Does Your Cat Have Arthritis?

Jerry WalchStarred Page By Jerry Walch, 23rd Nov 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/-fbb-4mt/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Cats

Until a few years ago, it was believed that cats did not suffer from arthritis because their symptoms were far less prominent than symptoms of arthritis were in other species. A 2007 study disabused us of that erroneous belief.

Introduction

According to professor David Bennett of the University of Glasgow's School of Veterinarian Medicine, “...as many as 30 percent of all cats over the age of eight may be suffering in pain and a reduced quality of life due to arthritis (Science Daily, August 29, 2007). The study caught my attention because all of my seven cats are seven years of age or older. As I dug deeper into the research, I realized that one of my cats was showing symptoms of suffering from arthritis.

Cats do not present as dogs, horses and other animals with arthritis presents.

It is extremely difficult to spot and quantify the quality of pain, especially in cats. Unlike dogs and horses, cats suffering from osteoarthritis do not limp. Unlike with other animals, a cat's joints do not become thick and crepitus; and effusion is rare. Crepitus describes the grating, popping and crackling sounds that often radiate from arthritic joints. Joint effusion refers to a fluid build up in arthritic joints. In human beings, effusion of the knees is commonly referred to as water on the knee. So how do you know if your cat has osteoarthritis?

Changes in lifestyle.

Cats with osteoarthritis do not jump as high as they once did. Cats with osteoarthritis no longer climb and play as they once did. Cats with osteoarthritis spend more time sleeping than they once did. Most cat parents write these symptoms off to old age when their beloved companions are genuinely in pain and need to be treated by a vet. Fortunately, since that ground-breaking study in 2007, veterinarians are taking arthritis in cats seriously. With the proper treatment, they can return to and enjoy the active life they once did.

The treatment for osteoarthritis in cats.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are two compounds that are widely used to treat arthritis in cats and dogs. As a rule, it takes about six weeks before these compounds start to heal and rebuild damaged cartilage. Not all glucosamine and chondroitin compounds are created equal and most veterinarians recommend Dr's. Foster and Smith's line of Joint Care products or Cosequin.

Take your companion to the veterinarian for professional diagnosis.

Even though glucosamine and chondroitin compounds can be purchased over the counter without a prescription, have your companion examined by a veterinarian for expert diagnosis. You want to rule out something even more serious than osteoarthritis.

Reference

University Of Glasgow (2007, August 29). Cats Do Suffer From Arthritis, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2010,



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Tags

Arthritis, Arthritis Relief, Arthritis Treatment, Arthrtis, Cat Care, Cat Facts, Cat Health, Catcare, Cats, Cats And Humans, Osteoarthritis

Meet the author

author avatar Jerry Walch
Jerry Walch is a 71 year old freelance writer for hire living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has been writing since the late 1970s, and writes for both the print and online media. He specializes in

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Comments

author avatar Denise O
23rd Nov 2010 (#)

Great piece of work Jerry.
Our dog Boo had arthritis for the last few years of his life.
I just thought cats could also.
I never knew they thought differently before 2007. hmmm
Thank you for sharing.

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author avatar Denise O
23rd Nov 2010 (#)

:)

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author avatar Jerry Walch
24th Nov 2010 (#)

Arthritis in cats wasn't taken seriously before 2007 because cats don't show the normal symptoms of arthritis.

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author avatar SiddiQ
24th Nov 2010 (#)

I hope your cat(s) condition isn't serious. I guess I should raise awareness. Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
24th Nov 2010 (#)

Thank you Sidd. Simba's arthritis is actually very mild and Glucosamine keeps it under control nicely.

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author avatar James R. Coffey
25th Nov 2010 (#)

Nice job on a very worth-noting subject, my friend. I can't help but wonder if we humans aren't contributing to this condition by feeding cats food they were never intended to eat?

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author avatar Jerry Walch
25th Nov 2010 (#)

Thanks, my friend, Yes, diet plays a big role in arthritis as well as in most medical conditions. I will be doing more articles on veterinarian medicine.

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author avatar Luke Facey
19th Oct 2011 (#)

Very helpful, thanks.

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