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ARTHRITIS AND YOUR PET
Arthritis is an Inflammation that causes damage to the joints. These joints are made up of soft connective tissue and cartilage. This allows for cushioned movement between bones.
In pets, arthritis has many different causes such as:
· Developmental disorders : elbow or hip dysplasia
· High calorie, carb-based diets that able your pet’s body to grow faster than the cartilage in the joints do.
· Injury or trauma
· Bacterial or Tick-borne infection
· Autoimmune disorders which lead to your pet’s immune system attacking itself
Older and large breed dogs are more prone to developing arthritis. The longer that joint is used over time, the more it is to be injured.
If your cat or dog is considered over-weight, means the more stress that exists on the joints. Controlling your pet’s weight is crucial in the prevention as well as treatment of arthritis.
Signs or Symptoms of Arthritis in Cats and Dogs
· Difficulty standing from lying or sitting position
· Whimpering or crying out when touched
· Sleeping more than normal
· Weight gain from decreased physical activity
· Favoring a leg
· No interest in exercise or play
· Moving slowly or stiffly
· Reluctance to run, jump or climb stairs
Cats are trickier, unlike dogs, they don’t often limp when a painful condition like arthritis is present. Behavior changes can be a sign of an underlying condition like Arthritis.
· Reluctance to jump up onto favorite spots on furniture, or an inability to gain height when needed
· Eliminating outside of the litterbox, especially is the litterbox is high sided
· Decreased interest in other family members and pets
· N longer covering his urine or feces with litter ( if previous, done so )
· Lack of appetite
· Becoming less active
· Sleeping more
· Muscle wasting in the legs
Suggestions to Prevent or Manage Arthritis in Your Pet
· Give your Pet massages to help with the inflammation in the damaged tissues and to prevent further injury. It is also a great way to increase the human/ animal bond
· Stretching is another great way to increase the mobility and health in joints , tendons and ligaments
· Adding certain supplements to your pet’s diet can help provide repair and maintenance to joints and cartilage, such as: Glucosamines and Chrondroitin. Remember to consult with your Veterinarian prior to adding supplements to your pets diet
· Making sure Your Pet stays at a manageable weight. Obesity can cause stress on your pets body which results in damage to tendons and ligaments
· Exercise at any age is important for both physical and mental well-being. The recommended amount of exercise is minimum of 20mins three times a week