Pet Arthritis: What to Know Provided by a Bloomington, IL Veterinarian
Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation in the joints. It affects approximately 54 million adults, but this condition isn't just limited to humans. In fact, 12 million cats in the U.S. have arthritis and so do one out of every five dogs over the age of seven. At our animal hospital, Fairway Knolls Veterinary Hospital, serving Bloomington, IL, and the surrounding region, offers treatment to reduce symptoms and help your pet live a happier life.
Arthritis is a condition where your pet's joints become inflamed. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of it and is caused by the bones. Pets that have arthritis may experience pain and discomfort. They could exhibit signs of pain by crying out. Sometimes, pets don't eat as much. Your pet may have difficulty getting up and down and moving around. You might notice your pet limping. It's possible that your pet will have the most pain and stiffness when he or she wakes up. Your dog or cat might be more tired than usual.
Diagnosing Pet Arthritis
One of the main ways we diagnose arthritis is by discussing your pet's condition. We'll ask about the symptoms he or she has. We'll also perform a physical examination of your pet to determine if he or she has any visible signs of arthritis. Often, we use an X-ray. The imaging allows us to capture an image of the inside of your pet's limbs. We get to see if your pet has any inflammation or issues with the bones.
Treatment for Pet Arthritis
Once we diagnose your dog or cat with arthritis, we find a course of action to relieve pain and other symptoms. Often, we prescribe a medication that helps alleviate swelling and reduces pain. We offer special types of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that are much less toxic than human NSAIDs. If a standard analgesic isn't enough, we may prescribe tramadol, which is similar to an opioid. It's much more potent than the NSAIDs we offer.
We often recommend exercise therapy to our patients who have arthritis. During exercise therapy, we guide your pet through exercises that help work the soft tissue. Ultimately, when you keep the joints moving. It helps build strength in your pet, so he or she is able to continue to move. We show to perform exercises at home to optimize your pet's treatment.
At your pet's appointment at our animal hospital, our veterinarian gives you ways to make your pet more comfortable at home, such as ramps. Adding nonskid flooring can also help.