- Slowing down a bit
- Stiff on rising or after resting
- Lame after going for a walk
- Reluctant to exercise
- More reluctant to jump onto furniture or down from your lap
- Sleeping more often
- Withdrawn or out of sorts
- Not grooming as much and becoming matted or scruffy
These are all symptoms which are often put down to ‘old age’, but in most cases (just like in people) these symptoms are actually caused by specific problems such as arthritis or degenerative joint disease which, if treated, can relieve the signs of aging and lead to a much happier and more agile pet.
Some animals are very good at hiding any signs of discomfort; cat’s and rabbits especially, will rarely cry out or limp if they are in pain, preferring to shy away from contact and go off by themselves.
Common causes of painful joints and stiffness include
- Natural wear and tear that occurs with age
- Degenerative Joint Disease
- Hip or Elbow Dysplasia
- Old injuries such as previously broken bones or cruciate ligament (knee) damage
- Spine injuries
Please don’t just brush these signs off as ‘old age’.
If your pet seems to have stiff joints, is limping or has difficulty getting about, then he or she is probably in some pain and there are ways you can help them lead a happier and more comfortable life. Some of the treatments available include
Medication such as prescription anti-inflammatory tablets or suspensions can be given once or twice daily and will relieve the pain and help your pet feel much more comfortable.
Physiotherapy can help maintain joint movement and strengthen the muscles around the joints so that their is more support. Physiotherapy should always be provided by a qualified animal physiotherapist that you have been referred to by your vet.
Hydrotherapy can help your pet to exercise without putting pressure on sore joints, while building up the strength in supporting muscles. hydrotherapy should always be provided by a qualified animal hydrotherapist that you have been referred to by your vet.
Acupuncture can be very effective at helping animals in pain and is a service offered at Castle Vets. Animal Acupuncture should always be carried out by a qualified veterinary surgeon.
Nutritional supplements or Nutraceuticals for animals with pain or stiffness usually contain vitamins, glucosamine, chondroitin, and/or green lipped mussel; These ingredients can help support and maintain normal joint function in dogs and cats, but need time to build up in the body so results usually are not seen until after the first 5-6 weeks. Neutraceuticles may come in tablet, suspension or diet food form.
Maintaining a healthy weight can have a huge impact on your pet’s health, fitness and well being. Being overweight vastly increases the stress on the body’s joints and we often find that pets with arthritis can improve drastically after loosing their excess weight.
We can help
Our veterinary consultations are all 15 minutes long, so you will have plenty of time to chat through your concerns with a vet and discuss all of the treatment options available for your pet.
Our qualified veterinary nurses offer free consultations as part of our senior pet clinics and can give you advice on exercise routines, available treatments and which neutraceuticles may help your pet.
Contact us on 01189 574488 to make an appointment for your pet or visit our website for more information on the services we can provide.