Arthritis in cats can and does occur, and it is a huge misconception that this serious aliment only occurs in dogs.
In fact, there are types of arthritis that are considered unique to cats.
Cats are considered to be one of the most agile, if not the most agile, of all animals, as well as extremely nimble.
However, this is a very real threat to your cat and if you see any of the early warning signs, you will need to have them examined as soon as possible.
There are preventive natural treatments that can help to reduce your cat’s chances of developing this crippling disease, as well as treatments that can help to manage this disease.
However, the real key is for owners to understand the early warning signs as well as the types of arthritis that can and do attack cats.
Arthritis in cats will first start to surface in any affected cat the same way; they will slowly start to become stiff and on occasion, limp.
When these early warning signs first start to develop, they will appear to be very mild and in most cases be rather periodic in nature.
But do not let these early symptoms of Arthritis in cats pass and ignore them.
This is the critical stage and it is in this stage that you should watch your cat very close.
If it is indeed any of the forms of arthritis, they will reappear and start to become more pronounced.
These early warning signs will be most noticeable when your cat first gets up after sleeping or resting.
Once your cat begins to move around, they will slowly start to dissipate.
But there is one extremely important fact to remember about this disease and your cat; they are very good at compensating any type of lameness by their natural agility.
Dogs do not have this agility and it is very easy to identify arthritis in dogs, but can be very difficult to identify it early in cats.
For this reason, it will also be critical to watch your cat’s behavior.
Their behavior will be the true indicator that they have contracted this condition.
Cats that are developing arthritis will signal you with changes in their behavior.
This includes taking several small jumps rather than their usual large jump to reach a designated surface.
They may also start to avoid stairs or climb like they usually do.
However, there is one real warning sign that when combined with these subtle signs are almost a certainty they are developing arthritis; their mood.
Arthritis in cats, regardless of the breed or age, will cause mood swings.
They may easily become aggressive, quite irritable, or even depressed. The reason for this is quite simple; they do not understand what is happening to them.
They may also start to resist any kind of petting, brushing, or touching, simply because it may hurt them.
As the arthritis increases its attack, you may also be able to detect it in their joints.
Your cat’s joints are changing as they are starting to swell, and as a result of this, when you touch them your cat will resist or even cry out.
As the arthritis advances in your cat, you may also start to see abnormal appearances in their jointed areas.
The first form of arthritis in cats is referred to as progressive poly-arthritis, and it is exactly what the name implies.
It is a form of arthritis that affects multiple joints in your cat and worsens over time. It comes in two different types.
The first type is where the cartilage in your cat is eroding from the ends of their bones that make up their joints and bony spurs.
As a result of this, bone thickening begins to occur in their bones that are adjacent to the joints.
This type of change is the same kind of change that occurs in hip dysplasia and other similar degenerative joint diseases.
It will typically affect your cat’s feet, their carpus or their wrist, as well as their hock.
The second form of progressive poly-arthritis is much worse, as the erosion of the cartilage is so severe that the bone under the cartilage is exposed.
It is very similar to rheumatoid arthritis in both dogs and people and is extremely painful to your cat.
Both of these types of progressive poly-arthritis affect both young and middle aged male cats, and in the vast majority of cases, neutering does not have any affect.
With this form of arthritis your cat will be very reluctant to walk.
Their range of motion becomes severely restricted, and they will also develop episodes of fever and swollen lymph nodes.
There is no cure for this type of arthritis in cats, and even with the most potent drugs and pain relievers, your cat will still experience severe pain.
Sadly, the only option may be to have your cat euthanized.
The next form of arthritis in cats is caused by calicivirus infection, which is a virus that is more commonly known for causing respiratory disease.
Calicivirus is quite often included in the distemper vaccine, and this is one of major reason why.
This virus not only causes respiratory diseases such as runny eyes and runny nose, it also causes inflammation of the joints.
Once this occurs, lameness develops as well as fever and loss of appetite.
However, this form of arthritis is not nearly as severe, and in most cases it is self-limiting, meaning that it goes away on its own.
Supportive treatment is usually recommended, but the vast majority of cats survive this form of arthritis.
The next form of arthritis in cats is referred to as bacterial arthritis, and is almost always the result of infection from a bite wound.
With this form of arthritis, your cat joints become swollen, warm to the touch, and very painful.
The limb that has been affected will not be able to bear your cats weight, rendering it ineffective.
This is a very dangerous infection, as it can easily spread throughout your cat’s body.
Treatment will involve draining the fluid from the infected joint, flushing it, and then placing your cat on antibiotics.
Because it can spread so rapidly, this form of arthritis must be treated as quickly as possible if your cat is to survive.
Treatments and Prevention
Arthritis in cats, other than the second type of progressive poly-arthritis, can be treated very successfully with antibiotics as well as Glucosamine and Chondroitin.
However, supplementing your cat with fish oil supplements daily in their diets may also help to prevent this extremely painful disease from ever attacking your cat.
Arthritis does not just affect people and dogs; it can also affect your cat. If you see any of the early warning signs, treat them very seriously. It may save your cats life.
More Bone and Joint Issues in Cats
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