Treatment for Arthritis in Dogs & Cats in Potomac, MD
As pets age, just like humans, they can develop arthritis. What was once a spry, energetic dog can become an older dog that is unable to run, jump, or play the same way he used to. Your cat that you used to have to chase off the countertops may no longer be able to hop onto the couch.
Arthritis impacts a larger proportion of dogs than cats and can occur in any of the joints. It can make jumping impossible, and simple walking may be slow and painful.
The caring veterinary team at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital can help identify whether your dog or cat has arthritis, and provide treatment to relieve the pain caused by this condition.
What Are the Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs & Cats?
Animals can not talk to tell you something hurts, but if you pay close attention to their behavior, your pet likely has given you indications of looming arthritis for a while. Some signs of arthritis in cats and dogs include:
- Overall stiffness
- Joint swelling
- Decreased flexibility
- Discomfort when being petted in certain areas or held in certain positions
- Decreased movement
- Hesitancy to run, jump, or climb stairs
- Problems with going to the bathroom due to decreased mobility in hind legs
Your animal also may yelp in pain when jumping, standing up, or being picked up. A thorough physical exam and joint mobility test by your veterinarian can help determine whether your pet has arthritis or if there is another cause of his discomfort. Your vet may also recommend X-rays of your pet.
How Is Arthritis in Dogs & Cats Treated?
Unfortunately, like in humans, arthritis in pets is not curable. It is, however, treatable and manageable in most cases. To help your dog or cat deal with arthritis, your veterinarian may recommend:
- Prescription pain medication
- Steroid shots
- Nutritional supplements such as glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate
- Weight loss, as the more weight your pet carries around, the harder it is on his joints
In addition to anything your vet may recommend, you can help keep your pet comfortable at home. Some things you could try include:
- Making sure your pet has a soft, easily accessible bed
- Adding pet stairs to the sides of beds, couches, and other favorite high places
- Having an electric heating pad handy for your pet to lie on when you are home
- Grooming areas of your pet’s body that may be hard for him to reach
- Making sure he has easy, direct access to litterboxes, food, and water bowls
Even after a diagnosis of arthritis, your pet can live a full, healthy life with a little help.
Do you think your dog or cat suffers from arthritis? Call the experienced team at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital for a full vet exam to get your pet the help he needs today!