Arthritis is a result of degeneration of the skeletal joints. Between
each bone is a substance called cartilage, this substance
lubricates and acts as a 'pillow' between the bones. When
this cartilage erodes spurs
and bone thickening can occur. This will cause pain, swelling,
inflammation and stiffness in the joints.
As with people, their are two types of arthritis seen in cats.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition of the cartilage
covering the ends of the bones. This type of arthritis occurs
with age and over usage of the joints. Osteoarthritis is generally
seen in older cats but can be seen in young to middle aged
cats if the animal has had some type
of trauma to the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune
condition in which the body attacks the cats own joints and
tissues and results in arthritis. Although rare, this condition
can be seen in cats of any age.
Symptoms to look for:
reluctance to walk
limping or favoring one side of the body
loss of appetite
obvious pain and discomfort
Treatment will depend on whether your cat has osteoarthritis
or rheumatoid arthritis. Your cat may be prescribed steroids,
anti-inflammatory medications, or antibiotic drugs. However,
never NEVER give your cats aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
These drugs, although commonly used for arthritis in humans,
are lethal to cats. Always consult your vet before giving
any medication to your cat, especially medications which were
not prescribed by your vet.
Try to keep your cat healthy and active. As in humans, being
overweight is a stress to the joints and bones. Try to exercise
your cat and feed him/her a proper diet.
Medical and care advice on this site is for your knowledge
and information only. It is not a substitute for a veterinary
appointment or an actual diagnosis for your pet. If you feel
your pet has a health or behavior problem please consult your
veterinarian immediately for specific advice tailored to your
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Be sure to visit the Glucosamine Product Guide for a review of commercially available glucosamine products.