They play hard! But with over 80% of dogs and cats affected by arthritis at some stage, here’s how you can get ahead of the aches and pains and sneakily spot the very first signs they're trying to keep secret. And do something about it...
After living their life with no speed limit, there’s always the worry that joint problems will find them eventually. But way before the limping, there are subtle signs that they might be pushing their limits. So I thought I’d put together a list of my top 3 warning signs that arthritis is trying to find it’s way in…
So what is arthritis?
This is the condition that occurs when wear and tear on the joint cartilage (that soft, spongy lining to the joints) results in a loss of this layer. The result is joints that lose their cushioning leading to bone rubbing on bone. And soreness, swelling and limping.
Obviously, if you can spot the warning signs, then you can take action to prevent it from progressing to the next serious, debilitating stage.
So here we go…
Warning Sign 1: The Exercise Hangover
You have that big park (or beach) play session with balls, frisbees and frantic play and the next day, they don’t seem their typical exercise loving selves. And may even look a little stiff and sore. In this situation their joints may be experiencing inflammation. The precursor to arthritis.
Warning Sign 2: The Stair Off
The interesting thing about running up the stairs, jumping into the car or even leaping up onto the sofa is that it’s all driven through the hind legs. That means loading up the hips and knees - the two big hot spots for arthritis. So if they lose their desire to do any of the above, they may be experiencing joint soreness.
Warning Sign 3: Get Up and Slow
Next time your mate gets up after a sleep, watch how they walk. If they spring back into action, no problem. If they move with a very upright ‘Tin-Man” walking style however, start paying more attention. That’s because their major joints (like elbows, shoulders, hips and knees) stiffen when they’re swollen and take some time to loosen after sleeps.
If you’ve noticed any of these early warning signs, then start working out ways to protect the joints from any further irritation.