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Understanding Arthritis in Pets and How to Help Them Thrive

Arthritis is very common in pets that are getting older. So much so that a third of pets suffer from pain caused by arthritis! It’s even the number one cause of chronic pain in dogs. Arthritis tends to develop in your furry friends due to a deterioration of the cartilage surrounding a joint. 

As age increases, the tissue surrounding the joint capsule becomes inflamed and a lack of joint fluid contributes to less lubrication in the joint. Also, your pets genetics can lead them to have a higher likelihood of developing arthritis. 

Especially if your pet is overweight, they may be more likely to have arthritis or experience symptoms. This is because there is extra pressure on their joints which increases the chances for arthritis. Even if your pet is healthy, previous injuries can increase the chance for arthritis to develop later in your pet’s life.

Pets are masters at hiding their discomfort, so it’s essential to be on the lookout for subtle changes or signs in their health. Even irritability or changes in temperament of your pet can be a response to pain. Some signs of arthritis include limping or favoring a limb. If you notice your pet having trouble getting up, especially after a nap, this could be caused from arthritis-related stiffness. Reduced activity and any noticeable increase in sleep could also be a sign your pet is developing arthritis.

There are plenty of ways to help your furry friend combat arthritis and regain pain-free life! For example, joint supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin can promote joint health and reduce inflammation. Essential fatty acid supplements, digestive enzymes, and probiotics can help your pet too. 

If your pet is carrying extra pounds, work with your vet to establish a weight loss plan. Shedding those excess pounds can significantly alleviate joint stress. Gentle, regular exercise is also incredibly beneficial for arthritic pets as well. Opt for activities like swimming or short walks to keep joints moving without excessive strain. You can even make sure your pet has a cozy, warm bed to ease joint discomfort. 

At home, you can add ramps which make it easier for pets to access furniture and even invest in non-slip surfaces to prevent any falls!

Arthritis doesn’t have to be a roadblock to your pet’s happiness! By staying vigilant, making lifestyle adjustments, and providing the right care, you can help your furry companion age gracefully and keep those tails wagging for years to come.

If you do think your pet is experiencing any signs of arthritis, make sure to give us a call! 


December 27, 2023

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