Pet Arthritis in Montgomery County, Maryland
Is your dog or cat moving much slower than usual? Does he or she tire easily? One possible explanation is pet arthritis. Know the signs, causes, and treatments for pet arthritis, and bring your pet in if you think he or she is experiencing any symptoms. Getting your pet diagnosed and treated quickly is one of the best ways to manage pain and help your pet have a happy and healthy life! If you’re in the Germantown, MD area, we can help determine if it’s arthritis or another issue troubling your pet—schedule an appointment today!
Pet Arthritis Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms of pet arthritis include:
- Limp or change in stride – In dogs, you might notice limping, struggling to stand up on their hind legs, and even what we call a “bunny hop.” When you notice changes in your pet’s mobility, it’s a sign their arthritis is severe enough to impact their day-to-day activities and needs to be treated.
- Slower pace – Does your dog not chase the stick you throw during fetch anymore? Is your cat less likely to jump on high ledges and surfaces? If your pet moves at a slower pace than normal, they could have joint pain that limits their mobility.
- Less active – If your dog is sleeping or even laying down more than usual, his or her fatigue could stem from arthritis. Cats with arthritis might have more difficulty using their litter boxes because the box’s high ledge can be hard on their joints.
- Irritability – When we don’t feel well, we’re often cranky and irritable. The same goes for your pet. Irritability or overall poor mood could indicate a more serious health problem.
Pet Arthritis Causes
Pet arthritis can have a variety of causes:
- Joint injury – Pets can get joint sprains and injuries just like we do. If your dog or cat has sprained a joint multiple times, a chronic sprain could turn into an arthritis-like injury.
- Inflammatory disease – Pets often suffer from inflammatory joint disorders. Over time, this can lead to arthritis.
- Malnutrition –Malnourished pets will not only experience other health problems, but they’ll lack the nutrients to keep their bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments strong.
- Old Age – For some pets, arthritis is a simply a sign of old age. As your pet gets older, you might notice changes in his or her mobility, joint inflammation, and other signs indicating arthritis.
The more pure-bred or unique the breed, the more likely your pet will have arthritis. For instance, Persian cats have an abnormal bone structure from years and years of breeding, making them more susceptible to pet arthritis over feral cats. Regardless of the cause, it’s important to get your pet treated before more serious complications occur.
Pet Arthritis Treatment at Germantown Vet
At Germantown Vet, we treat pet arthritis with the following treatments:
- Weight Management – Often pets that suffer from arthritis are overweight. Losing even a couple pounds can take weight and stress off major joints, making your pet much more comfortable.
- NSAID medications – Humans commonly take NSAIDs for aches and pains. Similar versions of these drugs are available for cats and dogs. It’s important, however, that you do not treat your pet with an over-the-counter medication like Advil or Tylenol. While these are okay for pet owners, often they’ll make your cat or dog sick!
- Therapeutic K-Laser treatment – One of the newest treatments available, we use a laser to help ease pain and control inflammation. Combined with other medications or used alone, this is an effective treatment for most pets.
- Glucosamine – Glucosamine supplements can improve joint function, lubrication, and overall mobility. There are a variety of supplements you can give your cat or dog.
- Acupuncture – We’re one of the few veterinary clinics in the Maryland area that uses acupuncture for pet arthritis! Dr. Eastep is a specialist in pet acupuncture and alternative therapy. Consult her if you’re interested in using acupuncture to treat your pet’s arthritis.
Pet arthritis can be a very painful disorder for pets. If you know the signs to look for and the treatments available, you can help your pet be as pain-free as possible! Call Germantown Vet to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians or get more information about pet arthritis.