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Spotting Pain in your Pet
Last review: 08/12/10  J.R. Rogers
Spotting Pain in your Pet
By J.R. Rogers

Sometimes we take things for granted. We think we can spot pain when our pets experience it. With pets suffering from arthritis, it may or may not be easy to see.

Is it visible?

Most of us think of pets as demonstrating their pain. But, with pets suffering from arthritis, that is not as easy as it looks. Many of them are in pain long before they begin to show it.

Pets can develop arthritis very quickly. That is especially true with arthritis that is secondary to an injury. The early symptoms may not be as easy to spot as we think. For example, a pet may or may not show signs of limping or other unusual behavior. That makes our work a little tougher.

Major Symptoms

When a pet begins “showing” their pain, it may be a little late in the game. One that visibly limps may have had an injury with secondary arthritis much sooner than we thought. As noted, arthritis can be present even without overt symptoms.

Tried and True

I have always advocated the use of a very high-quality liquid Glucosamine to keep joints healthy. The rest is part of that entire package when it comes to keeping our pets comfortable: a sensible and arthritis-friendly diet, and some exercise.

How much is too much?

All pets love exercise. Even when they are not always feeling their best, they will often beg to go for a walk. So, the issue is not whether or not to exercise them but how far to take it. Of course, I have always said that you have to use a little judgment here. If they are getting tired or look as if they have had “too much” then a little less is better.

Safety Issues

We have talked about this before. The last thing a pet with arthritis needs is a slippery floor. It increases the risk of additional injuries. Cover floors like this with a rug to prevent the risk. Also, use runners where you may have a long hallway that is frequently used by your pet.

The risk of a “slip” by your pet can cause their legs to splay outward. This in turn can cause both muscle and joint injuries. It is a question of being responsible about these things. You almost have to look at areas of potential risk in and around your home.

This all becomes worse for an older pet because they almost always begin to develop anxieties as they age. Arthritic pets are especially vulnerable.

This may sound like pretty routine stuff but it can make a big difference to a pet. I know you care about their comfort and well being.

See you next time.