There is a certain level of discomfort when humans get hit with arthritis. That sharp, throbbing pain can cause discomfort and constraints in movement. And sadly, our pets can get this, too.
Just like with humans, arthritis in pets is usually caused by the breaking down of cartilage that causes pain and swelling. And it’s an equally discomforting experience for pets. Unfortunately, pets cannot speak our language to tell us about the pain and discomfort they are feeling.
So how can furparents detect arthritis? If your pet starts to become less active, shows slowness of movements, and stiffness, it could be already a sign of arthritis. Are they having more difficulty with climbing the stairs or jumping into the couch compared to how they usually would? These could be the signs to look out for.
Pets who are experiencing pain and discomfort, such as from arthritis, can also show reluctance to groom themselves.
As our pets age, their risks of having arthritis gets higher. At the same time, pets of any age can also show signs of arthritis. Some breeds are also more prone to getting arthritis than others.
The sad part of a pet getting arthritis is, there’s no cure to it. But there are actions you can take to slow down the progression of arthritis. Here are some tips on what to do when you start noticing signs of arthritis in your pets:
Seek veterinary expertise
Signs of arthritis in pets means it’s time to go see a veterinarian. When any arthritis manifestation occurs, you should act fast to avoid the further progression of joint swelling and avoid more aggressive operations. Tests like x-ray or MRI can help confirm whether your pet indeed has arthritis.
Your veterinarian may recommend medications that may help slow down the progression of your pet’s arthritis. These medications usually help increase fluid production and blood flow in pets’ joints.
Use CBD products as supplements
Giving supplements to your pets, such as Cannabidiol or CBD products, can help strengthen your pets’ muscles and assist in managing pain, such as from joint inflammation. CBD products can also help reduce stress and anxiety for pets. You can infuse CBD into your pets’ diet through oil tinctures, which you can administer directly into your pet’s mouth. Or an easier option is through tasty CBD treats.
Consult your veterinarian if taking CBD along with other medication would be beneficial for your pets.
Watch your pet’s weight
Owners should ensure that their pets are having a balanced diet -- this is vital for any pet’s overall health. This is because when pets get extremely heavy, their excess weight can bring additional pressure and discomfort to their swollen cartilage. If this is a concern, weight management must be considered.
Start by watching, and if necessary, controlling your pet’s food intake. Integrating an omega-3 rich diet for your pets can also help reduce inflammation. You can also seek advice from your veterinarian about diets for your pet’s joint health.
Give your pets therapy
There are various forms of arthritis management programs that can help ease the pain associated with pets’ arthritis. Some of these are cell therapy, acupuncture, as well as massage and water therapy. You can consult your veterinarian to check the best recourse to take for your pet's current situation.
You can also conduct home massage sessions through gentle kneading in the affected area. Engaging your pets into daily light exercises, such as walking, could also be a form of therapy for your pets. Exercise will help with increased blood flow in pets and boost their flexibility.
Pet proof your home
Your home is also your pet’s home. And in the event that your pet gets arthritis -- or even before it does -- it may be helpful to pet proof your home. You can do this in various ways.
You can add protections, such as rugs or carpets, on slippery floors. Ramps may also be helpful for pets who find difficulty in climbing the stairs. You may also want to consider providing an orthopedic bed for pets who have arthritis. This type of bed uses memory foam that will help provide support and comfort for your pet’s joints.