Health & Care

Making life easier for pets with osteoarthritis

Pet owners are generally eager to ensure their creatures enjoy a good standard of living and, as part of this, it is important that they recognise if and when their animals develop medical problems.

One of the conditions that dogs, cats and other pets are at risk of developing is osteoarthritis. This is a medical complaint that affects that joints and it can be painful and debilitating.

Offering advice to pet owners, vet Fiona Smith noted in the Hertfordshire Mercury that different pets show varying signs if they are affected by the condition. She stated that some will display soreness by limping, while others will be slower on walks or less likely to initiate play. Sometimes animals lick the painful joints, she added.

Meanwhile, cats may develop matted coats because they are too stuff to twist around and groom properly.

When owners notice symptoms like this, they should seek help from a vet, the expert advised. Special supplements or prescription medications may be recommended. Also, gentle exercise is advisable as this helps to keep pets moving.

In addition, it is important for people to ensure that their creatures are slim as this reduces the weight on their joints. With this in mind, it is crucial that owners source the right pet foods and provide the correct portions.

Ms Smith also pointed out the need for consumers to make sure that food and drinking bowls are accessible. She remarked: “Some pets can get osteoarthritis in their necks – placing your pet’s food on a small step or box can reduce the struggle they may have with bending their neck to reach the food and water bowl.”

Furthermore, it is important for people to help groom their pets and they should also ensure that cats have easy access to their litter trays, the specialist went on to note.

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