Arthritis isn’t just common in people, it is also common in pets. Fortunately, there are many things you and your veterinarian can do to help an arthritic pet. Dr. Kaleka and our team at Mauston Pet Hospital in Mauston look at what you need to know about arthritis in pets.
Causes of Arthritis in Pets
There is often more than one cause of arthritis for a pet. Common causes include malnutrition or a history of malnutrition, being overweight, an old injury or surgery on the joints, having a birth defect like hip dysplasia, or having a problem with the metabolism like diabetes. Although arthritis is mostly seen in older pets, it can strike at any age.
Signs of Pet Arthritis
Pets may limp, have swollen legs, become stiff when trying to walk or run, fall when trying to walk up or down stairs, fall when trying to jump, and may fall over or teeter more often. Cats will often be unable to get to the litter box in time. Dogs will have accidents in the home. Pets may react angrily if touched in a sore spot. Your pet may hide or undergo other personality changes.
Do Not Give Your Pet Medicine Meant for People
Never give pets pills or topical rubs that are meant for people. These can poison your pet. Only give medication that is prescribed by your veterinarian.
Treating Pet Arthritis
Pets may be prescribed painkillers, corticosteroids, or nutraceuticals. If the pet is overweight, then losing weight will help take a great strain off of the sore joints. Pets need exercise to stay mobile. Some pets do well with physical therapy, like walking on an underwater treadmill or using a TENS unit.
Even if your pet seems to prefer lying on bare floors, it should be offered soft, warm orthopedic beds to help sore joints. Memory foam bedding also helps give your pet support for sore joints. Keep the beds away from drafts. Place non-slip mats around the bed. If your pet sleeps on your bed, jumping off of your bed will hurt. Either carry your pet or use pet stairs.
Helping Your Pet Stay Balanced
Your pet may be prone to falling. Help keep your pet’s balance by placing non-skid mats on smooth floors. Trim your pet’s nails to keep them from snagging on anything. Large dogs may need a special harness to help you pull them into a standing position.
Contact Our Veterinarian in Mauston, WI
If you are unsure if your pet has arthritis and live in the Mauston area, contact Dr. Kaleka at Mauston Pet Hospital. Call our team today at (608) 847-6024 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.