What is Arthritis in Dogs and Cats?
Arthritis is a term that has over 100 rheumatic diseases associated to it. The most common and prominent symptoms which ties all these rheumatic disease together is joint inflammation and pain.
The most common form of arthritis that we see in cats and dogs is Osteoarthritis also known as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD).
What happens to the body?
Arthritis occurs when something goes wrong with the working of the joint, DJD – in short is where the cartilage in the joint has worn down and loses it elasticity. The more the cartilage wears away the more ligaments and tendons become stretched and damaged which results in inflammation and pain we see in our pets.
There are other forms of arthritis which are not as common, these include Rheumatic arthritis:- where the synovial fluid in the joint becomes inflamed and the body’s immune system attacks it and Septic arthritis:- where the synovial fluid in the joint becomes infected.
Most arthritis is caused by a combination of factors, these can be:
- Genetic – some animals have predispositions to develop arthritis and some can get it quite young.
- An injury to the joint such as tearing a cruciate ligament, if left arthritis can develop.
- Overweight or obese pets, this put added pressure on the joints.
- Certain food whereas won’t really develop arthritis but can certainly increase the likely hood of inflammation.
What are the signs?
You may start to notice that your dog or cat is slowing down, becoming less active, is slow to get up especially in the mornings, has become lame or is limping, they may lick the area around the joint and may even cry out when they hurt the joint.
What can you do to help?
Feeding a natural diet will help keep the body cleansed and reduce inflammation, reducing red muscle meat in the diet, as this can cause inflammation. Using a good quality flax seed, added to the food each day, along with apple cider vinegar.
Keep your pet at a healthy weight, over weight animals suffer more when they have arthritis.
Keep them active and mobile, regular light exercise is good, going for a walk each day, swimming is also great low impact exercise. This will all help keep the body moving, flexible and fit. Just remember the it needs to be low impact to reduce stress and any further damage to the joints.
If you feel your pet is becoming stiff and sore and may have developed arthritis then you may wish to get them diagnosed by your vet.
Remedies in the Natural Pet range that can help to support the normal immune response of your cat or dog that is suffering from arthritis, stiffness or soreness:
Keep Moving – to assist with muscular and joint soreness, pain, inflammation and arthritis in cats and dogs.
Immune Tonic – to support the immune system
Liver Tonic – to support the liver and the immune system
We also offer a full consultation service, where we can develop a treatment plan individualised for your pet. If this is of interest please email or phone.