Are you feeling a bit stiff and sore getting out of bed on those cold mornings?
That is exactly how many of our pets are feeling on those cold winter mornings due to the subtle but very common effects of arthritis. Unfortunately for them, they can’t tell us about that sore hip or troublesome knee! It’s up to us to interpret their changes in mobility and take the appropriate steps to alleviate their discomfort and keep them as active and healthy as possible. Most people expect their dogs or cats to clearly demonstrate any pain or discomfort through howling or whimpering, but this is rarely the case as they are quite good at hiding their pain.
Take little Angus for example. I recently saw Angus for a veterinary house call on Bridge Street in Eltham. Looks can be quite deceiving as he is actually a geriatric 14 year old puppy who acts like he’s 2! He was having trouble moving around the backyard as of late and really struggling getting upstairs in general. After a physical exam, I diagnosed him with a common condition affecting many pets over the age of 7, especially around winter, known as arthritis.
Luckily for him I had many tricks up my sleeve and he is now back to acting like the puppy he wants to be; no longer requiring constant supervision or having to be carried by his loving owners!
Most signs of arthritis are really subtle. Here's a quick list of things to look out for that may indicate your pet could be in pain and suffering from arthritis:
- Difficulty getting up, stiffness or limping, particularly after sleep or resting
- Hesitation/difficulty jumping up on high surfaces (couches, beds) or climbing stairs
- Taking a long time to lay or sit down and get comfortable
- Reduced exercise or a tendency to lag behind on walks, despite being very keen initially to go out on their walks
- Favouring/lifting a leg while walking, yet happily running on it when distracted
- Difficulty crouching to go to the toilet; often shaking and shivering in their hind legs
- Slight behavioural changes, snapping when picked up or being grumpy in general
We hate seeing older dogs suffer because they have become too debilitated and weak. If these pets could talk I imagine they would be crying out for some basic pain relief and that is the least we can, and should do, for our best friends. It’s very satisfying for us to see a pet regain their joy for life, like Angus, and bounce around like a puppy once we start them on some appropriate treatment for their arthritis.
Call us now to organise a house call appointment on 9439 0004