WATCH FOR PET PAIN
IT is not just our bones that can struggle during the colder months but also those of our furry friends.
Winter will see many Australian pets diagnosed with osteoarthritis, so it is important to look out for any warning signs.
Pet Insurance Australia’s Nadia Crighton said even the slightest change in behaviour or activity warranted a veterinary check to make sure a pet was not in pain.
“You may notice that your feline friend can no longer groom themselves in hard to reach areas like the top of the back, or they simply do not like hanging out on the top perch of the cat scratcher any more,” Ms Crighton said.
“Having litter mishaps is also a common symptom that your pet could be suffering from arthritic pain and in need of veterinary treatment.”
One of the biggest misconceptions about osteoarthritis is age.
“We see a large number of claims for pets under the age of eight in regard to arthritis,” Ms Crighton said.
PetSure chief veterinary officer Dr Magdoline Awad said statistics showed 20 per cent of all adult dogs suffered from osteoarthritis and about 80 per cent of geriatric dogs had the condition.
“It isn’t just an ‘older dog’ issue. Any size dog can get osteoarthritis, and any breed,” Dr Awad said.
Dr Awad said many dogs would present symptoms before they were one year old and it was vital they were quickly managed.
“It is important to note that treatment needs to be sorted quickly so that your vet can get your pet onto a management plan that may include medication, supplements and diet,” Ms Crighton said.
Winter chills can bring on osteoarthritis in your pets.