Millions of Americans are living with the pain of arthritis, and unfortunately, so are millions of pets and as a veterinarian in Idaho Falls we would like to help minimize your pet(s) pain. According to veterinarians, it’s one of the most under-diagnosed conditions in their field, and unlike their human counterparts, animals must suffer in silence.
Since pets can’t let you know that they’re in pain, vets say there are certain warning signs owners should watch out for, ranging from physical signals to behavioral changes. And while the joint damage caused by osteoarthritis can’t be reversed, the pain can be treated. The key is early diagnosis.
How can you tell if your pet has arthritis?
Arthritis is one of the most common conditions that middle-aged to older pets suffer. In some cases, even younger dogs and cats can experience it. Arthritis causes pain in the affected joints that is responsible for many of the symptoms associated with arthritis. Here are seven of those common signs.
- Limping: You may see your pet limping or favoring one or more of his legs, especially when he or she first gets up.
- Difficulty Moving: Your dog may find it difficult to get into and out of the car or go up and down stairs and arthritic cats may stop jumping onto high areas.
- Spinal Issues: Arthritic changes can also occur in the various parts of the spine, resulting in a sore neck, or an abnormal posture or lameness of one or both hind legs.
- Tiredness: Your pet may get tired more easily and spend more time sleeping.
- Irritability: Arthritic animals may snap and/or bite when approached or handled, particularly if it increases their pain.
- Muscle Atrophy: Arthritic pets often develop muscle atrophy or lose muscle tissue due to inactivity and decreased use of the muscles.
- Licking, Chewing and Biting: Pets affected with arthritis may also begin to lick at, chew or bite at body areas that are painful, causing inflamed skin and hair loss over affected areas.
Arthritis Treatment for Dogs and Cats
If your pet is suffering from arthritis, it’s important to give them the best possible care as it is incurable and worsens over time. In this case, the best thing you can do for your pet is to put them on a treatment plan that slows the progression of the disease and improves their quality of life by relieving painful symptoms.
Some pain and stiffness can be partially relieved by massages or increased exercise, but as a veterinarian in Idaho Falls we recommend Adequan. It’s the only FDA-approved medicine of its type, and it has been successful in treating arthritis in pets.
When injected directly into your pet’s muscle, it inhibits bad enzymes that break down cartilage in your dog’s joints. It’s longer-lasting and safer than other options, and your pet will receive 8 shots in 4 weeks.
Our pets are like family members and we don’t like to see them in pain. If your pet is showing signs that they may be suffering with arthritis, call our veterinarian in Idaho Falls today to take advantage of our FREE arthritis screen and let’s get them pain-free!