THEM BONES: Don't let the cold weather aggravate any existing conditions. Winter is a good time to get your pets check for arthritis
THEM BONES: Don't let the cold weather aggravate any existing conditions. Winter is a good time to get your pets check for arthritis Bev Lacey

Cold weather causes aching joints for our furry friends

FOR most of us the colder weather is hitting us pretty hard, staying indoors, losing motivation for the gym and staying in our comfy clothes.

This winter don't forget to look after our most precious family members, our pets.

For animals entering their golden years past the age of seven, winter can be an aching time for arthritis.

The Warwick Town and Country Vet Clinic will be extending their arthritis awareness offer of a free 15-minute arthritis check for senior pets.

Veterinarian, Coralyn Turner said a lot of pet owners mistake old age with arthritis symptoms.

"A lot of older pets go undiagnosed because symptoms can be subtle changes in the pet's behaviour," she said.

For cats the things to look out for are hesitance to jump down from objects, a reluctance to climb fences or trees, landing in a heap and not keeping up with their maintenance and having a scruffy coat.

In dogs the common signs are stiffness when getting up, particularly in the mornings, trouble jumping or making wide strides, growling when sore joints are used or touched and muscle loss around the spine, heaps and hind legs.

"Once animals start treatment that's when owners are aware just how bad the arthritis was affecting them," Dr Turner said.

The cold weather does aggravate the condition and simply adjustments can relieve pain before medication is involved.

Dr Turner said a healthy diet and exercise regime could improve the damage of arthritis.

"Putting your pets on a mobility supplement program full of omega and fish oils as well as a 4cyte supplement helps regenerate any lost cartilage," she said.

"Also balanced with exercise with walks and monitoring how much they run around in the yard."

Keep your furry friends warm with soft bedding and coats when necessary.

If possible Dr Turner recommends replacing steps with ramps to help with joint strains.

In progressed stages medication and injections can be prescribed to relieve pain.

Arthritis can be seen in younger pets, it is most common among those with previous bone injuries or development issues.

All pets who attend their arthritis check up at Warwick Town and Country Vet Clinic will receive a free goodies bag.


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