Arthritis is a degenerative disease of joints that usually results from chronic wear and tear. Arthritis is the number one cause of chronic pain in dogs and cats.
A few questions you might think about if you have an older dog:
- Is your pet having difficulty getting up and down stairs or in and out of the car?
- Is he/she stiff when getting up after lying down?
- Is your pet more irritable than usual or restless when sleeping?
If you have a cat:
- Is he/she reluctant to jump up on to furniture?
- Does your cat avoid being picked up?
- Has there been a change in response to grooming?
These are all potential signs of arthritis.
BLACK CATS AND HALLOWEEN
Even though Halloween has already passed, a lot of black cats are still coming in for their annual checkups here at Bellevue Veterinary Hospital. And speaking of kitty cats (black or otherwise), hyperthyroidism is a very common ailment in the older ones.
In fact, hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrinopathy (hormonal disease) of cats.
Veterinarians will often ask pet owners whether they have done, or will do, any travelling with their pet, and if so, where to, & what times of the year. Part of the reasoning behind asking these questions is to assess the pet's risk for contracting heartworm disease. This parasite infestation is easy to prevent, but very difficult (expensive and risky) to treat. As always, we'd much rather prevent this.
Heartworm disease is the infestation by a worm that develops in the bloodstream of the dog and eventually matures to the adult form that lives in the vessels of the lungs and in the heart. For obvious reasons, this infestation can be a serious health threat to the patient.