September 29, 2010

Understanding Cat Arthritis

Filed under: Arthritis in Cats — Dr. Amber Reed @ 11:30 am

Arthritis is a condition that apparently affects all aging mammals.  Indeed, cat arthritis is a very common condition that affects elderly cats in much the same way arthritis affects humans.  Aching joints, weight gain, altered gait, and even personality changes are among the most common signs that your cat may be suffering from arthritis.

As developments in veterinary medicine continue to advance, cat arthritis has become increasingly treatable.  Indeed, there are a wide variety of cat medications and treatment options that can help you maintain your cat’s health.  Still, before you can start treating cat arthritis, you really must diagnose the condition first, especially since many of the symptoms of arthritis are similar to symptoms of other conditions.

As a cat owner, you no doubt take pet health very seriously.  If you notice your cat displaying any of the following symptoms, you should visit your veterinarian immediately.

  • Stiffness in the morning or when arising from rest
  • Difficulty climbing stairs
  • Obvious pain while walking
  • Increased depression or aggression

The first step to diagnosing cat arthritis involves your veterinarian getting a complete medical history and conducting a physical exam.  Lameness and other arthritic symptoms are not enough to make the correct diagnosis so your vet may also want to conduct other exams like blood tests, radiographs, or an ultrasound.

Once arthritis has been diagnosed, treatment should focus on alleviating the symptoms and restoring quality of life.  While there are a variety of cheap pet drugs that can reduce the pain associated with cat arthritis, the condition itself is not treatable.  Cat medication for arthritis usually includes a combination of treatments including glucosamine, corticosteroids, vitamin C, and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).  In addition, you need to take some steps to reduce your cat’s pain.  Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and a warm environment are all important to controlling your cat’s arthritis.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.