The Benefits Of A Proper Diet & Oral Supplements
Maintaining an appropriate weight will not only improve your cats quality of life, but will reduce pain as well as wear and tear on his joints and skeletal system. Particularly important for senior cats, formulating a healthy diet and a carefully-controlled weight loss plan with your vet can add years to his life.
You may also wish to discuss the benefits of adding supplements to your cats daily routine. Useful dietary supplements that your vet may recommend typically include combinations of essential fatty acids to reduce inflammation, while oral supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin are taken to support and improve cartilage and joint density. As with any supplements, be sure to consult with your vet before administering.
Digestive Enzymes & Probiotics
Digestive enzymes & probiotics are important. They support the digestion and assimilation of the nutrients in cooked and processed foods.
Digestion issues may indicate an unhealthy inflammation response. Maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal system may also help maintain a healthy inflammation response within joints.
Green Lipped Mussels For Cat Arthritis Treatment
Green Lipped Mussel extract is a mussel product and provides the very same EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids that oily fish have. But it has also been shown to be an excellent and almost exclusive source of Eicosatetraenoic Acid , another Omega-3 fatty acid. ETA has been scientifically proven to help control osteoarthritis by reducing inflammation and is much more active than fish oil. Green Lipped Mussel also is a valuable source of Glycosaminoglycans , like Glucosamine and Chondroitin.
Of all the active compounds available for joint disorders, this tends to become the most effective natural joint treatment for cats.
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Managing Arthritis In Cats
Alongside pain management, there are a few ways you can help alleviate pain and manage your cats arthritis. Providing a balanced, high-quality diet and maintaining a healthy weight with gentle exercise can reduce pressure on the joints and keep them moving. Your vet will happily advise you on the best exercise for your pet, but little and often is likely to be your best bet. If your cat is limping, theyve probably overdone it and need to rest.
Ensuring they have a soft, comfortable bed in a warm, draft-free spot will support their aching joints while theyre asleep orthopaedic beds are a great option. A ramp up the staircase will eliminate the need for them to jump up or down and switching to a low-sided litter tray will help them climb in and out. Tiled and laminate floors can be slippery and difficult to navigate for arthritic cats, so lay rugs and mats down or use cat-friendly paw wax to give them more grip and prevent falls.
If you are worried that your cat may have arthritis, speak to your local Medivet practice where they’ll be able to advise you further.
About Dr Pete Wedderburn Dvm
Dr Pete Wedderburn qualified as a vet from Edinburgh in 1985 and has run his own 4-veterinarian companion animal practice in County Wicklow, Ireland, since 1991. Pete is well known as a media veterinarian with regular national tv, radio and newspaper slots, including a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph since 2007. Pete is known as “Pete the Vet” on his busy Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, regularly posting information on topical subjects and real-life cases from his clinic. He also write a regular blog at www.petethevet.com. His latest book: Pet Subjects, was published by Aurum Press in 2017.
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What Are The Signs Of Arthritis In A Cat
The most common symptom of arthritis in cats is pain followed by movement disorders. Let us take a look at some of the signs of osteoarthritis:
- Sluggish Movement. It is defined as additional effort or hesitance in jumping or standing.
- Limping. As the pain spikes, it is difficult to put pressure on the joint hence the lameness.
- Lethargy. The cat prefers to rest over walk and play to avoid the pain.
- Muscle Mass Loss. Muscles grow if used, and a sleepy cat will lose some of its muscle mass.
- Neglectful Grooming. Pain makes the cat disinterested or unable to groom itself.
- Altered Behavior. Behavior changes include unusual irritability or aggression.
- Litterbox Issues. Accidents outside the litter box due to discomfort when entering the box.
How To Treat Arthritis In Cats
Any discussion of how to treat arthritis in cats is going to lead to mentions of effective cat arthritis medicine. A good and effective arthritis medication for cats is likely going to be from the NSAID drug or corticosteroid drug classes. The most common of these meds for cat arthritis that veterinarians will prescribe are Meloxicam or Robenacoxib. Both are good choices, and its important to keep in mind that you can NOT ever give a cat an NSAID drug designed for humans.
It is very likely that your veterinarian will make Meloxicam or Robenacoxib their choice for your cat arthritis medicine, and while both are effective for relief of arthritis in cats they do come with the chance of side effects. None of these side effects is a major health concern, but a pet taking NSAID or corticosteroid cat arthritis may experience these side effects:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
Environmental And Lifestyle Changes
Making some easy environmental changes for an arthritic cat will help with its overall quality of life and ability to get around easily and with comfort.
Bedding should be soft, cozy, and easily accessible. There should be comfortable places within easy reach for an arthritic cat to access. Ideally, have bedding in warm, dark, quiet places, away from noise and activity.
Provide ramps or steps to favorite perches such as furniture, beds, windows, cat trees, or other places your kitty likes to sit and spend time observing.
