Your pet’s achy and shaky bones or muscles could be caused by something other than old age. Arthritis affects pets of all ages but can be particularly difficult for pets in their golden years. As a degenerative joint disease, the inflammation in your pet’s joints worsens over time but can be helped or slowed down with treatment.
What causes pets to develop arthritis?
There are a range of factors that contribute to pets developing arthritis. Between your pet’s joints is protective cartilage that prevents them from rubbing against each other. As this cushioning wears away, this causes friction between your pet’s bones. Some reasons why your pet can develop arthritis include:
- Unhealed injuries
- Joint disorders like hip or elbow dysplasia
How can I tell if my pet’s joint issues are arthritis?
If you notice your pet continuously limping or using one leg more than the others, this could be a sign of arthritis. Other signs you can look out for include weight gain, sleeping more, low energy level, irritability and inability to move up stairs. To diagnose arthritis, we typically start with a physical exam and review your pet’s medical history and X-rays to determine how severe the inflammation is. If you have concerns about your pet’s mobility, please contact us at 403-217-0460.
How can I support my pet with pain management?
In addition to medication, we’ll recommend a range of strategies to support your pet’s arthritis specific to their needs. For example, if your pet is obese, weight management can help shed the extra pounds that add stress to their joints. Our hospital offers therapeutic treatments like acupuncture which can help generate better blood flow and reduce inflammation, which could be a source of your pet’s pain.