Arthritis and Your Pet
Although arthritis may occur at any time in an animal’s life, it is much more common in their later years. Dogs are diagnosed with arthritis more than cats but Veterinarians estimate that cats might be under diagnosed because of their quieter lifestyle. When animals age there is a natural decrease in their activity level. More dog owners report this as a concern, whereas cat owners do not.
First, exactly what is arthritis?
It is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. In animals, the most commonly affected areas include the hips, leg joints, spine, neck and feet. The most common signs of joint disease include stiffness, lameness, difficulty getting up after laying down, and reluctance to go on walks, jump or even climb stairs. Arthritis occurs when the cartilage within a joint becomes damaged. Cartilage acts as a buffer around each joint and the most common reasons that the cartilage within a joint becomes damaged include:
- Fractures involving the joint
- Lyme disease
- Congenital disorders, such as luxated patella
- A spinal joint becomes degenerative
- Hip dysplasia
- Hyperparathyroidism or obesity
- When a ligament, or tendon becomes ruptured
- The present of a metabolic disorder. Specifically, when abnormal chemical reactions in the body disrupt the inflammation process
What are some common treatments that help pets with arthritis?
There are several ways that may help a pet recover or reduce the pain from arthritis. They include hydrotherapy, adding to their diet omega-3 fatty acid/ chondroitin/ glucosamine/ plant – based supplements, over-the-counter pain reliever, decreasing the pet’s weight, wearing a warm sweater during cold weather, providing the pet with elevated food and water bowl and providing the pet with a step ladder or similar device next to the couch or bed.
Is there evidence that CBD may help with arthritis?
Evaluating whether CBD decreases arthritis in animals began in the early 2000’s. Baylor and Colorado State, Cornell all have conducted studies and the results are positive. Learn more about these results in the ‘Learn’ section of this website under ‘Scholarly Articles’. Dogs in these studies suffered from multiple joint arthritis and arthritic pain is the result of less cartilage in between joints. When the tissue surrounding the joint is not inflamed there will be a decrease in pain and an increase in mobility.
Risk Factors for Canine Osteoarthritis and Its Predisposing Arthropathies: A Systematic Review
Managing canine osteoarthritis in all stages and ages
Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviors in a rat model of arthritis