The following article is courtesy of our partner, Banfield Pet Hospital. Used with permission.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint, which can cause pain and/or swelling. Several types exist, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Degenerative arthritis
- Infectious arthritis
Each of which has a different cause. An arthritic joint can cause immense pain, especially in the morning and in cold weather.
As your pet’s advocate, it is up to you to watch for trouble. Call a veterinarian if your pet shows these signs of arthritis:
- Becomes less active
- Gets up slowly
- Walks stiffly or limps
- Has swollen joints
- Yelps, especially during exercise
- Hesitates or refuses to climb stairs
- Has a fever
- Seems depressed
Comprehensive examinations help your veterinarian detect and treat arthritis before it becomes too painful. If your pet doesn’t receive regular exams, the arthritis may already be advanced when you notice it. If you do notice signs of arthritis, see a veterinarian immediately.
Your doctor will perform a complete physical examination and may use blood tests, X-rays and joint fluid analysis to help determine the cause and severity of the arthritis.