Things to Know about Feline Arthritis

By: SA Perillo

Not only old people can acquire arthritis but also the cats, specifically the old ones. Signs of arthritis in cats can be hard to distinguish. Pet owners usually assume that cats become inactive as they grow old. But actually, the inactivity of old cats is due to the pains in their joints.

Arthritis is considered a degenerative disease of the joints. This disease can bring a huge deal of pain to the affected animal. Canine can also suffer from this disease. However, cats often conceal the signs of arthritis. There are still means to detect whether your cat has arthritis. These are the manifestations that your cat has arthritis:

Decreased inactivity
Less interaction to other animals or to human beings
Avoidance to jump from tall structures
Urinating and defecating outside the litter box; arthritic cats find it hard to climb litter box with high sides
Loss of appetites
Leaving urine and feces uncovered
Affected legs appear thinner and limp
Heaves away to prevent contact on the swollen body part

Once you observe these symptoms in your cat, bring your pet immediately to an animal clinic. The veterinarian will run various tests to make sure of the existence of arthritis. Radiographs or commonly known as X-ray is very helpful in identifying affected joints. Another method used by veterinarian to determine arthritis is blood testing. Knowing the blood chemistry of the cat can aid to rule out other diseases. It can also show what medication is suitable for your pet.

To reduce the pain experienced by an arthritic cat, medications like glucosamine and Metacam are prescribed by the veterinarian. Glucosamine is a type of dietary supplement which decreases the swelling of the joints. Other recommended dietary supplements are chondroitin and omega-3 fatty acids. Metacam is an example of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication. This drug breaks the cycle of pain experience by your cat. Cat owners are advised to strictly follow prescription because giving improper dosage of NSAID to cats can be dangerous. Some veterinarians are speculating that the use of Metacam to cats is risky but as long as pet owners adhere to prescription, there is nothing to worry about. But there is non-NSAID pain relievers called tramadol that is also effective in relieving arthritic pains. Aside from medications, it is also recommended to undergo your cat to rehabilitation therapies. These exercise therapies will revive the body parts of the cat affected by arthritis. Animal massage therapists used specially-formulated oils that soothe the aching joints of your cat.

Another method to ease arthritis on your cat is acupuncture and acupressure. This remedy has been gaining popularity these days. In acupuncture, small needles are inserted on the affected body part and then slowly rotated up and down. In some instances, light electrical flow is passed through the needles. Many veterinarians and pet owners are going for a multi-modal approach in treating arthritis. This is the incorporation of two or more treatment options to relieve the inflammation of the joints.

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