Unfortunately, cats and dogs can’t talk. They can’t tell us when their joints are sore, or where they’re sore. That’s why you, as a responsible pet owner, need to learn how to spot the symptoms of arthritis in your cat or dog.
Today, we’re helping you do exactly that. Here are 5 signs your cat or dog may have arthritis:
Arthritis is a condition that causes your joints to become inflamed, leading to loss of cartilage and painful, swollen joints around your body. According to Gordon Vet Hospital, 1 in 5 dogs in Australia suffer from arthritis and 90% of geriatric cats have arthritis.
Making matters worse is that 30% of pet owners are unaware their pets have arthritis. And 2 in 3 pet owners are not aware of weight gain/obesity worsening arthritis.
With that in mind, let’s help you spot arthritis symptoms in your pet.
1) Stiff Movement or Limping
One of the first and most obvious signs of arthritis is when your dog is limping, favouring one leg, or walking with stiff movement. Sometimes, one leg will have worse symptoms than the others, while in other cases, your dog may have stiff movement all around.
If your normally rowdy pet has become lethargic, then it could be due to arthritis. Pets that suddenly become lazy or lethargic may have arthritis. Arthritis causes pets to tire more easily, which means they spend more time resting and sleeping instead of running around or going on walks.
3) Irritability when Touching Certain Parts of the Body
Arthritis affects pets in certain areas more than others. For example, the back, hips, knees, feet, neck, shoulders, and elbows are all common problem areas. You may notice that your pet becomes irritable when you touch certain areas of the body. Other pets just become more irritable overall after developing arthritis.
4) Licking, Chewing, and Biting Affected Areas
The same areas we mentioned above often become targets for your arthritic dog or cat’s mouth. They feel pain in the region, so they try to soothe the pain using their mouth. Dogs and cats always like to lick, chew, and bite at certain spots of their bodies. But if you notice more chewing than normal, then it could be a sign of a problem.
Talk to your Vet Today
Your vet can give you the best treatment advice for your arthritic dog or cat. They may recommend certain medications, for example, and put your dog on a special diet with new food or even dietary supplements.
Arthritis is a natural part of getting older for many pets (and many people). Talk to your vet to find the best treatment method for your dog or cat.