plan possible. We look forward to meeting you and your furry companion. Call our team today at (410) 224-6624 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.