It’s May, which means it’s Arthritis Awareness Month! Did you know that pets can get arthritis, just like people? Degenerative Joint Disease or osteoarthritis is very common in older pets. If you’ve noticed your pet isn’t quite as active as they used to be, it may be a sign of arthritis. Luckily, there are many things you can do to help out your arthritic furry friend.
- Make a plan – First things first, schedule an appointment to bring your pet in for an examination. Our veterinarians here at My Zoo will help you get started with the right treatment plan for your pet.
- Manage their weight – Excess weight can increase stress on your pet’s joints, causing more painful inflammation.
- Exercise them – It may seem counterintuitive, but making sure your pet remains active is important to prevent muscle atrophy, which can cause more stress on the joints. Swimming is a great low-impact exercise for arthritic pets!
- Feed them the right diet – Dr. Debbie and Dr. Rachel recommend Hills, Royal Canin, and Purina pet foods. If your pet’s arthritis is particularly pronounced, they may require a special prescription food specifically to promote joint health.
- Supplement their joint health – There are many over-the-counter oral supplements containing glucosamine, chrondroitin, and/or Omega-3 fatty acids that you can give your pet. We have several options for joint health supplements available here at My Zoo!
- Start them on laser therapy – laser light therapy is great for relieving the chronic pain that comes with arthritis. You can learn more about the laser therapy we offer here.
- Medicate appropriately – In some cases, our veterinarians may recommend certain medications such as pain reliever for your pet. Always check with your veterinarian before starting your pet on any new medications, and never give your pet any human medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen, Aspirin, etc., as this can be fatal to your pet.
- Adjust their environment – If your pet is having difficulty jumping up onto furniture, indoor pet ramps are a great solution. Placing nonskid rugs over slippery floors well help your pet navigate your home, and providing plenty of padded bedding will take stress off of their joints.
If you are concerned about your pet and arthritis, call us at 573-875-3647 to make an appointment for your pet today!