Arthritis is a sneaky condition. It tends to creep up over time and our pets won't always show obvious signs until they are in considerable pain.
The disease is caused by the wearing down of the cartilage that covers the bones at the end of a joint. This 'cushioning' cartilage helps joints move freely and without discomfort but as it wears down, the ends of the bones become exposed and can rub together. You can imagine the pain this might cause your pet!
It is very important to understand that your pet won’t necessarily limp or yelp or whimper if he is in pain.
Most of the signs of arthritic pain are subtle and here's what you should watch out for if you own a dog (we'll cover cats in more detail below):
- Hesitant to jump into the car or up on furniture
- Slowing down on walks or a reluctance to walk as far
- A bit slow to get going after getting up
- Lowers his body slowly when going to lie down
- Behavioural changes e.g. grumpy when touched on the back
- Slipping on floorboards or hesitant to use stairs
Don’t be tempted to put these changes down to 'he's just getting old' as your pet may be in significant pain - he just can't tell you!
Thankfully there is now a number of things we can do to slow the progression of the disease and keep your pet pain free.
Phone us to arrange an arthritis check up and we'll be able to work out a suitable treatment plan for your pet.