Many people love to play and run with their pets, or at least enjoy watching them while they play or run. Sometimes, our pets start to slow down and may even start walking with a limp. While there are many possible reasons why your pet may struggle with walking, one of the more common reasons is joint pain, which could be being caused by arthritis.
Does Your Pet Have Arthritis?
If you suspect that you are looking at a case of arthritis in your dogs or cats, the first step to getting the answers you need is to bring your pets into Oakland Park Animal Hospital for a pet exam. We can find out if your pets are experiencing arthritis, or if they are having difficulties for a different reason, including trauma, infection, hip or elbow dysplasia, nerve damage, or even bone cancer.
Arthritis in dogs is most common in middle-aged or older pets, but even young cats and dogs can be affected by arthritis in some circumstances. In addition to limping, signs of arthritis include general difficulty moving, problems with posture, increased resting or sleeping, irritability, and loss of muscle tissue, which may make your pet's limbs look thinner. Sometimes, pets will also show their discomfort with increased chewing or biting at the areas that are painful.
In order to diagnose arthritis in pets, our veterinarian will take x-rays to look for changes in your pet's cartilage. If the diagnose is not new, we can also X-ray to see if the disease has progressed and help you decide the next steps in treatment. While arthritis cannot be cured, taking supplements such as fish oil, or glucosamine can help decrease some of the inflammation that sits in the joints. They may also be prescribed pain medication that is proven effective for pets.
How You Can Help Your Arthritic Pet
Whether your pets are in pain due to arthritis, or for some other reason, you want to do what you can to ease their discomfort. By working with your veterinarian to lessen and monitor symptoms, and watching your pets' diets to help keep them at a healthy weight, you can slow the progression of arthritis and help your pets stay more comfortable for as long as possible. To learn more about how we can help with arthritis pain management in your pet, contact us at Oakland Park Animal Hospital in Oakland Park, FL. Call (954) 731-4228 to schedule an appointment.