AS OUR pets age, we often notice them having difficulty getting up after rest or not wanting to play and be as active.
They may lick at a sore area or favour a limb that hurts. Osteoarthritis is most common in our older pets but it can affect our pets at any age.
As age creeps up on them, their joint health begins to degenerate.
It is estimated 20 per cent of dogs over just one year of age have some arthritic pain.
This statistic increases with age of course. In cats, about 60 per cent over the age of six years and 90 per cent over the age of 12 have evidence of arthritis.
It's not all bad news though. Help is available.
Once arthritis is well established in the joints, your vet may recommend prescription medications to help ease the pain.
X-rays may be required to assess the extent of the arthritis and to establish there isn't another cause for their pain.
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There are things that you can do at home to help them too. Dietary supplements are available that can contain anything from glucosamine to marine extracts, fish oils and other extracts that can support our pet's joint health.
These supplements are not just for our pets with established arthritis. You can start early in your pets life with these supplements to prevent joint degeneration.
Very active pets and working dogs can benefit strongly with these preventative measures.
Our pets that have had orthopaedic surgeries are also recommended to be on these supplements all year round.
Prevention is always easier than a cure. Reducing the amount of exercise your pet does is easier said done sometimes.
Going on a short walks rather than taking them on your marathon run will help them though.
Massage can help with joint pain as can maintaining a healthy weight.
Ensuring your pet has warm bedding and a coat at night will help prevent those joints getting stiff too. We are sure your pet wont object to sleeping in front of the fire all night either.
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