Pet Arthritis FAQ
Pet arthritis is a degenerative disease that affects the joints. As your pet grows older, the healing process that keeps the joints moving easily isn’t able to keep up with damage already there. Generally, only older pets develop arthritis, but it can develop in younger pets that have malformed joints or bones.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptom of arthritis is pain. Initially, the pain is mild and once your pet stretches and moves, he or she is fine. As the condition progresses, pets with arthritis tend to lose more and more mobility as their pain increases.
How is arthritis diagnosed?
It’s important to make your vet aware of any changes you have seen in your pet. Changes in gait or a reluctance to move are big clues in diagnosing arthritis. X-rays can show changes in the joints and bones to confirm a diagnosis of arthritis.
Should you continue to exercise your pet?
Your pet needs to keep moving. Movement helps maintain the blood flow to the joint so healing can happen. Exercise tailored to your pet’s needs and abilities can keep the muscles strong to help stabilize the joints. Walks are good, as well as swimming in a heated pool. Don’t have your pet climb or jump much.
How should you help your pets at home?
Provide your pet with a padded bed. Even if your pets have preferred the hard floor throughout life, a bed will help much more now. When the house or weather is chilly, give your pets blankets to help them stay warm. If your pets are used to being up on your sofa or bed, providing a ramp or smaller steps can allow them to get to these places. Elevated water and food bowls can make drinking and eating easier for pets with arthritis as well.
How is arthritis treated?
Arthritis is not curable, but there are some ways our vet can help. The goal is to eliminate pain by reducing inflammation. There are also some medications available to accomplish this. Our Des Moines veterinarian may also recommend laser therapy.
Visit Our Des Moines Veterinarian
If your pets are struggling with the pain and reduced mobility caused by arthritis, contact us at Pawsitive Strides Veterinary Rehabilitation and Therapy to schedule an appointment today.