What is Pet Arthritis?
Arthritis is inflammation of the joints.
Inside a dogs and cats joints the bone surfaces are normally covered with a thin layer of very smooth cartilage and lubricated with a small amount of joint fluid that allows the two surfaces to glide freely over one another with minimum friction.
In dogs & cats with arthritis the cartilage within the joint undergoes change or damage becoming less smooth and resulting in the bone surfaces rubbing together. This causes discomfort to your dog or cat, as well as further damage to the cartilage. As a direct result of this increased friction new bone starts to form around the joint making the joint stiffer, which limits its movement even more – this condition is known as degenerative joint disease.
Why does my pet have Arthritis?
Typically arthritis is a problem seen in older dogs, but the condition can develop from an early age following problems with bone and joint development. Depending on the cause, arthritis may affect one or any number of your dog’s joints.
So what causes it?
There is no single cause of arthritis, it could be a combination of the following:
- Most cases develop as a result of abnormal rubbing within the joint caused by joint instability (e.g. after ligament damage, muscle injury, joint infection, damage/erosion of cartilage or broken bones)
- Like humans, signs of arthritis can often vary throughout the animal’s life and result in the early onset of joint problems in older age
- Body conformation (how a your pet is built)
- Body condition/weight (overweight and obesity are highly correlated with arthritis)
- Abnormal joint development
- Incorrect nutrition
- Over exercising when a puppy or damage done when jumping off high places
Does exercise help with pet arthritis?
A good rule of thumb is a ratio of five minutes exercise per month of age (up to twice a day) until the puppy is fully grown, i.e. 15 minutes (up to twice a day) when three months old, 20 minutes when four months old etc. Once they are fully grown, they can go out for much longer. 18 months is considered fully grown for smaller to medium dogs whereas 3 years is considered fully grown for bigger dogs.
What are the symptoms of Pet Arthritis?
Arthritis symptoms for dogs
Often owners ask how they can tell if their dog’s suffering from arthritis?
- As the disease nearly always causes pain and stiffness, dogs may not be as keen to exercise as they were in the past and may show lameness, limping or obvious stiffness after exercise or when first waking up. Commonly this stiffness improves a little with commencement of exercise, but with cold and/or damp conditions it usually worsens.
- Some dogs may even lick continually at an underlying painful joint
- The may groan or are tentative when laying down or getting back up.
- They can’t jump in the car anymore and wait to be helped up and down from the car.
- They may be wary or aggressive of touch from you as it is painful.
- They may have muscle wastage.
- They may be tired as being in pain causes tiredness.
- They may be irritable.
- And they are not as playful as they once were
Walk your dog little and often is likely to be better than very long walks. If your pet is limping on the way back, they’ve probably overdone it. Rest your pet on days they are lame or stiff.
Arthritis symptoms for cats
- Difficulty getting up and down.
- Walking stiffly.
- Lameness in one or more legs.
- Wariness of going up and/or down stairs.
- Hesitance to jump up or down (onto/off furniture ), often making smaller jumps where once one jump would do.
- Stiff, swollen, or sore joints.
- Reluctance to be touched on some parts of the body, sometimes becoming aggressive.
- Unexpected aggression towards other cats or towards humans
What can I do to help my dog or cat be more comfortable?
- Feed a species appropriate good quality food. Choose lean meats such as the wild caught Possum, Wallaby, Hare, Rabbit, Deer or Goat etc.
- Use quality supplements that have anti-inflammatory properties – Salmon Oil, Turmeric, Green Lipped Mussels etc.
- Keep their weight down
- Soft, padded bedding – Memory foam is ideal
- Raised food and water dishes (elbow height)
- Non-skid floor surfaces
- A ramp or stool/step for getting onto higher surfaces
- Visit your vet for some pain killers
Can arthritis be prevented?
Age-related arthritis can’t be prevented, but you can certainly do a number of things to help reduce the risk and delay the onset and severity of symptoms. As detailed above, this includes controlling weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise.
The risk of hip dysplasia, which can cause arthritis and is particularly prevalent in certain breeds, can be reduced by good breeding practices including the hip scoring of potential parents.
Now let’s look at diet
You will find all of the items below on our website. We have made it easy for you by putting all products that are good for stiff joints and arthritis under two headings …. Arthritis & Joint Pain for dry products and Variety Boxes for meat blends, meaty bones & whole foods
Possum meat is low in fat and high in omega fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce morning stiffness, the number of tender joints and swollen joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Here is a list of our Prey Model Meat Blends and meat bones that can help
- Possum, Venison & Lamb
- Possum & Duck
- Possum, Venison & Goat & Tripe
- Possum, Venison & Goat
- Possum Back Steak Nuggets
- Meat possum bones
- Venison, Rabbit, Possum & Salmon bites (dehydrated)
- Meaty Wallaby bones
- Rabbit, Venison, Kangaroo & Tripe
Wallaby/Kangaroo is very lean, and contains lots of iron, zinc, protein and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) – the fatty acid that may help prevent cancer, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis. CLA has also been shown to aid in the management of glucose and insulin levels.
Salmon & Fish
Salmon & Fish is packed with Omega-3 and aids in joint function, especially as pets age. It can also have a positive impact on inflammation through the entire system.
- Salmon & Lamb
- Salmon Bikkies
- Salmon Bites
- Whole Salmon
Moggy & Doggy Daily
Cat & dog supplements for daily general health and vitality. Includes turmeric.
Green Lipped Mussels
Either in powder form or whole (dehydrated). They contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory and joint-protecting properties.
- Green Lipped Mussel Powder
- Dehydrated Green Lipped Mussels
- Venison & Green Lipped Mussel Toppers
I give 2 green lipped mussels a day to my 10 year old dog Charlie an 1 a day to 8 year old dog Sapper. I’m just blown away by the difference it has made to them both as they were both having trouble getting up and down after a walk. All this for less than $10 per monthMandy – Our Valued Customer
Consuming one to three grams of fish oil per day can decrease joint pain and can help reduce the intensity of joint symptoms like morning stiffness, tenderness, swelling, and discomfort.
Tumeric (in golden paste)
When combined with black pepper, turmeric in the paste is better absorbed into your dog’s blood. The coconut oil in the recipe makes the liver metabolize the curcumin slower, so it’s better absorbed by your dog. Plus, coconut oil has its own health benefits
- Coming soon to our website
A botanical and homeopathic combination to assist in alleviating age-related symptoms of joint stiffness, mental confusion, restlessness.
This oil can help alleviate inflammation symptoms, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of lauric acid found in the oil. Use Organic where possible.
Gullets & Tracheas (Chews for Dogs)
Packed with natural choindroitin. It is a vital part of cartilage, giving it elasticity by helping it retain water. Laboratory studies have found that chondroitin can reduce the activity of enzymes and substances that break down collagen in joints. Other studies have demonstrated that it has several anti-inflammatory properties. Research on animals has found that chondroitin can prevent the breakdown of cartilage and can also stimulate repair mechanisms.
- Venison Gullet
- Venison Whistler (Trachea)
- Ostrich Trachea
As you can see we have a large range of products to help with your pets’ needs.
To make your life easier we have created age and species appropriate packs. In these packs we have bundled up products which will help maintain good health of your pet. We offer maintenance packs from puppy and kitten to senior dogs and cats.
And to make it better for your pocket the items are discounted when bought together.