Pet Arthritis_iStock_000075088461_LargeJust like us, pets suffer from age-related illnesses. It can be difficult to watch an older pet suffer, especially if it’s something that affects mobility and quality of life. While few diseases are more heartbreaking or painful than pet arthritis, when it’s treated and managed effectively, your pet’s former glory can still be seen. That’s where The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center come in!

Observation Skills

We all start to slow down after middle age, and pets are no exception. Pet arthritis occurs when the cartilage between the joints begins to wear away. This allows the bones to rub against each other, causing pain and even agony over the months and years.

Look for These

Obvious symptoms of joint degeneration and arthritic inflammation include:

  • Visible stiffness when walking
  • Limping
  • Lameness
  • Being touched hurts
  • No longer jumps or is able to leap down
  • Tries to lay down but cannot get comfortable
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle mass loss

Helping Pet Arthritis

Relieving the pain of pet arthritis is critical to maintaining health and wellbeing. While it’s not a condition that can be cured, pain management practices can certainly mitigate symptoms.

A major component of your pet’s preventive care plan is a comprehensive physical exam. For aging seniors, or pets 7 and up, we do this twice a year to detect and treat age-related illness before it’s too late.

Depending on your pet’s symptoms, we may focus on medication, weight loss, nutritional support, or other supplements. It’s possible your pet could benefit from other complementary modalities, such as companion laser therapy, as well.

Addressing Your Pet’s Needs

Winter is particularly challenging for senior pets. While special care should be taken during cold weather, a year-round approach is always important.

The Pet Experts offer the following strategies to help soothe your pet:

  • Gaining traction is vital. Add carpets or area rugs to your floors to help stabilize wobbly legs. Instead of stairs, provide ramps.
  • Add therapeutic bedding to your pet’s favorite hangout space, and make sure it’s free from drafts, moisture, and extreme sunshine or heat (these conditions can aggravate aches and pains).
  • Don’t forget to exercise! Many owners think pet arthritis worsens with physical exertion, but the opposite is true. Keep up short walks around the block or easy walks at the park.
  • Swimming is an excellent alternative. Let us know if we can help you find a place for your dog to enjoy a dip with you.

Continue the Story

A diagnosis of pet arthritis doesn’t mean it’s the end of the line for your pet. The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center can provide wonderful options that add to your pet’s overall longevity, wellness, and vitality.

As always, if we can assist you with any questions, please feel free to contact us.