Did you know cats can easily jump six times their body length or an average of eight feet high? That would be the same as you and me being able to jump to the top of a two, or even three, story building in a single leap!
Any cat owner knows how agile and graceful their feline companions are, but did you know cats and dogs suffer from the same aging joint diseases people do? Osteoarthritis (typically referred to as arthritis) plagues our pets’ joints as often as it affects us.
Osteoarthritis, or OA, is a painful disease where the structures of joints degenerate over time leading to limited mobility and chronic pain. Our doctors can simply ask what hurts, how badly it hurts and whether treatment is working but our pets are not quite so easy to read! Our pets tend to show signs of OA disease through their behavior and attitudes such as…
- Grouchiness when being touched or picked up
- Hiding from the family more
- Trouble or reluctance getting up and down stairs
- No longer spending time in a favorite spot or perch
- Louder “landings” (cats mainly) when getting down from a spot
- Stiffness during or after exercise or when getting up in the morning
These subtle signs can really be big clues that your pet is feeling pain from osteoarthritis.
Although osteoarthritis is not curable, there are plenty of options to help your pet feel young again. Ask your veterinarian about managing your pet’s weight, starting an appropriate exercise regiment, beginning a special diet, supplement and/or anti-inflammatory medication to improve the joint condition and reduce pain. There is a variety of affordable, easy to use treatments that allow your pets to be more comfortable and lead a more active life.