Many of our pets develop some form of joint disease during their life. It can sometimes be difficult to detect, as pets are unable to tell us when or where they hurt and the obvious signs are generally only visible to the eye once the disease has progressed. Joint disease can be very debilitating, to the point where it affects our pet's quality of life.
While some pets may develop joint disease in the earlier years of their lives, symptoms will often not appear until the disease is quite progressed. This may vary depending on your pet's breed, size and predisposition. Dogs and cats develop arthritis more commonly that other species but all pets including birds, pocket pets and reptiles can develop some form of joint disease. It is evident that larger dog breeds such as German Shepherds, Rottweiler’s, Labradors and Mastiffs, appear to be more susceptible than smaller breeds.
The most common signs of joint disease include stiffness, limping, swelling or favoring of a limb - particularly after sleep or resting, inability to rise, reluctance to jump or even climb stairs, and noticeable pain.
Joint diseases occurs in many conditions such as but not limited to:
Management of Joint Disease
There are a number of management options for pet suffering with Joint Disease, some of which may include antinflammatory pain relief medications and supplements, special diets, acupuncture, physical therapy and surgical procedures.