Most pets will get some degree of arthritis as they age
As your pet gets older you may notice them slowing up a little or appearing stiff. DO NOT IGNORE THIS. Don’t just put it down to old age. This is the classic symptom of the onset of arthritis which is a very common complaint in pets as they get on a bit.
In cats you may see them slowing up but also they may appear to be doing less grooming, may appear grumpy and just off form. It’s a bit different than is seen in dogs and a bit different than you may expect. A cat getting grumpy or looking disheveled and unkempt as he/she gets older is often due to the chronic pain associated with arthritis.
These pets are in pain – they just don’t show it and vocalise it in the same way as we do.
It is much better to get them treatment rather than ignoring it and accepting it as ‘just one of those things’.
Thankfully, there are many very effective and safe treatments available for these pets ranging from supplements like we can get in health food stores, anti-inflammatory pain killers and courses of injections to help reverse the changes in the joints. There are also some special therapeutic diets that can help a lot such as Hills J/D.
It is important to stress that you shoud never give your pet any human medications that you may have at home. If you think your pet needs something then please call us for advice. If we are closed, then the on-call vets are available to answer your queries and give advice.
Most pets with arthritis will have to remain on treatment for life – but without this treatment their life would be much shorter and considerably more painful.
Dogs with severely affected hips and elbows can undergo joint replacement surgery and continue to live when they would otherwise have been in agony or had to be put to sleep. While wonderful and life-saving this surgery is, it is very expensive. This is where your pet insurance comes in!
If you notice your pet slowing down, getting grumpy or looking a bit unkempt, make an appointment to see your vet as soon as you can, or just pick up the phone and ask your practice for advice (it’s free). The sooner these symptoms are spotted and treated the better, and there are many, many pets enjoying life thanks to the great treatments now available.
Difficulty in jumping into car/chair or climbing stairs
Limping or stiffness
Difficulty in getting up
Reluctance to walk or play
Sleeping/resting more, especially in one place
Unusual licking sometimes leading to bald areas
Chewing at joints
Less tolerant towards children and/or other dogs
Reduced interaction with you/family
Onto your lap
Through a cat flap
Sleeping more - especially in one place
Getting a bit creaky
Matted or scurfy coat
Less tolerant around people
We use 3 different types of cookies on our website. You can say which ones you're happy for us to use below.
These cookies do things like keep the website secure. They always need to be on.