Every living creature experiences the negative effects of aging. There is no set schedule. People and animals deal with aging in different ways. As a general rule, a living organism starts to slow down and becomes more susceptible to injury and age-related diseases. Pets are no different.
Americans love domesticated animals. According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are approximately 75.5 million owned dogs in the country and 90 million owned cats. Nearly sixty percent of US households contain either a dog or a cat. These pets are generally healthy during the first few years of their lives, but as they age, they may require additional attention and professional treatment.
Arthritis is one of the most common age-related diseases in domesticated dogs and cats. Between twenty and thirty percent of pets over the age seven have some form of the disease. The word arthritis comes from a Latin word that means “inflammation of the joint.” As a disease, there are over one hundred distinct types that range from relatively minor to debilitating. Just as it does in humans, arthritis can inflame the joints and cause degeneration in the cartilage and bones of the joints. This condition can be quite painful and degeneration may continue at a rapid rate if it is not treated. Let us take a moment to review the most common type of arthritis in cats and dogs.
The percentage of older household pets that suffer from osteoarthritis may be as high as fifty percent, according to some studies. The disease is infective, immune-mediated, and of unknown cause. What we do know, however, is that osteoarthritis (meaning “inflammation of the bone”) causes the cartilage of the joints to degenerate, which means that bones eventually rub against other bones without a buffer. As you might imagine, this can and often is extremely painful for the affected animal. The disease strikes both dogs and cats in the hips, the back, and in the shoulders.
How to Diagnose it
All animals slow down with age, but arthritis is not liable to slow down. A dog or cat that is affected with this painful disease will experience a very real and observable change in behavior and personality. The animal will no longer engage in activities he once enjoyed. He may not greet you at the door with the same energy and affection he once did. He may not even be excited to go for a walk or to be let out in the yard. A dog or cat that has osteoarthritis is in pain, and that pain will have an effect on his behavior and his moods.
In its early stages, arthritis may be difficult to spot. But when an animal is reluctant to climb stairs, go outside, or manifests a persistent claudication in its gait, it is time to seek medical attention. If the problem is not addressed, the animal may experience painful swelling in its joints that prevent movement altogether.
How to Treat it
One of the most heartbreaking things about canine and feline arthritis is that many pet owners simply cannot afford professional treatment. Trips to the vet and prescription medications can be quite costly. Fortunately, there are online pet pharmacies to turn to.Buying prescription pet pills on the Internet is safe, legal, and affordable. Pet owners can save up to fifty percent over their local veterinarian’s office. Because it is such a common disease, pet pharmacies offer a large array of medications to treat osteoarthritis in dogs and in cats. Let us take a moment to review a few of the more popular ones.
Glucosamine has been a top natural supplement for humans who suffer from arthritis for years. Then someone got the bright idea to give it to their furry friends and the results have been overwhelmingly positive. Tests have confirmed that glucosamine can help repair damaged cartilage and build stronger joints. Pills must be pulverized and mixed into dog or cat food.
When a pet is suffering from a painful bout of arthritis, their joints are inflamed and sometimes the only thing that can alleviate pain and reduce swelling are anti-inflammatories. Aspirin, yucca extracts, and boswellia are affordable and natural anti-inflammatories that can be purchased online.
How do they work? Yucca is a plant extract that works as a natural steroid to ease pain. Boswellia helps reduce inflammation on a cellular level and is sometimes sold under the name frankincense. Last but not least, we have aspirin. Found in most household medicine cabinets, aspirin is an ancient anti-inflammatory that has helped reduced joint pain and swelling for thousands of years.
Online pet pharmacies are your one-stop shopping solution for affordable arthritis treatments for your pet dog or cat. Find the treatments that can help your furry friend today.
Douglas DiMattio is a freelance writer who writes about pet care and pet meds.