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Joint Pain Guide

Colder temperatures sadly mark the beginning of arthritis and joint pain for many of our beloved fur-friends.  This debilitating condition can affect our pets in a variety of ways; from hindering their movement and walking to displaying bad temper and low moods.  Here at VetShopOnline.com we have created a Joint Pain Guide for you to become familiar with the signs and treatment for joint pain; so you can ensure your pet has the most comfortable winter possible.

What is Joint Pain?

One of the most common ailments in our pets is joint pain and stiffness.  In pets who suffer this debilitating condition cartilage, which normally acts as a cushion to protect the bones, wears away faster than it can be replaced; causing joints to become painful and swollen.

Pets can suffer from multiple forms of joint pain (commonly referred to as arthritis) with Osteoarthritis being the most common. Often associated with older, large breed dogs such as Labradors, German Shepherds and Rottweilers, it can also affect younger cats and dogs.  Obese animals, dogs who inherit elbow or hip dysplasia, and increased size and weight gain, are all common predisposes to Osteoarthritis. 

Joint Pain Warning Signs

       Early Symptoms of Joint Pain 

Advanced Symptoms of Joint Pain

  • Reduced activity and weight gain
  • Difficulty in sitting and standing
  • Reluctance to walk up and down stairs
  • Instability on legs
  • Hesitation in physical activities
  • Stiffness, particularily after resting
  • Behavioural change including irritability and depression
  • Vocalising and groaning with exercise

 

With careful planning and management, there are a number of ways you can make your pet feel relaxed at home, and alleviate some of the pain and discomfort associated with joint pain.


Managing Joint Pain

Environment
During the colder months our pets are more prone to exhibiting signs of osteoarthritis.  By making sure your pet is kept warm at all times you can ease some of their pain.  By providing them with a warm and cosy bed and blanket and purchasing a dog coat, you can ensure your pet has the most comfortable winter possible. 

 


Exercise
Too much activity can be tough on your pets joints.  However low impact exercise is essential because it contributes to strengthening  the muscles that support joints.  By controlling your pets exercise, through lead generated walks, and exercising in moderation, you can help get an inactive, arthritic pet active again.

 


Weight Control
Controlling your pet’s weight can lighten the load on their joints and make it easier for them to move around.  This can be achieved through a well balanced diet combined with regular, low impact exercise.  There are also foods on the market that promote healthy bones so keep an eye out for these when shopping for your pet food.

 


Supplements
High in glucosamine, chondroitin and other ingredients which have been shown to have joint protective properties and help in cases of osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, joint supplements can assist in managing your pets joint pain.  However, in severe cases you may need your local veterinarian to prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs for your pet.