Pet Arthritis FAQ
Question: What is arthritis?
Answer: Arthritis is a term used to describe a group of conditions. The term arthritis is derived from the joint inflammation. It is often associated with inflammation, pain, stiffness, and swelling. However, arthritis is not isolated to just the joints, as it is capable of affecting many parts of the body.
Question: What are the signs and symptoms of arthritis?
Answer: Arthritis is associated with a variety of signs and symptoms.
- Loss of appetite
- Reduced flexibility
- Reduced mobility
- Reluctance to walk or climb stairs
Question: Why did my pet get arthritis?
Answer: The exact causes for arthritis remains unknown. However, it is theorized that arthritis is caused by both environmental and genetic factors.
Question: Does weight have any effects on arthritis?
Answer: Weight absolutely has certain effects on the presence of arthritis. Excess weight places extra stress on the joints, cartilage, and ligaments. This excess stress is commonly associated with increased signs and symptoms of arthritis.
Question: If my pet has arthritis, should my pet still exercise?
Answer: It is important to establish an exercise routine with your pet. However, arthritis is associated with certain amounts of pain and therefore your pet may be less active. It is important to utilize low impact exercises at a slow pace. It should also be noted that inactivity often leads to increased signs and symptoms including joint stiffness, loss of muscle mass and strength, weight gain, and joint stiffness.
Question: Are there ways I can make my pet more comfortable at home?
Answer: There are many ways that you can make your home more comfortable to your arthritic pet. Create an environment that is friendly and accessible to your pet. A warm and dry environment is always more comfortable than cold and damp. Provide an area that is cushioned for your pet to sleep and lay. A gentle massage or the addition of heat can help relieve certain amounts of inflammation and pain.
Question: Is there a cure for arthritis?
Answer: Currently, there is no cure for arthritis. However, there are many available methods for the control and maintenance of signs and symptoms associated with arthritis. Take time to research these methods, contact your veterinarian, and discuss the best combination of treatment methods for your pet's individual needs.
Question: Is arthritis preventable?
Answer: There is no way to prevent arthritis. It is typically considered to be a genetically inherited condition that is triggered by certain environmental factors.
Question: What causes an arthritic flare?
Answer: The causes for arthritic flares are currently unknown. Though there are certain correlations that are associated with the development of flares including improper diet, obesity, stress, and lack of sleep.
Question: Can I decrease the overall frequency and duration of arthritis flares in my pet?
Answer: It is possible with the correct treatment options to create an environment that is optimal for decreasing the overall amount of flares. However, there are no known ways to prevent arthritic flares.
Photo Credit: surlymonkey