Just as humans do, cats and dogs also succumb to some of the same illnesses and diseases. And as they age they are more apt to develop these diseases. Arthritis is a very common occurrence in cats and dogs that are reaching middle age or older, and if you are not sure what to look for, here are some simple tips to help you.
One thing to look for is if your cat or dog stops doing things that they used to do – things like jumping on the bed or counter top, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of your car.
Arthritis in dogs and cats can occur in the spine as well as the legs, so be aware if your pet has a hunched back or shows signs of being lame in his hind legs.
If you notice that your pet is sleeping more than usual, or if your dog cuts his walks short or shows other signs of being tired, this may indicate arthritis.
If your dog or cat is more irritable than normal, and shows any aggressive behavior, especially when being petted, this could be a sign of arthritis. You might be petting him in a painful spot, and he may have no other way of letting you know that he’s hurting.
Another thing to look for is if your dog or cat’s muscle tissue seems to be atrophying. The legs will appear much thinner than normal.
Keep an eye out for hair loss or inflamed skin in certain areas. Animals with arthritis often chew, bite, or lick the painful spots, and inflammation and hair loss can be the results.
If you notice any of the signs, bring your cat or dog to the vet right away. Arthritis pain can be managed, and there are some treatments that can give your animal more energy and pep. Arthritis in pets is as serious as it is in humans, and should not be ignored.