Helping an Arthritic Pet
Just as with humans, our animal companions can develop a variety of conditions as they age. One such condition is arthritis, an ailment that affects the joints and can cause stiffness, reduced movement and pain. The good news is there are things that you can do, as a loving owner, to help your pet live a more comfortable life. Here are a few tips from a Reynoldsburg veterinarian for managing pet arthritis.
Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis
Animals that suffer from arthritis may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:
- Stiffness of the legs, especially in the morning
- Difficulty getting into or up from a laying position
- Reduced activity level
- Difficulty jumping or climbing
- Chewing at or licking the joint areas
- Pain response when touched
- Reluctance to exercise
- Change in personality, such as aggression
Of course, these could also be signs of other issues, both medical and non-medical. The key is to have your pet examined thoroughly by an experienced Reynoldsburg veterinarian to reach a definitive diagnosis.
What You Can Do to Help
If your pet is, indeed, suffering from arthritis, there are a number of things that you can do to help manage the condition in a way that allows your pet to live as comfortably as possible. These things may include:
Weight Control – Extra weight can put added pressure on the joints, exacerbating the symptoms of arthritis. Stay on top of your pet’s weight by feeding a healthy, nutritious diet and providing ample opportunity to exercise. If the condition is hindering your pet’s ability and desire to exercise, your Reynoldsburg veterinarian should be able to provide some suggestions for activities that might work.
Comfortable Bedding – Lying directly on the floor can make joint pain worse for your pet, especially if the floor is cold. Provide thickly padded bedding to help ease your pet’s discomfort and make laying down much more comfortable. Bedding should also be placed in a warm, dry area that is free from cold drafts and moisture.
Ramps and Non-Skid Flooring – Make it easier for your arthritic pet to get around by providing ramps for climbing and non-skid flooring for secure footing. One bad slip could spell disaster for an animal that suffers from arthritis.
Medication and Supplements – You may also want to talk to your Reynoldsburg veterinarian about the possibility of using medication or supplements to help manage your pet’s condition.
If your pet suffers from arthritis, there are ways you can make life much easier for them. By following the advice provided here and working with your Reynoldsburg veterinarian, you can help your arthritic animal enjoy a long, happy and comfortable life.