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Overview

Arthritis, an inflammation of the joints, affects dogs and cats the same way that it does humans. If left undiagnosed or untreated, the disease can cause irreversible joint damage, leading to pain and restrictions on a pet's mobility and overall quality of life.

States with the highest prevalence of Arthritis

  1. Iowa
  2. Colorado
  3. Minnesota
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Arizona
  1. Arizona
  2. Minnesota
  3. Nevada
  4. Utah
  5. Washington

Signs

Arthritis is likely more common than currently reported for two reasons:

  1. Signs of arthritis can be hard to distinguish from those of other diseases
  2. Pets are very good at hiding signs of discomfort—especially cats
Signs of arthritis in dogs.

Signs of arthritis in dogs:

  • Mild decrease in activity level
  • Stiffness when standing up
  • Limping
  • Muscle loss
  • Abnormal gait and sitting positions
  • Reluctance to jump or climb stairs
Signs of arthritis in cats.

Signs of arthritis in cats:

  • Very subtle, even in severe cases
  • Decreased activity
  • Changes in normal behavior

How to Manage Arthritis

For mild arthritis:

  • Lifestyle changes like weight loss
  • Medications for pain and inflammation
  • Moderate exercise
  • Physical therapy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Nutritional supplementation

For moderate to severe arthritis:

  • Regular checkups and nutritional counseling with a veterinarian
  • Medications for pain and inflammation (often a combination of two or more)
  • Surgery

Learn more about arthritis in cats and dogs at Banfield.com

More than 2 in 3 cat owners aren't aware of the link between weight gain and obesity and arthritis. 38% are not aware of the link between aging and arthritis in cats.
Roughly 2 in 3 dog owners aren't aware of the link between weight gain and obesity and arthritis. 30% are not aware of the link between aging and arthritis in dogs.
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