Arthritis in cats and dogs – symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Probably almost every one of us knows at least one person who suffers from arthritis but did you know that Do cats and dogs also suffer from it? Arthritis on its own technically not a disease, but belongs to a large group rheumatic diseases and related disorders (over 100 species) that have similar symptoms, including pain, stiffness and joint inflammation. Arthritis usually develops when people getting older, and this also applies to cats and to dogs.

Arthritis in cats and dogs - symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

However, age is not the only factor determining the likelihood of arthritis and some dog breeds and cats have a higher risk of developing it than others. The breeds that are more likely to develop the disorder are many large dog breeds such as Labradors, German Shepherds, collies, rottweilers and retrievers, although cats tend to suffer arthritis is most often Burmese. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that arthritis can occur in an animal of any age and any breeds, so if you notice any symptoms, best of all show your pet to your veterinarian as soon as possible accurate diagnosis.

Symptoms and diagnosis of arthritis

Understanding the symptoms of arthritis is vital to assistance that will provide your pet with the best chance of their reduction, and possibly even cure of the disease. Classic symptoms of arthritis are:

  • change in behavior and attitude towards the owner
  • difficulty sitting and lying
  • Lameness, stiff or sore joints
  • Decreased interest in games and a general decrease in activity
  • Weight gain
  • Increased sleep duration
  • Reluctance to run, jump and walk the stairs

If you notice any of these types of behavior or, you should show the animal to the veterinarian to detect as soon as possible the exact cause and begin appropriate treatment.

There are several ways to diagnose arthritis, including orthopedic examination, x-ray or articular sampling liquids. Joint fluid examination may be necessary. a method for determining the type of arthritis, inflammatory or non-inflammatory.


As noted earlier, there are many different types arthritis and therefore there is a wide range of possible causes for it development. Obesity is one of the most common causes. the development of arthritis in both dogs and cats. This extra weight causes tension and increases the load on all joints. Genetics also plays a role in weakened and unstable joints, for example, with hip dysplasia in labradors and retriever. Another common cause are traumatic joint damage, such as a fall or dislocation.

Means and treatment

Anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by your veterinarian are the best treatment for arthritis because they reduce joint inflammation and thereby reduce discomfort and suffering your pet. These drugs include rimadil, metacam and etc. Such drugs are usually prescribed for a short period. time, one or two weeks, until the symptoms decrease, but the course of treatment often needs to be repeated again if symptoms come back.

Another treatment option for arthritis is water therapy, which is more popular with dogs than cats. Water therapy helps to engage the joints without damaging them. It helps strengthen the muscles of animals and increase the range of their movement. Not less, a similar treatment can be quite expensive.


It’s important to maintain a healthy weight in your cat or dog, so like any overweight can contribute to the development of arthritis. Heavy exercise along with obesity can lead to the rapid development of arthritis at almost any age. Taking into account of this, it is important to ensure that the diet of the dog and cat is high quality feeds and products, as well as provide them with a large quantity exercise and activity. Physical activity is not only good for maintaining optimal weight, but also to maintain muscle tone and joint lubrication. If your pet has been seriously injured, such as a bone fracture, this will contribute to the development arthritis later on, so any such injuries should be avoided at the price.

Vitamin supplements for dogs and cats can also significantly slow the development and progression of arthritis. Fish fat, glucosamine and chondroitin are recommended for both people and animals. It is believed that such additives should be added to diet of animals from about eight years old. Easy dosage dosage calculated based on the weight of the animal, for example, if the dog weighs a quarter of a person’s weight, then the dosage should be divided into 4.

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