Feline Arthritis

Feline Arthritis

 

As our feline friends age many suffer from arthritis that often goes undiagnosed.

What puts my cat at risk?

  • Age
  • Excess Weight
  • Previous Injury or Orthopedic Surgery
  • Developmental issues

Cats over 8 are more likely to suffer from arthritis simply because of their age and the changes that accompany that.  Overweight animals are becoming an epidemic and we are seeing many animals suffering arthritis at an early age because of the excess stress placed on the joints.  Any cat that has had a previous injury or an orthopedic surgery have a site that is very prone to arthritis due to the bony changes that accompany healing of such a injury.  It is often never thought of but cats that may have not had access to proper kitten food and adequate calcium during their formative months can have bony changes that make them susceptible to arthritis in various joints.

What does pain look like?

Cats are amazing at hiding pain and the changes are often suttle.  This is why many cats have undiagnosed pain and or arthritis.  This chart shows some common positions cats will be in when uncomfortable.

Feline Pain Chart

Common signs of discomfort.

  • Behaviour Changes
  • Less Active
  • Litterbox aversion
  • Avoiding affection/touching

Often the signs are suttle but still there.  Behaviour changes are often noticed when you go to pet or pick up your cat.  They may avoid your touch or even some of their favorite areas if they happen to be high up. One thing often not thought of when cats get older is how difficult it may be to get in and out of the litter box if hips or back is sore.  If you notice that your cat seems to be not using the litterbox when they should be it should always be addressed by a veterinarian.  Cats are often affectionate on their own terms, but you are the best judge if they are acting abnormal, so we always want to hear what you notice changing at home.

If you have concerns that your cat may have arthritis consult your veterinarian.  There are many options to manage our pets comfort as they age.  Specialized treatments are available now.  We are now encouraging and offering laser therapy, rehabilitation, and massage therapy for these pets with arthritis under the supervision and direction of a certified rehabilitation team.

 

 

 

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