Arthritis is a very disabling condition that can make your life very difficult. Unfortunately, this degenerative disease can also affect your beloved pet as they get older, the same way it could affect any aging person.
That’s why it’s important to understand this debilitating disease and learn the warning signs so you can recognize this and do anything possible to relieve the symptoms.
Why I decided to write about this
My little Pomeranian girl Myrka will be 11 years old at the end of March and, a few months ago, she began to show signs of arthritis. Fortunately, we have succeeded in relieving her pain by changing her food for another kind with glucosamine and chondroitin to it. For now, she seems to be back to her usual self, so this gave me the idea of sharing what I have discovered about arthritis.
What is arthritis?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of arthritis is:
“Inflammation of joints due to infectious, metabolic, or constitutional causes.”
But the term arthritis doesn’t apply to only one disease. This term actually refers to over 100 conditions touching articulations. Affecting 1 in 5 dogs in the United States, arthritis in pets is also the leading cause of chronic pain in adult dogs.
The most common type of arthritis in dogs is known as osteoarthritis (OA) and it is also called degenerative joint disease (DJD). According to PetMD, osteoarthritis definition goes like this:
“The progressive and permanent long-term deterioration of the cartilage surrounding the joints.”
To understand better what happens to the joints when your pet suffers from arthritis, check out this video below. In it, you will see images that show you in great details what happens to the leg’s articulation, the three stages of osteoarthritis as well as the advanced and late stage of OA.
Further information about arthritis
Having a pet that is not feeling his best physically can be very trying for a family. The pain they endure can have an effect on their lifestyle. Your pet may end up having trouble standing, difficulty sitting, walking or getting around, among other things.
These simple movements can cause him terrible pain, and since OA is a degenerative disease, this pain will worsen as the disease progresses. Although osteoarthritis can’t be cured, there are many options available to help control the pain as well as the inflammation.
Please consult a veterinarian is you fear that your pet is suffering from arthritis. The veterinarian will do a complete physical examination, and he will determine the severity of the condition and which treatment is right for your animal.
Arthritis in your pet infographic
That’s why the infographic below, created by PetMart Pharmacy, is the perfect tool so you can learn very helpful information about animal arthritis. In this infographic, you can find three different categories that will help you identify:
- Signs that your pet may have arthritis
- Common causes
- Potential therapy options
Click on infographic to enlarge
With current research, scientists have discovered that pets, especially dogs, and cats, can be compared to humans when it comes to diseases and treatments. Since I began working at a veterinary clinic, I found out that many medications prescribed for animals are the same ones that you can get at your local pharmacy.
That’s why it’s not surprising that the signs and symptoms of several illnesses that we find in humans can be observed in pets too. We have the perfect example here with osteoarthritis.
Your pet deserves to live his last years as comfortable as possible. If you think he could be suffering from arthritis, don’t hesitate to consult a veterinarian.