Anyone with arthritis will confirm that cold weather is no fun for aching joints. In fact, arthritic pain is at its worst during the Winter months, and arthritic pets are just as prone to feelings of soreness if not properly treated.
Osteoarthritis in pets is a disease related to either age, wear and tear over an animal’s lifetime, or injury, where accidental harm has been done. This disease most commonly affects the cartilage of weight bearing joints, such as the knees, hips, pelvis, ankles, spine and so on. Because the cartilage is damaged the bones of the joint create friction and erosion, causing inflammation and pain.
Arthritis is a progressive disease and knows no cure, but there are treatments to help alleviate symptoms and slow the progress. Treatments include low-calorie diets, therapy, message, anti-inflammatory medications and supplements.
KEEPING WARM & COMFORTABLE
It’s important to keep your pet out of the cold. Give them a warm, well padded bed indoors and out of windy areas. Using clothing during very cold months will keep those joints protected and warm and are easy to find in stores on online. Likewise, altering one of your own sweatshirts is a cheap and effective option.
Arthritic pets don’t have a great deal of mobility so steps can be a real challenge. Where possible, add ramps to your home to make it easier for them to get around.
There are Veterinarian-prescribed medications that can help ease pain and inflammation, as well as treatments that can actually aid cartilage repair in arthritic pets. Speak to your local Vet about what options are available to you and your pet.
PLEASE NOTE: It is vitally important that you DO NOT give your pet human arthritis medications.
For prescription-free treatments, supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are widely used and can be found in most pharmacies. These, however, do not offer pain relief for sore pets, but they do help slow the progress of the disease and need to be given to your pet for the rest of the lives for maximum effectiveness.
PET GUARDIANS stocks a wide range of products that help assist joint health, ranging from simple, one-a-day chews, to powder/pill supplements and low-calorie, mobility specific diets.
Along with these products, non-weight bearing exercise (such as hydrotherapy) should be given regularly. Go for regular walks to keep the joints moving and muscles toned as too little exercise is worse than none at all. Keep the activity light as you do not want to make your pet too sore the next day.
Regular exercise will help keep weight down, which relieves the amount of pressure put on those weight bearing joints and reduces corrosion for the future.
Arthritis can be a painful and uncomfortable disease, but can be treated with a balanced and multi-targeted approach. Keep regular check ups with your Vet to assess your pet’s progress.