Another key reason for exercise is to keep their weight down.
If your pet is overweight this places a strain on their joints. So maintaining a healthy weight can improve their health, fitness and reduce their joint pain all at the same time.
Moderate amounts of low-impact exercise such as walking or swimming also improves joint mobility and can help get a lethargic pet active again. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional. Lymphocytic Leukemia in Dogs. Summer Sores are around a Horse's Eye. Kidney Failure in Horses. Arthritis may not be the only cause of these symptoms, so it is imperative that you take your dog to the veterinarian for a thorough examination. Ask if you need a follow-up appointment Ask, if a reminder email or notice will be sent.
Pets love massages as much as we do. Gently massaging their joints when stroking them can help to relieve their pain and feel calm and peaceful. Swimming is a low impact exercise that can help keep your dog fit without the impact of the sidewalk.
Consider going for weekly swims with your dog or getting a hot tub they can swim in at home. The warmth can also help to reduce their aches and pains. Overgrown nails can place stress on the joints of the feet. Try to keep them trimmed so they just touch the ground.
If you find it too difficult to do on your own, a pet groomer or your vet can trim their nails for you. Making sure they can walk around your home in comfort is also a good idea. If you have hardwood, slippy floors, consider putting down some rugs and runners for them to walk on. Another option is pet socks that help them grip and not slip and injure themselves. Pain makes it hard for your pet to sleep. So giving them a comfier place to rest can make a big difference in their life. There are lots of great orthopedic beds for pets to choose from that are comfy yet supportive.
However, some pet nutrition experts believe that processed pet food is missing key nutrients pets need to be fit and healthy. Nutrients are then sprayed on afterward, but this is a poor replacement for getting it from food naturally. The best source of nutrition is always directly from food. However, it can be difficult to prepare homemade meals on a daily basis. For joint pain and arthritis, the best supplements include glucosamine, chondroitin and omega 3 fish oil.
Some studies suggest these nutrients can help the joint repair itself and reduce joint pain over time. Unlike painkillers, which only serve to dull the pain, chondroitin sulfate addresses the disease process itself. Chondroitin sulfate may actually help the body to repair damaged cartilage and help restore joint integrity. Unfortunately, arthritis can be difficult to diagnose until the signs are obvious and our pets are hobbling around in pain.
This is what happened to Rachel and her nine year old pet beagle, Bella. She seemed to have lost all her energy. She would just lay around all day and when she did move, her legs were shaking. Rachel was upset to see her poor dog in such pain.
She took Bella to the vet who gently felt her joints, saw what pain she was in and diagnosed it as arthritis. Was there anything else she could do? Rachel decided to do her own research.
Massages with heating pads may also relieve the pain. Veterinarians may rule out osteoarthritis as a diagnosis by having owners treat their cats for osteoarthritis and seeing if the owners note any improvement in their cats' quality of life. Changes to osteoarthritis-affected joints in cats are usually subtle.
Decreased range of joint motion, commonly seen in dogs, is uncommon in cats. In one study by Clarke and Bennett, published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice , 5 of 86 cat joints with osteoarthritis had decreased range of motion. Thickening of the tissues surrounding affected joints, however, is a common finding 58 of 86 joints in the same study.
Clinical signs of osteoarthritis in cats include weight loss, loss of appetite, depression, change in general attitude, poor grooming habits, urination or defecation outside the litter pan, and inability to jump on and off objects.
The most frequently-affected joints in cats are the elbows and hips, although shoulders and hocks have also been reported. In one study, 74 of cats were diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Several studies have been conducted evaluating radiographic changes associated with osteoarthritis in cats. In general, radiographic changes observed in cats with osteoarthritis are less severe than those observed in dogs with osteoarthritis. In many cases, cats with osteoarthritis have no radiographic changes. A published study in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine evaluated the association between radiographic and physical examination findings in 13 cats with osteoarthritis.
Of these, joints were identified as having osteoarthritis 55 joints were painful and 55 joints had radiographic changes. However, only 18 of the joints had both clinical pain and radiographic changes. Treatment options for cats with osteoarthritis are limited. Non-pharmaceutical treatment options include weight loss for overweight cats, increased exercise, and environmental accommodations e.
It is not approved for any repeat dosing. Neither Onsior Tablets nor Onsior Injection should be used in cats under 4 months of age. No NSAID, therefore, is currently approved for safe, long-term control of osteoarthritis pain in cats. Pain in animals, particularly cats, is difficult to assess, and there are few validated pain assessment tools. An example of a subjective tool is a questionnaire.
Currently-used objective tools include force plate analysis measures the amount of force a limb generates at one instant in time and pressure-sensitive walkways indirectly measure the amount of force generated at one moment in time. Diagnosis of osteoarthritis in cats is difficult even for the experienced veterinarian. Handout on Health: Osteoarthritis. May