Age is relentless for us all. Somedays you just wake up and start your day feeling like a truck hit you, and others you jump out of bed like a forest nymph. It’s no different for our furry pets. But if it’s an on-going issue, it may be time to think about issues like osteoarthritis plaguing your pet. Spoiler: it’s not always a condition that hits older pets.
Arthritis VS Osteoarthritis
By definition, arthritis is the medical term for inflammation of the joints, while osteoarthritis is the term referring to a form of chronic joint inflammation caused by deterioration of joint cartilage. Both can be debilitating and a major hindrance to your pet’s quality of life, but osteoarthritis does tend to affect older pets in general.
These are some key factors that can predispose your pet to both arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Age, particularly middle-age to senior dogs
Repetitive stress from athletic activities such as agility, flyball, or dock diving
Injuries such as fractures or ligament tears
Infections that affect the joints, such as Lyme Disease
But what does it look like? How can you tell if your pet is affected? Unfortunately, osteoarthritis can be pretty sneaky and hard to detect in its early-stages but there are some key changes to keep an eye out for to get a jump on treatments.
Stiffness, lameness, or difficulty getting up
Irritability or changes in behavior
Pain when petted, picked up, held or touched
Avoidance of running, jumping, or playing
Difficulty posturing to urinate or defecate, or having accidents in the house
Loss of muscle mass over the limbs and spine
If you suspect your pet, regardless of age, may be exhibiting some of these symptoms it’s important to schedule a vet visit to be sure you get a handle on it as soon as possible. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the scenario and prognosis for a happy, fulfilling life will be.
There are a number of ways that your veterinarian will suggest you help your best friend become pain free. From medicines to therapy and even diet regulation. But one of the best, and most prolific ways is acupressure and red light laser therapy. These holistic approaches help heal in lieu of just masking the problem with a slew of medications. Poll to Pastern offers both of these options to your pets and even offers at-home red light laser kits.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out how we can get your horse, pup or kitty feeling better and back to their old playful selves.