Use non-slip rugs or mats over hard floors where your cat likes to spend time. These will make it easier for the cat to grip and walk as opposed to slipping on hard slippery surfaces.
Restrict access to stairs and other places where your cat might try to jump up or down from.
Provide litter boxes in easily accessible areas and low sides. Some cats with arthritis may have a hard time climbing over tall edges to enter and exit a litter box. Make sure the cat can access them without the need for stairs or a long walk.
Make sure food and water bowls are easily accessible.
Help your kitty with grooming if they have a hard time reaching around to clean their back or underside. Dont forget to trim their claws regularly to help with their grip as well.
Diet For Joint Discomfort
Diet is a key factor in the support and maintenance of your pet’s joints. Feeding your companion a quality diet is the foundation of good health, and is one of the most important thing you can do for your dog or cat.
Many animals with joint discomfort have shown dramatic success on a raw food or home-prepared diet.
Some people are not comfortable with feeding raw food. If this is true for you, I recommend a combination of home-prepared cooked meals, a very high quality canned food or dehydrated food, and the best quality kibble you can afford.
If your pet has food or environmental sensitivities, these must be addressed to support a healthy inflammation response.
Holistic Cat Arthritis Treatment: Doks Formula
The herbs perform synergistically, balancing systems and meridians in the body.
In addition, Doks Formula addresses the underlying causes of your cats illness or disease.
The underlying cause of any disease is an imbalance.
Doks Formula alleviates your cats imbalances and soothes the painful symptoms of illness and disease at the same time.
- Tonifying Kidney Yang
- Dispelling wind, damp and cold
- Invigorating Qi and Blood
More On Effective Cat Arthritis Medicine
Everyone becomes a little stiffer and loses some of their mobility as they get older, but for people with arthritis the stiffness and soreness level goes to a whole other level. Same goes for our pets, and both dogs and cats can develop arthritis too. It’s tough to watch of favorite furry friends go through this, but fortunately if you’re a cat owner with one or more of them suffering from arthritis then you can give them cat arthritis medicine. There are pharmaceutical options, and then there are also natural cures for arthritis in cats too.
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Causes Of Arthritis In Cats
Arthritis can occur without known reasons, although genetics may play a role. This type is most associated with aging. Arthritis can also occur after an injury to the joint. These injuries can be minor in nature, and could be caused by:
Immune-mediated diseases, such as immune-mediated non-erosive polyarthritis
Tick-borne diseases, like Lyme disease
Arthritis progresses due to the nature of the joint itself. After an injury, the cartilage releases enzymes within the joint that cause further breakdown of the cartilage and collagen, resulting in more inflammation.
How Is Cat Arthritis Diagnosed
If a veterinarian suspects arthritis, theyâll review your cat’s medical history and complete a physical exam. The veterinarian will specifically look for:
- Visible joint deformity
- Grating when the cat moves its joints
- Fluid in the joints
- Joint instability
To confirm an arthritis diagnosis, your veterinarian will complete an X-ray to take pictures of the inside of the cat’s body and especially their bones.
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Prescription Medications For Cat Arthritis And Mobility Issues
Prescription medications often play an important role in pain management for mobility-restricted cats. The specific medications needed and the degree to which your cat might need and depend upon them is different in each situation, and will likely change over time and as some of the supplements discussed above are added in. What is also very important to note is that pain relieving medications should only be given to your cat under the guidance and recommendation of your veterinarian. Continued use of these medications will require bloodwork every six months to monitor their effect on your cats body.WARNING: Do not administer your own pain medications, or even pet aspirin to your cat without first speaking with your veterinarian. Many well-intentioned cat owners have inadvertently injured their cat or complicated their care by administering over-the-counter or human-prescription medications to their cat. Please do not do this, always speak with your veterinarian first.
What Ingredients To Look For In Feline Joint Supplements
I usually recommend starting with Glucosamine and MSM, and as your cat ages and possible symptoms arise, then you can find ones with more ingredients, as per the list below:
- Glucosamine helps slow down collagen degradation and inhibit inflammation producing factors.
- MSM crucial for connective tissue and an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. It may also have hepatoprotective properties as well . Helps with pain due to how it works.
- Boswellia serrata good anti-inflammatory activity.
- Superoxide Dismutase helps to scavenge molecules known to cause damage to tissues.
- Yucca schidigera a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
- Chondroitin Sulfate acts as an anti-inflammatory agent as well as helps reduce the breakdown of collagen.
Consult your veterinarian before starting a joint supplement for their recommendation on the best one for your pet, and to be sure it is safe if your cat has any other health issues. Whatever you and your veterinarian decide for your cat’s joint supplement, be sure that it isnt adding too many additional calories to your cats diet. Excessive weight and obesity in cats can worsen their arthritic pain .
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Acupuncture & Chiropractic Adjustments
Acupuncture can also be extremely helpful for animals with joint discomfort. I have seen dramatic support in both dogs and cats with joint discomfort following acupuncture and with regular treatments. For a list of practitioners in your area see the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association Directory.
