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.
Cognitive Dysfunction - Senility in Geriatric Pets
As our pets age, our bond with them grows deeper and more intense. We’ve grown to love them more over the years and they are more dependent on our understanding and kindness as they deal with the challenges that the elderly face.
One of the issues described commonly in geriatric pets is “senility” (our medical-ese for this is “cognitive dysfunction”).
The old dog that walks out to the yard and stops, staring into space. He doesn’t appear to remember why he’s there. (Or perhaps he does this in the middle of the livingroom.) He only stares off and stands there a while.