4 signs your pet suffers from arthritis

November 3, 2015

Arthritis is a common ailment in many pets and can occur as early as middle age. To ensure that joint pain isn't making your pet's life miserable, watch out for these four symptoms.

4 signs your pet suffers from arthritis

1. Refusal to go up or down steps

If your previously active dog or cat suddenly refuses to climb or descend steps, it could be an early indication of arthritis.

2. Snapping or biting when handled

Does your normally affectionate cat suddenly bite and snap when picked up? Painful arthritis could be the cause of the behaviour.

3. Limping

When it hurts to put pressure on a foot or a leg, limping usually results. If the problem isn't treated in a timely manner, this condition can cause your pet to stop using the affected limb entirely, at which point muscles can atrophy.

4. Lethargy

Lethargy is also a sign of arthritis. If your pet needs more sleep than usual and even short walks are tiring, arthritis may be to blame. Pain takes a toll on pets, just like it does on humans, and often causes depression and exhaustion.

Other symptoms of arthritis

Other symptoms such as odd posture, a slight hump in your pet's spine that was never there before or occasional problems with hind legs can be classic indicators that your pet has arthritis. Sadly, once the disease appears, there is no cure.

Don't be quick to write off older pets as temperamental if they exhibit out-of-the-ordinary behaviour. Various treatment options are available to help your pet manage the pain of arthritis. Speak to your vet about the best course of action, which could include the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, weight loss, painkillers, dietary supplements or changes in diet and exercise.

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