Snap, Crackle, Pop
We always know we’re getting old when our joints start to make those Rice Krispies sounds when we try to get up. Winter can be a tough time for older pets and people alike as the colder weather brings stiffer joints and more trouble getting around.
Arthritis is caused by cartilage wearing down in the joints which then forces the bones to rub together as the joint is moved. It is usually seen in older pets – the general wear and tear of a full life, but it can also affect younger dogs that may put a lot of stress on their joints by sprinting or jumping excessively.
When an animal has arthritis you will start to see them slowing down a little. Your loved one may no longer want to play as much and won’t jump up to meet you at the door. They will most likely take their time to lie down and have troubles getting back up after a nap. Going up or downstairs may take them a little longer as they’ll be more cautious since they’re unable move as well as they used to.
Diagnosing arthritis in pets requires the veterinarians here at Clearbrook Animal Hospital to observe the animals gait and their reaction to the movement of the joints. X-rays are very helpful in diagnosing arthritis as the changes in their bones and joints are much easier to detect.
If your fur-baby is found to have arthritis, there are few things that can be done. In some cases, the use of pain medications may be necessary; however, the best course of action is a mobility support diet, supplements, and swimming. The diet and supplements help lubricate the joint which lessens the rubbing that causes discomfort and swimming is a great way to rebuild the muscles surrounding the joints without putting any strain on them.When used properly and consistently, those minor changes to your daily routine can greatly improve your furry friends’ comfort and ability to get around. You can also help slow down the development of arthritis by starting the supplements before they’re needed.
We hope you can help your old boy/girl get around a little easier now.
Until next time, Clearbrook Animal Hospital Team