Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Is Your Cat In Pain?

"The Collagenex 2 has been a miracle for Rocky"   Deborah Albritton

Arthritis in cats was once thought to be uncommon, but it is now estimated over 20% of the cat population suffers from this painful condition.  

What is Arthritis? 
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints caused by the breaking down of the joint's cartilage, resulting in the bones rubbing against each other. 

Who is at Risk for Feline Arthritis?

  • Middle-age and Elderly Cats
  • Cats that are obese
  • Cats that have been injured in the pass
  • Congenital abnormalities- such as hip dysplasia

What are the signs?
Cats are not ones to show pain and it may be difficult to know if your pet is suffering.  The four main areas that the signs will appear are:

  • Reduced Mobility- they will hesitate to jump, run or climb stairs as they normally would. 
  • Reduced Activity-may sleep more, avoid play activities, and hide more frequently
  • Changes in Mood-may be more aggressive, irritable, cry when touched, and become anxious/restless
  • Changes in Hygiene-may not be able to groom themselves, may have trouble using the litter box

How is Arthritis Diagnosed in Cats?
Often it is difficult to diagnosis arthritis by a physical exam, because cats can show signs of being irritable, aggressive, or not wanting to be touched even when arthritis is not present.  The best way to diagnosis arthritis is to x-ray the joints.  Unfortunately, this sometimes require sedation to get the correct position to accurately diagnose, which must weigh into your decision process.

How Can I Help My Cat's Arthritic Condition?
There is no cure for Feline Arthritis, and the goal will be to minimize your cat's pain and keep them healthy. The best approach is usually a combination of diet, supplements, medications, and alternative care. 

  • Diet-A diet balanced to maintain a healthy weight and also rich in fish oil, such as Amazing Omegas
  • Holistic Supplements-Supplements that can help replenish, repair and reduce pain in the cartilage, such as Glucosamine and chondroitin.  Collagenex 2  is a natural chondroitin supplement and has had great results, just read Rocky's story
  • Medications- anti-inflammatory and pain medications prescribed by your veterinarian
  • Alternative Therapies- acupuncture, massage, hydrotherapy can be effective. 
Since there is no cure, ongoing support will be necessary to give your pet a quality of life.  It may be a challenge to give the pills and supplements, but understanding that your pet will be relieved from some of their pain must be kept in mind.

How to Make Your Cat as Comfortable as Possible?
  • Provide a soft bed that has easy access
  • Make sure your cat's litter box, food, and water bowl can be accessed easily.
  • Help with their grooming
  • Encourage play, to help with mobility
  • Consider providing ramps to your cat's favorite "high" spots (so they don't need to claim and jump)

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