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Joint Pain Tips

Just like humans, pets can suffer from arthritis and joint pain; with many pets exhibiting signs of increased joint pain during the colder, winter months.  By keeping your pets joints healthy and managing the symptoms of arthritis you can help your pet stay active, healthy and happy; particularly when the temepratures start to drop!

How Common is Joint Pain?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint pain in pets.  It is estimated that 20-30% of adult dogs and 10-20% of adult cats suffer from Osteoarthritis.  It is often associated with larger, older breed dogs, like Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Labradors; however it can also affect younger cats and dogs.  Signs your pet is suffering from joint pain include:

  • They become irritable and depressed
  • A reluctance to be picked up and touched
  • A sudden difficulty in performing general movements including climbing stairs, getting into a car, squatting and getting up
  • A general reduction in activity
  • A slightly shortened stride when moving
  • Showing pain when an area is groomed or touched

 

 Tips for Easing Joint Pain

1. Warm Sleeping Areas
It’s a proven fact that joint pain symptoms tend to worsen in the colder, damper, winter months; so by keeping your pet warm, you are keeping them comfortable.  A dog coat is a great way to keep your fur friend warm and their joints even warmer.  And to ensure they have the warmest winter ever, provide them with a cosy bed and blanket.  A soft supportive bed to lie on will ensure they get a good night’s rest.

 

2. Exercise
To help an inactive, arthritic pet get active again, do light, low-impact exercise as this can strengthen the muscles and the ligaments, improving flexibility and reducing joint stiffness.  Leash walking, slow logging, swimming, walking on treadmills and going up and down stairs are excellent low-impact exercises.  Be aware that the wrong type of exercise can cause harm; so always check in with your vet before commencing any exercise program.
 

3. Diet and Weight Management
There is a chance that some pets with joint pain and Osteoarthritis are overweight; inflicting extra pressure on already subtle, painful joints.  Eating a proper diet can therefore help your dog fight joint pain. A balanced, vitamin and amino-acid rich diet will help your dog stay in shape and combat arthritis.  Look out for these foods when you’re out shopping; as well as dog foods that promote healthy bones.  Coupled with low impact exercise, a balanced diet can lighten the load on your pet’s joints.

4. Supplements
Joint health can have a negative impact on your cat or dog; but you can help the symptoms with specialised dog joint products and cat joint care products.  Look out for products that contain Glucosamine and Chondroitin, two common cartilage supporting agents that promote and protect joint health and function.  If you pet suffers from extreme joint pain always consult your local veterinarian for anti-inflammatory drugs.

 

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