Chiropractic adjustments and massage can also be quite supportive as an animal will often contort their spine when trying to move in a way to minimize joint discomfort. For a list of practitioners see the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association website, or the International Association of Animal Massage & Bodywork website.
Can Feline Oa Be Prevented
Allowing a cat to grow slowly as a kitten, maintaining a lean body condition throughout growth and into adulthood, is the mostimportant way to prevent OA. Growth abnormalities and injuries cannot always be predicted, so even our best efforts may not be enough to ward off OA in an older cat. That said, with slow growth, good nutrition, optimal body condition, and regular exercise, the odds of preventing or at least delaying OA are excellent. Your veterinarian will partner with you to create the best plan for your cat.
|Contributors: Robin Downing, DVM, DAAPM, DACVSMR, CVPP, CRPP|
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Best Cat Food For Arthritis
Weight control is the single most important strategy in the management of arthritis in cats. Extra weight results in increased stress on the joints and also makes cats even less likely to move around! Fat also releases inflammatory mediators which can contribute to inflammation in your cat’s body.
Just like for humans, weight control relies on diet and exercise. There are numerous low-calorie diets available in both wet and dry varieties – and even special diets with joint care ingredients. Always keep in mind that a weight loss diet requires consistency
Changing Your Pets Environment
If your pet has arthritis, you will want to make sure that their environment is as comfortable as possible. Certain conditions like extreme cold and rapid weather changes can worsen the symptoms of arthritis.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to make your pet’s environment more comfortable and safe.
- Make sure that their bed is dry and placed in a space thats warm and cozy
- Purchase a bed thats well-padded and soft
- Make sure that the floor around their bed is non-slippery to prevent falls
- Use carpet runners on wood floors
- Reduce or eliminate stairs
- Use ramps to reduce the work needed to get in a car or up onto a bed or sofa
- Avoid excessive play, especially with other animals
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What Can I Give My Cat For Arthritis Pain
While there is no cure for cat arthritis, there are a variety of methods used by owners who are seeking to ease the effects of the symptoms of arthritis. Traditional medication is often the first idea that pops into an owners head, and of course, this can be an effective solution. However, there are many ways to provide cats with arthritis natural pain relief:
- DIY home improvements.
There are quite a few things that any owner can do to provide their cat with extra comfort. These include retiring old, worn pet bedding in favor of a new, supportive bed. Other measures include raising food and water dishes to the proper height, providing stable nonskid floors, and adding a ramp or stepstool to aid in getting to favorite places.
- Exercise and physical therapy.
While exercise may seem like a counterintuitive treatment for a cat with OA, it can actually be a very helpful way to stave off or address the pain thats caused by arthritis. Keeping a cat active with toys or food games can help to loosen their joints and keep their muscles from stiffening up, providing your cat with extra mobility. Some cats also enjoy gentle massage and even stretching.
- Prescription pharmaceuticals.
First off, a warning: never give your cat a medication thats designed for humans or any other animals. The dosage or formula may be toxic or even fatal to felines. Stick to the medication thats prescribed specifically for your cat, by your veterinarian.
Manage Weight And Diet
To prevent arthritis symptoms from worsening, cats with mild arthritis should manage their weight and diet. Any excess weight puts additional strain on a cats joints, a combination of diet and exercise can minimize this joint stress. Losing the extra weight will make it easy for your cat to stay active for longer is key to successful management of your cats arthritis symptoms.
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Treatment For Arthritis In Cats
Theres no cure for arthritis, but the pain can be managed with new generation injections, such as monoclonal antibody injections, anti-inflammatories, painkillers and alternative therapies, such as hydrotherapy, massage and acupuncture. These can help relieve stiffness and improve mobility to support the surrounding muscles. In some cases, surgery can help but its unlikely to restore perfect joints for life. New stem cell therapy is also becoming more readily available, with seemingly promising results.
Best Arthritis Medications For Cats
Your veterinarian will determine the most appropriate pain relief regime for your cat. In some cases, multiple medications may be recommended to achieve the best results. Some forms of pain relief aren’t suitable for some cats due to their concurrent health issues, so every case is assessed on an individual case basis. Some treatments available include:
Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs : This is by far the most commonly prescribed medication for cats with arthritis. While extremely effective in many cases, close attention needs to be paid to your cat’s kidney and liver function before and during use, so regular check ups are required.
Disease modifying arthritis drugs : Your vet may also prescribe a course of arthritis ‘injections’ called pentosan polysulfate. The active ingredient is of plant origin and acts within the joint to preserve joint health and provide pain relief. These are a series of injections, one injection per week for 4-6 weeks, followed by a booster injection at a time frame specified by your vet.
Opioids : May be prescribed for animals with pre-existing kidney or liver disease or those that need a higher level of pain relief.
Gabapentin: Particularly beneficial for neurologic or spinal pain, and may have some anti-anxiety effects. Gabapentin can cause sedation especially in cats.
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