While having a pet at home is immensely joyful and fulfilling it also means that you have someone whom you have to look after for the rest of their lives. A pet is like having an infant who will never be able to tell you what they need or what is troubling.
As your pet grows in years one of the many things that starts affecting your pet is arthritis. It could happen to even younger or middle aged canines and felines in certain situations. Arthritis is a condition that has an adverse effect on the joints. The joints that are affected then tend to cause a lot of pain for the pet. We need to be on the look out for the signs that indicate that your pet may be suffering from this ailment.
Some of the most common symptoms that you should be on the look out for, include the ones given below:
- Limp: When you see your pet favoring one leg over the other or even limping, this could be taken as a symptom of arthritis. You will have to no doubt examine why the pet is favoring a particular leg and which leg seems to be causing your pet to have more pain. You will notice that the limp is more obvious when your pet gets up and becomes lesser as the pet gets used to moving about.
- Problems with getting around: If you notice that your pet is a bit more reluctant to do the things that he or she used to do easily, this could be taken as another symptom. Like for instance your dog or cat has problems moving up and down steps, which was not the case earlier, this could be a seen as a sign of arthritis. Felines tend to slow down their leaping on things that are at a height and this could be due to the discomfort and pain of their condition.
- Problems with the spine: Arthritis will affect not only the legs but could also affect many portions of the spine. This in turn will result in a sore neck or a position that is not normal or a hunch or even some lameness in the back legs. All these signs point towards the onset of arthritis.
- Lack of energy: The pet may show more signs of being tired and that too easily. Which means that the long walks that your dog used to enjoy may not be that big a joy for them as they may find this tiring? You will also find that your pet takes rest more often.
- Being ill tempered: When an animal is in pain, they tend show signs of irritability. This means they may snap or snarl or bite when you handle them. This could be due to the fact that you are touching the part that causes them pain.
- Atrophy in the muscles: You will find that the muscles in the pets affected by arthritis often atrophy due to the lack of activity or dying of the muscle tissue. This means the affected leg of the pet will look thinner than the other legs
- Biting or licking more often: Many animals tend to lick or nibble on the area that hurts them and this could happen when the pain of arthritis increases in the pet. This could result in inflamed skin and some loss of hair on that area
Treatment: Arthritis is not a condition that can be cured but you can definitely resort to procedures and remedies that can alleviate the pain. Do consult the veterinarian. Arthritis is more difficult to pinpoint in felines as they are by nature a little languid and lazy. So you need to keep a closer eye on them.