Pain and Stiffness in Pets: Signs of Arthritis

The Signs of Arthritis in Pets

At Alum Rock Animal Hospital, we are glad to provide your furry companion with exceptional vet care in San Jose. Pain management is one of our areas of specialization. Pain and stiffness are some of the earliest signs of arthritis in pets.

The most common causes of pet arthritis include genetics, immune diseases, old age, cancer, and injuries. A pet gets arthritis as a result of instability or wear and tear of their joints. Arthritis may affect several joints at once. One in five dogs will have arthritis at some point in their life. If you suspect that your pet may have arthritis, seek the help of a veterinarian as soon as possible.


Warning Signs

  • Pain and stiffness which is often characterized by limping
  • Lethargy
  • Lameness in some legs
  • Depression
  • Loss of interest in physical activities
  • Increased aggression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased irritation especially when petted
  • Sleeping longer than usual

Your pet may not necessarily have arthritis, as different diseases may have the same symptoms. The vet will examine your pet and provide the proper diagnosis. The diagnosis depends on a pet’s medical history, age, and symptoms. In some cases, X-rays may be necessary to determine the extent of the degeneration.

Treatment Options

Even though there are many risk factors for arthritis, obesity is one of the most common causes. Your veterinarian may suggest that you manage your pet’s weight. Your pet should get regular exercise and eat healthy meals. Nutritional supplements may be a good option as well. The pet may require drug therapy along with non-medical options. These treatment options reduce pain and stiffness as well as other symptoms.

Some general tips to improve your pet’s arthritis:

  • Acupuncture to relieve stress and pain from the joints
  • Regular exercise to alleviate stiffness
  • Maintaining a healthy weight to reduce the stress on the joints
  • Physical therapy which may include massage, heat therapy, cold therapy, and stretching
  • Dietary changes to increase the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Nutritional supplements may be necessary.

Even though these options do not necessarily cure arthritis, they may increase your pet’s comfort levels and alleviate the unpleasant symptoms.

Is Pet Arthritis Curable?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for pet arthritis. After the joint cartilage is damaged, it is very difficult for the pet to recover completely. However, this does not mean that your pet cannot live a comfortable and pain-free life. With exercise, medical treatment, and nutritional supplements, the symptoms can be managed. If you have any questions about the health and wellness of your pet in San Jose, call Alum Rock Animal Hospital today at (408) 258-2735 to schedule an appointment.