Does your cat or dog possibly have osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis pain can become a severe problem for your pet. If it’s found that your pet is displaying signs of OA-related pain, help your furry friend by talking to your veterinarian. In honor of Senior Pet Health Month this November, Mount Carmel Animal Hospital wants to share signs and ways to manage osteoarthritis in pets.
Signs and Symptoms in Cats and Dogs
Just like humans, chronic pain can negatively impact your pet’s quality of life, physically and emotionally. Fortunately, you and your vet can create a treatment plan for your cat or dog when you identify his or her condition. In particular, cats and dogs hide almost everything, especially pain. So, how do you know if your pet is showing signs of osteoarthritis pain? Check out the following symptoms:
- Your cat uses the “bunny-hop” approach or stops for a break when climbing stairs. Also, your cat might angle its body to the side, stop for a break, or descend one stair at a time when going down the stairs.
- Your furry friend may slow down or take breaks during playtime while chasing moving objects.
- There is hesitation from your cat or dog before jumping up or down or using its arms to pull the legs up. He or she may also reach down towards the ground instead of leaping.
- While running, your dog or cat may move slower and alternate between jogging and walking.
Other signs include weight gain, stiffness or difficulty getting up, lethargy, muscle loss over the limbs and spine, or having accidents in the house.
If you suspect your pet may be displaying signs of osteoarthritis pain, your veterinarian should evaluate him or her via a physical examination. At Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, we will also perform X-rays of the affected joints, possibly ruling out other conditions that may trigger similar symptoms. Overall, X-rays can help us evaluate the severity of damage to the joint.
Even though there is no known cure for osteoarthritis in pets, management can ease the pain. The following include:
- Solensia (for cats) – This monthly injection is given under the skin by a vet. One of the critical benefits of Solensia is that it makes it safe for cats with gastrointestinal sensitivities.
- Librela (for dogs) – This antibody treatment works by binding to and blocking a protein in your dog’s body known as nerve growth factor, NGF. Therefore, it interrupts the transmission of pain signals, helping ease the pain associated with arthritis.
- Dasuquin Advanced for cats and dogs is a joint supplement that contains a proprietary blend of ingredients aimed toward supporting your pet’s joint health. They are available in tasty chews for your dog or capsules you can sprinkle on your cat’s food.
- NSAIDs for dogs are the most commonly used pain control medications for more severe osteoarthritis because they can reduce pain and decrease inflammation in the joints. NSAIDs are not applicable to cats long-term due to the negative effect they can have on their GI system, kidneys, and livers.
- Laser therapy increases the speed, quality, and strength of tissue repair and gives pain relief.
- Physical therapy/ Under Water Treadmill is a terrific option for weight management, managing chronic conditions, and making the most of your pet’s senior years!
HERE AT MOUNT CARMEL ANIMAL HOSPITAL, WE’LL TREAT YOUR PETS LIKE FAMILY!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!