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dogs health issues
Arthritis is a painful degenerative joint disease that affects many of our older or more vulnerable pets. 
 
It can sometimes be difficult for owners to recognise the subtle signs and symptoms of arthritis. However, recognising these early can help us to get them pain free and back on their feet again.

How can I tell if my dog is suffering from arthritis or joint pain?

They may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms;

  • Lameness
  • Stiffness (particularly after resting or exercising)
  • Licking joints
  • Reduced enthusiasm for walks
  • Reluctance to rise or move
  • Reduced joint movement in colder temperatures
  • Irritability/aggression when touched
  • Tire more quickly when out on walks or playing

How can I tell if my cat is suffering from arthritis or joint pain?

Cats may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms;

  • Reduced jumping
  • Difficulty climbing stairs, using the litter tray or cat flap
  • Accidents just outside of the litter tray
  • Stiffness (particularly after resting)
  • Spending more time resting or sleeping
  • Reduced interaction with you or your other pets
  • Reduced grooming sometimes leading to a matted coat
  • Overgrown claws
  • Irritability or grumpiness when touched

If you are worried that your pet is demonstrating any of these symptoms, book in for a senior pet health check.  Your vet will ask some questions about your pet and perform a full clinical examination.  They may sometimes recommend further investigations such as X-rays before making a diagnosis.  They will work with you to create a treatment plan for your pet which may include;  

  • Weight loss
  • Controlled exercise plans
  • Physiotherapy
  • Joint supplements
  • Pain relief medication

Together, these treatments can make a huge improvement to your pets quality of life. Degenerative joint diseases can have a subtle yet serious impact on how your pet moves and reacts; many people tell us that they hadn't realised how uncomfortable their pet was until they started treatment and saw how much happier and more active they became. For more information or to make an appointment, please contact your local Calder Vets branch.