As you may have seen from the last blog entry, Giacomo has been treated for hip dysplasia using physiotherapy. Rungo has also been receiving treatment at the SMART Clinic. In his case, this was for arthritis.
More than 80% of cats over 10 are thought to suffer with arthritis, although many cats are never brought to the vet for diagnosis or investigation of the problem. Signs of arthritis in older cats include
- sleeping more
- reluctance to play
- jumping up less (you may just notice that your cat is choosing to sit on lower resting points)
- hesitating before jumping up or down
- becoming less keen to interact with you
- changes in temperament – generally becoming more grumpy
- matted or scurfy coat
- long nails which catch in carpets or clothing
If you cat is showing any, or especially several of these signs, you should consider that they may be suffering from arthritis. This is a painful degenerative joint condition which can cause a significant decline in the quality of life of may older cats.
Don’t put off bringing your cat to the vet because you think it’s just old age or that nothing can be done. If you have any suspicion of arthritis please consult your veterinary surgeon as it is a painful, progressive condition, meaning that the longer it is left, the more uncomfortable your cat will become. Arthritis may be suspected on examination, but X-rays are often needed to diagnose the condition.
The good news though, is that the condition is treatable. We use a combination of several different treatments to achieve the best control of the painful signs of arthritis
- Anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and inflammation
- Chondritin and Glucosamine supplements to improve the condition of cartilage and joint fluid (these need to be specially formulated for cats)
- Special food containing supplements to help maintain joint health
- Physiotherapy, including exercise and acupuncture (available by referral)
For more information about arthritis in cats click here.
Arthritis is also found in dogs. They generally show a slowing down when exercising, may become more reluctant or slower to rise and look stiff after they have been lying down. Again, early diagnosis and treatment can make a huge difference to your dog’s quality of life.
If you are interested in finding out about the SMART Clinic click here.