Arthritis Care from Our Houston Veterinarian
If you’re noticing that your older dog or cat has slowed down a lot, it’s possible that arthritis is the culprit. Serving the Houston, Spring, and Tomball, TX areas, the expert veterinary team at Best Care Animal Hospital will soon have your pet on the way to better health.
What Causes Arthritis in Dogs and Cats?
Beginning in middle age, dogs and cats can develop the degenerative joint disease known as arthritis. The most common type is osteoarthritis, and it’s caused by instability in the joint wearing down the cartilage that cushions joints.
Arthritis can strike your pet’s hips, shoulders, spine, knees, elbows, or other joints. The initial trigger might be an injury, a condition such as hip dysplasia, or simple aging. When bones rub against each other, your pet suffers from pain and inflammation. If you have a big dog, be aware that large breed dogs are at higher risk for arthritis.
Signs of Arthritis in Pets
How do you tell if your dog or cat may have arthritis? One obvious symptom is limping. Other signs may be subtler, such as:
Slower movement or stiffness. You might notice your dog is struggling to get up from the floor. Your cat may be having potty accidents in the house because she can’t easily jump into her litter box due to pain.
Fatigue. Your dog seems to take longer to recover from normal activities.
Licking or chewing. Animals in pain often groom themselves excessively, chewing on paws or other areas.
Personality changes. Pets that aren’t feeling well may be more irritable than usual.
Diagnosis by our Houston Veterinarian
Our veterinarian diagnoses your pet with a thorough exam and tests such as bloodwork or X-rays.
Certain large breed dogs have a tendency toward hip dysplasia, which can lead to arthritis. If your dog is at risk for hip dysplasia, ask about our expertise in the PennHIP method, a superior way to diagnose the condition.
Arthritis Prevention and Treatments
Treating your pet’s arthritis is important, and fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to help.
The best prevention: keeping pets’ weight down. Extra weight puts arthritis-causing stress on joints.
Treatments include therapeutic diets and supplements that help to keep cartilage healthy. Our veterinarian can also prescribe pain medicines if your dog or cat needs them.
Keeping your pet comfortable will help them to move around more, which is also good for arthritis.
Make an Appointment with Our Veterinarian in Houston Today
At Best Care Animal Hospital, we give your pets the compassionate care they need to live their best life with arthritis. We also serve Spring, Tomball, and other nearby communities in TX. Give us a call at (281) 251-0893 to set up your visit.