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How Arthritis Affects Pets

The following article is courtesy of our partner, Banfield Pet Hospital. Used with permission.

Where arthritis takes its toll

A joint is the “hinge” between bones that allows the bones to move as levers. A joint consists of two or more bones and their connections. The synovium is the lining that protects the ends of bones and produces synovial fluid, a cushioning substance that lubricates and nourishes the joint. The joint capsule holds the joint together, offering protection and structure.

How Arthritis Affects Pets


When arthritis strikes, all of these structures can be permanently affected, leading to painful bony spurs seen with degenerative joint disease. The hip and shoulder are ball-and-socket joints with a wider range of motion than other joints. Arthritis in the specialized joints between the spine’s vertebrae may be referred to as spondylosis or discospondylitis.

Did you know…

Your pet’s doctor now has the diagnostic and therapeutic technology to help lessen the effects of aging on your beloved family pet. Arthritis is just one sign that your senior pet needs special care. You also may notice a number of behavioral changes, including:

  • Disorientation
  • Decreased affection or interaction with the family
  • Increased fear or anxiety
  • Doesn’t respond to verbal cues or its name
  • Stares into space or at walls
  • Sleeps less during the night but more overall
  • Forgets previously learned commands
  • Urinates or defecates indoors

Never assume that changes in memory, learning, awareness, or perception are “normal” in older pets – or that little can be done.

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