Arthritis in cats
It is heart wrenching when your darling cat that’s a part of your family begins limping or appear to stiffen up on a wintry or humid days. There are times when it does not seem as bad as others. You may discover the cause to this is arthritis. Arthritis in our feline friends causes a slow wear down of the cartilage in the joints. There are two variations of feline arthritis. The first category is referred to as primary arthritis and is the more rare of the two as it has more to do with continuing overuse of one joint or another as well as aging.
The secondary form of arthritis is more common. It generally occurs over a period of time, however it is generally due to unstable joints like found in hip dysplasia, defects in the bones or cartilage or even damage from trauma and sprains.
In addition to being referred to primary or secondary arthritis, cats that have arthritis can suffer from specific versions. Progressive polyarthritis for example has an affect on several joints at the same time. Conditions are comparable to those characteristics of secondary arthritis listed above. Age is not an underlying factor, which makes it similar to the rheumatoid arthritis that we are susceptible to. Regrettably your animal will suffer through a lot of pain, as there is no cure for arthritis. You can help to make them a little more comfortable with medications.
Calicivirus, an affliction of the respiratory system that causes runny eyes and noses, can cause inflammation in the joints. This can be caused by the strain of the virus in the vaccine your pet receives or from the field strain in the air. It usually causes short-term lameness which can be recovered from with pain relievers and anti-inflammatories.
A form of arthritis that is generally due to an infected bite or wound is known as bacterial arthritis. This should be treated immediately to avoid further damage to the joints. Another arthritis that is due to diabetes mellitus can cause your cat to acquire a curious step to their walk. A lot of time this is mistook for a joint problem when in actuality it is a nerve disorder
In order to diagnose arthritis you can obtain x-rays of the areas in question, analyze the joint fluid as well as the number of cells in the fluid and blood. Running test like these will help to understand the kind of arthritis your cat is afflicted with. Not only that it will tell you of any underlying problems that may cause the arthritis. Having detailed blood test done is helpful in insuring that your cat is not suffering from an infectious disease or anything else that could deteriorate their health. You may find if helpful to also test the fluids in the joints and capsules for bacterial cultures.
Just like in humans, arthritis in your cat can be treated, making it easier for your pet to move and live. What treatment is recommended will depend on what type of arthritis your cat has been diagnosed with. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, cartilage protective agents, corticosteroids, and glucosamine are all medications that can be given to your cat to east the pain, lubricate the joints, reduce inflammation, and help rehabilitate the ruined cartilage.
There are times when surgery is necessary for your cat to help ease or heal the arthritis they have. Shoulder osteochondritis, elbow dysplasia and dissicans can be treated with Arthrotomy or arthroscopy. Ruined cartilage and bones in cats have been repaired with joint freezing, total hip replacements and reconstructive surgeries. You will find that your cat heals quickly and with remarkable improvement in their life.
Basically even cats with arthritis can live active, healthy and normal lives with the proper care and medicines. If the projection is one that will have your pet be in constant pain with medicines not helping and there is not a hope of improvement then you will be faced with the difficult decision of whether to euthanasia or not. The majority of cats, much like humans, have arthritis that progresses slowly therefore they can still be with you for plenty of fun and love filled years to come.