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How to spot if your pet has arthritis

Arthritis is inflammation of the joints – any joint can be affected. Unfortunately, it’s very common in older dogs and cats.

What are the signs of arthritis in pets?

Watch out for include the following – talk to your vet if you’re concerned:

  • Lameness
  • A shortened stride
  • Stiffness after rest and exercise
  • Slowness on getting up and lying down.

How is arthritis in pets treated?

If you suspect your pet has arthritis, your vet will carry out a physical examination and sometimes take an x-ray.

If your pet does have arthritis, a glucosamine and chondroitin joint supplement will help with their joint and cartilage health. Your vet may also prescribe anti-inflammatories and painkillers as an ongoing treatment.

It’s a good idea to discuss costs with your vet before you start treatment.

How do I avoid arthritis reoccurring in my pet?

Arthritis is a progressive condition, so your pet will need ongoing treatment such as pain relief and follow up x-rays to monitor joint degeneration. It’s very important to manage your pet’s weight if they’re arthritic. Hydrotherapy can also be very beneficial and regular gentle exercise is recommended.

If you’re thinking of adopting a cat or dog with arthritis

Make sure you review the clinical history of your new pet and ask for more details on how the arthritis has been treated. You’ll need to sign a disclaimer to confirm you’ve been made aware of the condition. Any pet who’s had treatment is likely to have pet insurance exclusions, so it’s worth discussing potential on-going costs with your vet.

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