Vet Blog

Dealing with Arthritis in Senior Pets

May 13, 2020

Is your senior pet suffering from arthritis pain?

Schedule an examination at Animal Care Center of Castle Pines. Our veterinarians are experts in caring for senior cats and dogs. We are committed to ensuring the health and happiness of pets throughout their later years. Proper treatment can help to ease the pain and provide arthritis relief for pets.

Osteoarthritis in Pets

Cats and dogs can suffer from osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, much like people. As pets age, their cartilage cells begin to die off. Extra bony growths develop in place of the cartilage, causing joint pain. If arthritis progresses, your pet will experience stiffness, limited mobility, and increased pain.

Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, early diagnosis can provide significant pain relief. At Animal Care Center of Castle Pines, we offer a variety of methods that can help your pet live a pain-free life. Our veterinarians will recommend the appropriate supplements, pain medications, rehabilitation, and alternative therapies for your pet.

Symptoms of Arthritis in Pets

Cats usually disguise symptoms of pain or discomfort, so arthritis can be difficult to detect. However, the majority of senior cats suffer from arthritis. Indications of arthritis pain might include:

  • limping
  • hesitation jumping up or down
  • difficulty climbing stairs or using the litter box
  • reduced grooming
  • reduced play
  • irritability or other behavior changes

Large breeds of dogs have a higher risk of developing arthritis. Watch for signs of:

  • reduced mobility or stiffness moving
  • difficulty getting up
  • difficulty posturing to urinate or defecate
  • weight gain or loss of muscle mass
  • reluctance to play
  • irritability or flinching away from touch

Only a veterinarian can diagnose arthritis in pets. If you notice any of these symptoms, ask your vet about them at your pet's next examination. With early diagnosis, your pet can enjoy a better quality of life as they age.

Arthritis Relief for Pets at Home

  • A high-quality diet can help to reduce cartilage loss. Talk to your veterinarian about the right types of foods to feed your cat or dog.
  • Comfortable, warm beds are essential. If your pet likes to sleep on the furniture, provide ramps or padded stairs for easy access to the couch or bed.
  • Gentle massage helps some pets, especially large dogs. Massage helps to relieve stress on the joints and also soothes aches and pain.
  • Moderate exercise is important-keeping your pets active helps them maintain a healthy weight as well. Carrying excess weight on arthritic joints places further stress on joint cartilage and causes increased pain. Make sure cats get adequate playtime by engaging them with their favorite toys. Let dogs walk at their own pace, no matter how slow.

Medications and Supplements

Never give your pet over-the-counter medication! Ibuprofen and many other common medicines are fatally toxic to dogs and cats. Always consult your veterinarian before giving your pet any supplements or topical treatments, including CBD lotions or treats. Not all products marketed for pets are safe. Only administer medications and treatments that are prescribed by your veterinarian.

Contact Us

If your elderly pet is in pain, contact us right away. Animal Care Center of Castle Pines will give your pet a full wellness examination. If your pet is suffering from arthritis, we will discuss the best methods for preventing and relieving your pet's arthritis pain. We can prescribe safe and effective medications for your pet and recommend other types of treatments for arthritis relief as needed. Call (303) 688-3660 or send a message to to schedule an appointment today.