Osteoarthritis is a fairly common disease that usually affects older cats or dogs although it can also affect younger animals. It is a restrictive disease because it degrades the daily life of our animals by hindering their mobility. Indeed, in some cases, the pain can be disabling.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a very common reason for consultation with veterinarians. It is the most common joint disease in veterinary medicine. Its prevalence is quite underestimated. Indeed, it is estimated that at least 40% of dogs and cats show clinical signs of osteoarthritis. In cats over 12 years old, this figure reaches 90%.
Osteoarthritis in cats and dogs is a progressive, degenerative disease that affects the joints. It corresponds to a degradation of the cartilage of one or more joints, mainly of the elbow, hip and knee, causing inflammation. Osteoarthritis causes such pain that the mobility of dogs and cats is reduced. This pain will be more severe as the disease progresses.
Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects large animals more frequently due to their morphology, although it can also affect all cats and dogs, regardless of breed.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis in cats and dogs
The clinical signs of osteoarthritis are much more detectable in dogs than in cats. In dogs, osteoarthritis manifests itself by:
- Pain in one or more joints;
- Cold stiffness, that is, the animal tends to limp when it gets up;
- Cracking of the joint;
- Refusal to go for a walk;
- Loss of appetite;
In cats, osteoarthritis is less easy to detect by the owner. Nevertheless, we can see that the cat changes its locomotion habits:
- The cat no longer jumps or hesitates to jump;
- He sleeps more than usual;
- Sloppy appearance (he does his toilet less);
- Reluctance to move (without lameness).
Osteoarthritis in cats and dogs: treatment
In the event that you suspect a joint problem in your dog or cat, the first thing to do is to take him to the vet. The latter will carry out a clinical examination based on additional examinations (x-rays, imaging, arthroscopy scan, synovial fluid examination, etc.) in order to diagnose osteoarthritis in your animal.
If the diagnosis is confirmed, the veterinarian can then initiate treatment. Several options can be proposed with the aim of maintaining the proper functioning of the joints and thus maintaining a good quality of life for your animal.
The treatment of osteoarthritis in cats and dogs consists of anti-inflammatory treatment to relieve pain, physiotherapy (swimming, submerged mat, passive flexion, joint extension, etc.) and food supplements for maintain joint mobility.
As such, a complementary food which can be considered as an excellent ally for the management of symptoms related to osteoarthritis is Flexadin. This product contains UC-II (denatured type II collagen), a molecule that has been recognized as effective, by the scientific community, in improving the comfort and flexibility of the joints, as well as their mobility.
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