What Exactly is Pet Arthritis?

Simply put, arthritis is an inflammation of one or more joints. This inflammation causes mild to extreme joint pain in dogs and cats, slowing them down and sometimes making it too painful to play or even walk.

Though older dogs and cats suffer more from arthritis, the problem can affect younger pets (primarily dogs) as well. Large-breed dogs are affected by arthritis more often than smaller breeds, due to the extra strain placed on joints and ligaments.

Classifications of Arthritis

Arthritis in pets can be classified in 2 ways:

  • Primary arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
    With rheumatoid arthritis, the pet’s cartilage and bone are eroded within affected joints. This condition can progress to complete joint fixation, which is a stiffness or complete locking of the joint.
  • Secondary arthritis or osteoarthritis
    This type of arthritis occurs as a result of joint instability and is the most common form diagnosed, which is also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD). Some common causes of osteoarthritis include: obesity, hip dysplasia, joint infection or traumatic injury (such as a car accident)

How to Recognize Arthritis in your Pet

  • Limping
  • Slow to rise from a resting position
  • Reluctant to climb steps
  • Tires easily or lags behind on walks
  • Appears stiff or even limp after activity

Also, not as common, but can happen, a dog or cat that is affected with arthritis may lick excessively, chew or bite at certain areas of their body that is painful. This may even reach the point of causing inflamed skin and hair loss over affected areas.

Feline arthritis is more common in older cats and is often subtle and difficult to spot. Cats with arthritis are usually reluctant or unable to jump up or down from furniture, increasingly irritable when touched or handled, reluctance to groom, and/or difficulty getting into or out of the litter box.

Treatment for Pet Arthritis

Though arthritis and degenerative joint disease cannot be cured, treatment can substantially improve the wellbeing of your pet’s life.

There are various remedies and procedures that can help ease the pain for your pet that is suffering with an arthritic condition:

• Allow your pet (particularly dogs) to have moderate, but not excessive exercise.
• Control your pet’s weight
• Make sure your pet’s sleeping area is soft and dry
• Provide a ‘step’ so your pet can get up to a favorite sleep area or the car,
• Provide elevated food and water dishes
• For cats, provide shallow litter boxes on several levels of the home
• Provide your pet a supplement containing glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM

It has long been studied that glucosamine and chondroitin help with symptoms of arthritis.  Glucosamine and chondroitin aid in the production and maintenance of cartilage and synovial fluid surrounding the joints, preventing further damage from arthritis.

BioPetMeds Joint Support liquid herbal supplement contains glucosamine and chondroitin along with other important ingredients to aid with arthritis and joint issues.

It is always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian for advice.

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