Arthritis is the leading cause of pain in older pets. No one wants their pet to hurt, so treating the condition is a top priority.

How Did My Pet Get Arthritis?

Your pet’s body works much as the human body does. As your pet ages, they face many of the same complications and degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis. This kind of arthritis causes deterioration of the joints which leads to pain in humans, cats, and dogs.

How Can I Tell if My Pet Has Arthritis?

You may notice that your pet is having a problem with joint pain if you see them walking or moving gingerly, over-grooming a certain spot, or even showing outward signs like crying or whimpering. Your veterinarian can diagnose a problem like arthritis.

If you suspect that your four-legged friend has arthritis, you should schedule an appointment with your local veterinarian. It is a good idea to see your veterinarian anytime your pet behaves in an unusual way or a way you don’t understand. It could be a sign of an underlying medical issue.

3 Practical Ways to Help a Pet with Arthritis

If your cat or dog has arthritis, here are three ways that you can make a difference in how they feel every day.

1. Improve Your Pet’s Diet

What your pet eats plays a huge role in how they feel. You can talk to your veterinarian about adding supplements and making changes to your pet’s food. Herbal supplements, glucosamine, and fish oil have all shown positive results for pets.

2. Ask Your Veterinarian About Pain Management

Just like older people, sometimes older animals need help with pain management. Never give your pet medicine meant for a human. Talk to your veterinarian about how to help your pet manage pain.

Veterinarians can prescribe medicine that will help control pain. Many vet offices can even use alternative pain management therapies on your pet like laser therapy, massage, and even stem cell therapy.

3. Make Lifestyle Changes for Your Pet

It may sound kind of corny at first, but if you put a little bit of thought into it, you can make a lot of small changes to your pet’s lifestyle that will make a big difference in how they feel. You live with your pet and know them best, so you are likely to be the one who will notice what they need most on a daily basis.

For example, if you notice your dog is struggling with the stairs, you might consider building him a ramp. Adding an extra step to get up in bed can help a dog who is having a hard time climbing into the bed as they get older. Both dogs and cats with arthritis can really benefit from a heated bed to help relieve their aches and pains as they rest.

Treatment for Arthritis in Pets

If your pet has arthritis they do not have to suffer from pain. Veterinarians can help you diagnose and treat what is bothering your pet. Schedule an appointment with your local veterinarian now if you suspect your pet needs help with arthritis.

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