As beloved members of our families, our pets bring immense joy into our lives. However, just like humans, they can suffer from health issues, including arthritis. Arthritis in pets is more common than many realize, affecting their quality of life. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of pet arthritis, discussing its causes, symptoms, treatment options, and how to raise awareness about this condition.

Arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, is a common condition in pets, particularly in older animals. It occurs when the cartilage within a joint deteriorates, leading to inflammation, pain, and decreased mobility. While arthritis can affect any joint in the body, it most commonly impacts the hips, knees, elbows, and spine.

Several factors can contribute to the development of arthritis in pets, including:

  • Age: Older pets are more susceptible to arthritis due to wear and tear on their joints over time.
  • Genetics: Certain breeds are predisposed to arthritis, such as large breeds like Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds.
  • Obesity: Excess weight puts added stress on the joints, increasing the risk of arthritis.
  • Injury or Trauma: Joint injuries or trauma can accelerate the development of arthritis later in

Recognizing the signs of arthritis in pets is crucial for early intervention. Common symptoms include:

  • Limping or favoring one limb
  • Stiffness, especially after resting
  • Difficulty rising or climbing stairs
  • Reluctance to engage in physical activity
  • Noticeable swelling or heat around the affected joint
  • Behavioral changes, such as irritability or aggression due to pain

While there is no cure for arthritis in pets, various treatment options can help manage the condition and improve your furry friend’s quality of life. These include:

  • Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce inflammation and relieve pain in arthritic pets. Be aware that some human medications can be toxic to pets so use only medication recommended or prescribed by your veterinarian.
  • Joint Supplements: Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements may help support joint health and cartilage repair. There are other supplements out there (Fish oil, CBD, antler velvet, etc) that may also be helpful but be sure to do your research. There are products that may sound amazing but are not actually effective.
  • Physical Therapy: Controlled exercise, massage, and hydrotherapy can strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, and alleviate pain.
  • Reluctance to engage in physical activity
  • Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for reducing stress on the joints. A balanced diet and regular exercise can help prevent obesity and manage arthritis symptoms.
  • Alternative Therapies: Acupuncture, laser therapy, and chiropractic care are alternative treatments that some pet owners find beneficial for managing arthritis pain.

Pet arthritis is a common yet often overlooked condition that can significantly impact the well-being of our furry companions. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for arthritis in pets, we can provide them with the care and support they need to live happy, comfortable lives. Through increased awareness and proactive management, we can help arthritic pets enjoy their golden years to the fullest. To encourage you to have your pet evaluated for pain we are offering discounted pain assessments for the month of May. If you have concerns about your pet please call our office and set up an appointment 970-963-2371or schedule online