Arthritis occurs when the cartilage within a joint becomes damaged, causing friction between bones as the joint loses its cushion. Eventually, the cartilage becomes inflamed and makes it painful for your pet to move around. The most common form is osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease. This disease is mostly seen in older pets; however, it is not restrictive and can still affect younger animals as well. To learn more, please contact us at 416-537-9677.
How does my pet develop arthritis?
There is no single cause, but there are many factors that can lead to arthritis development: genetics, aging, injury history, obesity, orthopedic surgery, nutritional history, or hip dysplasia.
What are the signs/symptoms that my pet has arthritis?
Dogs and cats can exhibit many different signs, but they also hide their pain very well until it becomes severe. Therefore, it is important to monitor closely for any of the following common signs:
- Stiffness, lameness, limping, or difficulty getting up
- Reluctance to run, jump, or play
- Irritability or changes in behaviour
- Loss of stamina
How do you treat arthritis in pets?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis as it is a progressive disease. However, it can be managed with a combination of treatments, which is dependent on your pet's specific case and severity:
- Joint supplements such as glucosamine
- Therapeutic medication to manage pain
- Physiotherapy or acupuncture to strengthen muscles or promote healing
- Weight management to normalize body weight and condition
- Surgery to either remove damaged tissue from the joint or replace the joint entirely