If your heart cries when you see your cat suffering from arthritic pain, you should know more about how this disease takes place in cats and what you can do to relieve your feline family member’s pain. Here are some tips.
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Signs and Symptoms
You are not always able to easily tell if your senior cat has developed arthritis since the symptoms are slow on onset and subtle. The cat is not likely to have a prominent limp. Therefore you will have to look for other indications like if he’s having problem in mobility. For example, you may see that he is not jumping as much like before and even may become less enthusiastic about being brushed or stroked. He may even develop a habit of going to toilet outside his litter box since he finds it difficult to climb over the sides.
While it’s easy examining a dog’s legs for any sign of hurts, cats are not very happy to allow you to examine their legs. Therefore it becomes difficult to find which joints are aching. Sometimes X-rays are helpful but they are not always accurate.
Some cats showing severe arthritic changes in their X-rays look quite comfortable, while some showing a minimal disease in the X-rays look very sore. Therefore a vet in the vet clinic near North Shore like Gordon Vet, for example, has to diagnose arthritis in your cat only on the basis of X-rays, your description of your cat’s behaviour and by ruling out any other causes for his symptoms.
Comforting an Arthritic Cat
You should be careful when it is about treating your arthritic cat. There are many drugs to which cats are sensitive and there can be more harm than good with those drugs. Look for whether any drug that you are planning to give to your cat is registered for using in cats. Also the drug should be administered exactly as prescribed. Never administer any medication to your cat that has been prescribed to your dog or to yourself.
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What to Do to Ease Out Pain in Your Arthritic Cat?
While your vet is treating your cat, you can do certain things to ease out his arthritic pain. Here are some:
- Excessive weight of the cat can worsen arthritic symptoms, simply because the sore joints of your cat have to carry excessive weight. If you plan to put your cat on a diet, be careful to keep his weight loss slow and steady since quick weight loss in cats can lead to hepatic lipidosis, which is a dangerous condition.
- Cartrophen or sodium pentosan has been in use to ease arthritic symptoms in cats as well as dogs. It’s given as injections and is very safe.
- Consider giving the therapy of acupuncture to your cat. It can relieve arthritic pain and have no side effects and so, is safe. Thus, even if it is unable to do any good, it won’t do any bad too.
- It has been found that glucosamine, chondroitin and extract of green lipped mussels may decelerate the degeneration of cartilage and relieve arthritic symptoms. There is no research to prove it, but from anecdotal evidence it has been seen that they can help. Also, there are no side effects of these products and so, you can try them.
- Essential fatty acids like those present in fish oil can offer a natural anti-inflammatory effect.
- Consider changing your cat’s environment to make it more favorable to him. For example, you can remove a part of the sides of his litter box making it easy for him to walk in. Keep his bed at ground level, or create a ramp or small steps towards his favorite resting spot, so that he need not jump much. In cold weather, he will love a hot water bottle or heating pad in his bed.
Cat parents usually think that their cats are less active because of age, but actually, the cats may be in arthritic pain. In that case, you should consult the best animal healthcare practice in Turramurra vet, for example, and start the correct treatment.