How can you tell the difference between arthritis in your pet or hip and joint issues? This blog is going to help you with that.
What Is The Difference Between Arthritis And Hip & Joint Issues?
Arthritis mainly comes from a demineralization in the body and from excessive inflammation that is never managed. Oftentimes, arthritis causes symptoms that mimic stiffness from mild to severe. The symptoms can worsen when the weather changes, specifically cold and damp weather. Joints can also show swelling after periods of rest and inactivity. Arthritis often worsens over time if left untreated. Conventionally, arthritis is often diagnosed through x-rays during an exam. From my experience, arthritis needs different supplementation and care than the standard hip & joint recommendations that are often suggested. Here is more on arthritis from Dr. Cole, our Animal Chiropractor.
Hip and joint issues are more localized and affect what we know as the joint capsules where two bone endings are connected. These joint connections are what we know as knees, elbows, hips, and wrists. The main culprit for joint stiffness and issues come from an injury which causes a decrease in joint fluid. The joint fluid directly protects the bone endings which allows gliding in those areas along with protection. If joint fluid is reduced or other injuries happen to the joint capsules, you might see symptoms such as pain, weakness, muscle atrophy, decreased activity, decreased mobility, and lameness
Joint & Hip Symptoms May Include:
- Toe Touching
- Vocalization or whining when standing
- Slow to stand from sitting or laying
- Avoiding you touching their leg or hip areas
- Aggression towards other animals because of pain
- Avoiding slippery floors
- Licking a particular area of the body which could be a way of soothing pain
- Difficulty positioning and posturing to defecate
We often find that our cats and dogs are showing symptoms of arthritis or other joint issues but it’s not until something “big” happens that we act upon it. That “big” thing could be an event such as trauma, running, playing, jumping, squirrel chasing, leaping off the couch, and our senior pets overdoing it with exercise, or cats jumping from high places. Recently, we have heard of more cats having these types of issues. Although cats are known to be more agile than dogs, they can still have hip & joint problems.
Anti-Inflammatory Supplements For Dogs & Cats
If you notice your pet exhibiting symptoms, this would be a great time to start with an anti-inflammatory supplement. Our team members have vast knowledge and experience with several anti-inflammatory supplements and could help you pick the right one for your four-legged friend.
When looking for a hip & joint supplement, it is best to have one that is blended with herbs to help with pain and inflammation. In some cases, you may need to combine supplements for the best results. One of Dr. Cole’s favorite supplements is any form of collagen to support the joints, muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and skin. It is great at helping repair tissues. The best way to get natural collagen into the body is with Primal Bone Broth. This is a tasty supplement that can be used for both cats and dogs. We also recommend full-spectrum hemp products to reduce pain if the injury is fairly recent. Full-spectrum hemp is available in both chews and liquids depending on what is easiest for your pet to take on a daily basis. Another favorite from Dr. Tully is the InClover Connectin Hip & Joint supplement. We also love this supplement because it comes in three different forms - powder, tablet, and soft chew. Each formula contains glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, and nine herbs to support the joints. We have had great feedback and success with many dogs who begin using Connectin.
Testimonial from a Pet Beastro Customer using Connectin: “I have two dogs that are both seniors. Jaz is 13 years old and I started him on InClover Connectin about 3 years ago when he was 10 years old. Within 3 weeks of using the Connectin product, I noticed a difference. The immediate changes I noticed were less stiffness and greatly improved mobility. My other dog Kobe was also started on the Connectin the same time as Jaz. He will be turning 10 in November but was diagnosed with double hip dysplasia at 7 years old. Since beginning the InClover Connectin supplement with Kobe you would never know about his diagnosis when he has his daily dose of Connectin.” ~Toni M.
Keep in mind that diet could also play a role in inflammation and weakness throughout the body leading to any hip & joint issue with a dog at any age. There are some foods on the market that incorporate glucosamine and chondroitin but they will never have enough therapeutically to make a difference when there is an active diagnosis. Some key ingredients in dry food specifically will increase inflammation in the body inherently with how it’s digested and the body responds. When feeding only a dry food diet, we would recommend a joint supplement for any age pet to protect and nourish the body’s structure. This would be important with any size dog, not just large breeds. If you are interested in changing your pet's diet to reduce inflammation we have team members who are certified in raw feeding and pet nutrition. They are available for nutrition consultation appointments in person or by phone at The Pet Beastro 1-877-434-3436.
Animal Chiropractic Care
We also encourage all of our pet clients to try animal chiropractic with Dr. Cole or Dr. Grant. This service is great for young animals, healthy pets, and aging four-legged fur kids. An adjustment or two may be exactly what they need to feel better.
Additional Health Services May Be Needed
We would also recommend diagnostic testing or x-rays with your veterinarian to learn more about what may have happened if an injury has occurred. It typically isn’t an emergency vet visit-worthy event unless of course there is swelling, broken bones, or open wounds that correspond with the initial injury.