Symptoms Of Arthritis In Dogs And Cats


Arthritis involves abnormal changes in a joint that cause lasting damage. This condition is common, especially in middle-aged and older dogs and cats. Arthritis causes inflammation in the joint, making movement challenging. It also leads to cartilage breakdown and a loss of lubrication within the joint.


Your pet might limp or favor one or more legs, depending on which joints are affected by arthritis. Sometimes, the limp is more pronounced when your pet first gets up and becomes less noticeable after moving around for a while.

Challenges With Movement

A change in behavior can also indicate arthritis in pets. Your pet may take longer to complete tasks that used to be easy. For example, your dog might struggle to get in and out of the car or find climbing stairs difficult. Arthritic cats may avoid jumping onto countertops, perches, and other high places due to pain and discomfort.

Problems With The Spine

Arthritis can affect the legs and different parts of the spine. This can cause a sore neck, an unusual posture with a hunched back, or lameness in one or both hind legs.


Your pet might become fatigued more quickly. For dogs, this could mean shorter and more uncomfortable walks. Your pet may also spend more time sleeping or resting.

Increased Irritability

Arthritic animals might become more irritable. They may significantly snap or bite when approached or handled if the touch or handling increases their pain.

Muscle Weakening

Arthritic pets often experience muscle atrophy, where muscle tissue weakens or dies due to inactivity and reduced use. A pet with atrophied leg muscles will have legs that appear thinner than usual.

Licking, Chewing, And Biting

Arthritic pets may start licking, chewing, or biting painful areas of their bodies. This behavior can lead to inflamed skin and hair loss in those areas.

Arthritis Treatment In Cats And Dogs

Although arthritis cannot be cured, various treatments can help alleviate your pet's pain. If you think your dog or cat has arthritis, consult your veterinarian.

Arthritis in cats can be challenging to detect. Many arthritic cats become less active, which can be mistaken for normal aging. However, this reduced activity may be due to arthritis pain.


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