Signs of Arthritis in Pets
Pets can get arthritis just like people, however, they cannot tell us where the pain is occurring. For this reason, look for signs of arthritis in pets so that when you do recognize it, you can take your beloved animals to see a veterinarian, just like ours at The Animal Hospital At Lake Brandt, for treatment.
Limping is often one of the most obvious signs of arthritis in pets. It may be especially noticeable in the morning or when your pets get up from resting. However, limping may decrease after your animals have been active and joints have warmed up.
Pets may avoid activities that cause them pain such as jumping. Entering and exiting vehicles, going up and down stairs, or hopping onto furniture can be painful for pets with arthritis. Your animals may prefer to stay on ground level because it's less painful.
Pets lick or chew areas that bother them because of the pain they are feeling. You may notice fur that is wet or has thinned in these locations. Chewing can break the skin, cause bleeding, and leave your pets open to infection.
Arthritis in spinal joints can cause your furry animals’ back to hunch. Your pets’ back and neck may become sore around the spine as well. You might also notice changes in their posture if they have arthritis.
Just like people, pets can become irritable when dealing with pain. Pay attention if they are biting or scratching when you touch or pet them. This could be your pets’ way of communicating that they are in pain.
It may take longer for your furry animals to recuperate from an activity, which can lead to more sleeping. Your pets may not be able to engage in activities at the same intensity as before. Dogs may require shorter walks or games to be played gently.
Pets may become less active due to muscle atrophy. Smaller muscles may make your animals appear thinner, perhaps abnormally so. Muscles in one leg may become smaller than the others.