Arthritis is one of the most common degenerative disorders that affects cats and dogs as they age.
Daily activities and lifestyle factors are usually the leading cause of osteoarthritis. Thankfully, with the appropriate veterinary care, we can help pets live longer and healthier lives. At Animal Hospital of West Woodstock, we encourage early medical intervention to slow the progression of arthritic conditions. We now have a myriad of treatments for each stage of the arthritic process to help reduce pain, improve mobility, and keep your furry friend active and engaged with you for much longer!
Arthritis Changes Your Pet’s Behavior
An arthritis condition can significantly impact your pet’s behavior and create limitations in the way your furry friend socializes or engages in usual activities. You may notice that your dog has trouble walking up the stairs or has lost interest in jumping into the car with the family. Arthritic pets often become lethargic and have poor energy levels.
Just like dogs, cats tend to lose interest in climbing toward high places when inflammation of the joints has limited their mobility. They are also less motivated to self-groom. When you notice significant behavioral changes in your pet, you should schedule a veterinary visit. "They’re just slowing down because they are getting old" is a sentiment we have heard countless times and probably sounds familiar to you. The truth is a lot of the slow down and decreased activity is caused by arthritis.
The sooner we can find the root of the problem, the sooner we can find a solution.
When Should Pet Parents Seek Treatment
Osteoarthritis wears out the cartilage in your pet’s joints. When this occurs, the bone rubs together and creates pain and mobility issues. The best approach a pet owner can take is to seek immediate veterinary attention as soon as you observe changes in your pet’s behavior.
Your vet will conduct a thorough physical examination and suggest lab work and other diagnostic testing to see if arthritis (or another issue) are responsible for the changes. Once we have an official diagnosis, we will discuss the type of lifestyle changes and nutrition that may be necessary to increase your pet’s quality of life, and prescribe appropriate treatments to decrease inflammation, restore healthy cartilage and joint fluid, and decrease pain based on how severely your pet is affected.