Osteoarthritis is when the joints stop working. It is most common in the hips and knees, but it can happen to any joint in your body. It happens because of aging or injury to the joint. Osteoarthritis causes stiffness, pain while someone moves around, and limping. People may not be able to stand up straight because of osteoarthritis. There is no cure for osteoarthritis but people can control the symptoms with medicine or surgery if needed. There are also natural remedies available for treating arthritis such as glucosamine supplements and chondroitin sulfate or as cbd has helped dogs mitigate osteoarthritis which may also slow down the progression of the disease.

What is osteoarthritis in animals and what are the symptoms?

Osteoarthritis is joint pain that develops little cracks in the bones which can distract the muscles as well. When animals have osteoarthritis, they get stiff when they rest. If their osteoarthritis is bad, it can hurt for them to move around. They might limp on one side or both sides and walk differently than before. Dogs also may lose interest in playing fetch or even walking at all. 

Medications are available at the pharmacy. They may include NSAIDs, corticosteroids, and analgesics (pain killers). Medications can help if you have arthritis. For example, there is a drug called hyaluronic acid which reduces inflammation by stimulating the repair of synovial fluid, doxepin to reduce inflammation, diclofenac sodium to relieve pain, slow disease progression, and glucosamine to help strengthen your joints. These supplements should never be used instead of prescription medication but can sometimes be used in combination with them.

Why do animals get arthritis?

Animals can face arthritis when facing any kind of obstacle while in their hunting or grasping food for themselves. This can hurt them and pain can occur in any of the bones in their body.

In some cases, an animal can have arthritis because of another disease. If this is the case, they should see a veterinarian and not be left with this problem because of neglect.

Any kind of animal can suffer from arthritis, including dogs and cats, but they are not the only ones. Different kinds of animals can develop it as well, among them horses and cows.

Before we can fix your pet, we need to know what is wrong. This is because when they get better, we will use the best things for them. So you should talk with your vet about how to make your pet feel better.

How to diagnose your animal’s arthritis?

A veterinarian will perform a physical examination along with taking radiographs (x-rays) of the affected area(s). A diagnosis of osteoarthritis will be made based on these findings. Tissue samples can also be taken for microscopic confirmation if necessary. 

A person can get osteoarthritis at any age. It is common to have it later in life, but this disease does not always cause pain or inflammation. When there are no signs of pain or inflammation, a person may live with the condition for many years before anything is noticed.

How does one treat arthritis in animals?

Treatment depends on what is causing the illness and how severe it is.  Several things may help relieve the symptoms:

Reduce stress:

Stress can make your arthritis worse. If you have a pet, you might need to take care of them differently if they are living in a stressful environment or give them extra time when you are home.

 Exercise

There are a few different ways to encourage your pet to exercise. You can take them for a walk or run, play with them indoors or go swimming. Try what they enjoy most and build up the time spent exercising slowly. Exercise can to help protect cartilage from breakdown by increasing oxygen uptake into the tissues and adding bulk to the joint surface area- both of which make it more resistant to damage. Also, weight loss may benefit animals with osteoarthritis; it decreases stress on their joints and adds cushioning under the bone ends (osteophytes).

Mobility plan:

If your dog or cat has to climb stairs, install a ramp if possible to reduce wear on the joints when climbing stairs.  Especially when arthritic pets are getting up in years this helps prevent falls. Taking advantage of baby gates to keep pets off steps also reduces wear on joints, especially when doing things that require jumping up/down many times in succession (such as going in/out of the car).  Instead of using steps whenever possible, use ramps for pets to get where they need to go. You can also buy pet strollers to help older dogs who have trouble walking long distances.

Natural remedies that are effective against arthritis pain and inflammation.

Some natural remedies for arthritis in animals include:

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements, omega 3 fatty acids or fish oil, acupuncture, laser therapy, and massage therapy. Natural remedies may help pets with mild osteoarthritis but it is important to discuss treatment options with a veterinarian. Treatment is based on the specific symptoms of each animal and its overall health condition.

Veterinarians recommend that you give your pet medicine, surgery, or physical therapy. You do not need to put your pet down! Your pet can live without pain if they have osteoarthritis. They can be able to move around more, and play with you.

Many pet owners believe that there are no good natural remedies or medications that can help with osteoarthritis. Treatments for arthritis might make your pain go away and make you more able to move. But it does not cure the disease. Sometimes, when people get treatments, they feel better but their health gets worse in other ways. Treatments such as medications, steroid injections, and fatty acid supplements can help by making your joints work better and feel better.

The Bottom Line:

Chronic arthritis is a pain in the joints. It can cause problems walking. Sometimes it causes weight to take off on one foot or leg. You might notice that they are using an abnormal gait to get around because of the pain. Your vet will want to take X-rays and do blood work before diagnosing osteoarthritis in animals, but you can treat them with some natural remedies like ice packs or Epsom salt baths until then.