Like humans, pets are subject to arthritis. Arthritis occurrs when the cartilage in pets’ joints becomes compromised. In recognition of Arthritis Awareness Month, here is some basic information about symptoms and treatment options for pet arthritis.
- Difficulty going up or down a flight of stairs
- Loss of interest in playing (with toys, people or fellow-pets)
- Unusual posture (hunched back, lame hind legs)
- Join stiffness or inflammation
- Obvious pain
Symptoms will vary from pet to pet and certain breeds of animal are more susceptible to arthritis than others. Trust your instincts. If you notice that something is off in your pet’s comportment or activity, consult a physician.
Treatments and medication
The good news is that there are a number of treatments that are offered in veterinary clinics, including corticosteroid treatments. Corticosteroids are natural steroids produced by humans and warm-blooded animals. Medical corticosteroids imitate your pet’s natural steroids but with more potency. Corticosteroids are among the most common treatments available for arthritis treatment in animals.
Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medication
Anti-inflammatory medications respond to eliminating or lessening the pain that your pets are feeling. The target of these drugs is to decrease the amount of prostaglandin. This is what commonly causes arthritic pain. Once prostaglandin decreases as a result of the medication, your pets will usually start feeling relieved and can often regain energy and range of motion.
Exercise can also help lessen the effects of arthritis. Acupuncture and laser therapy have also proven helpful. If you suspect arthritis in your pet, see a veterinarian about treatment options.