Signs Of Arthritis In Your Pet – What To Watch Out For
Arthritis is one of the most common ailments seen in middle-aged to older pets. Arthritis causes changes within the affected joints that are painful for the affected pet. Here are seven common signs that your pet may be suffering from arthritis.
You may see your pet limping. In some cases, the limp may seem worse when your pet first rises and become less noticeable as your pet “warms up” by moving around, or it may only be obvious on some days like when the pet does more exercise or the weather is colder.
2. Difficulty Moving
Your pet may also become reluctant to do things that were previously easy for him to accomplish. For instance, your dog may find it difficult to get into and out of the car or may have difficulty going up and down stairs that were previously easily manageable. Arthritic cats, on the other hand, may stop jumping onto countertops, perches and other high areas because of the pain and discomfort.
3. Spinal Issues
Arthritic changes can occur not only in the legs but also in the various parts of the spine. These changes may result in a sore neck, an abnormal posture with a “hunch” in the back, or lameness of one or both hind legs.
Your pet may tire more easily. For dogs, this may mean that walks become shorter and more painful for your pet. Your pet may spend more time sleeping and/or resting.
Arthritic animals may become irritable. They may snap and/or bite when approached or handled.
6. Muscle Atrophy
Arthritic pets often develop muscle atrophy due to inactivity and decreased use of the muscles. A pet with atrophied muscles in their legs will have a leg which looks thinner than a normal leg.
7. Licking, Chewing & Biting
Pets affected with arthritis may also begin to lick at, chew or bite at body areas that are painful. This may even reach the point of causing inflamed skin and hair loss over affected areas.
If you find that your pets are displaying some or all of these symptoms please contact us make an appointment to see one of our vets.
There are many things we can do to help our pets become more comfortable.
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