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Arthritis is a common pet health problem among both dogs and cats today. In fact, about one quarter of all pets in the U.S. suffer from some form of this disease. There are many different factors that can lead to arthritis including joint disorders, gum disease, injuries and infections. Since this condition can often be quite painful and crippling, it is important for you to fully understand it.

How Arthritis Affects Your Pet

There are several types of arthritis in dogs and cats including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid, nonerosive and infectious arthritis. The causes of each type vary; however, the symptoms on these pets are often similar. All types will cause medium to severe pain in your pet's joints and when left untreated, can result in varying degrees of lameness.

Common Symptoms of Arthritis

The symptoms your pet will exhibit if it has arthritis will vary depending on the form of arthritis it is suffering from. However, the following symptoms are some of the most common. It is essential to note that most signs of arthritis are more visible in the early morning, after naps or during cold and/or damp weather. *Lameness in One or More Legs *Stiffness in One or More Joints *Pain When Moving/Moving Slower Than Normal *Loss of Interest in Activities That Were Once Enjoyed *Difficulty Walking and Navigating Stairs *Difficulty Standing Up After Sitting or Laying Down *Unable to Jump *Irritability *Behavioral Changes *Swollen Joints *Fever *Loss of Appetite *Depression.

Treatments for Arthritis

After diagnosing your pet with arthritis, your vet may recommend various treatments such as special diets, physical therapy, analgesics, corticosteroids, surgery, acupuncture or immunosuppressive drugs. Chondroprotective agents, anti-inflammatory drugs, chemotherapy agents, doxycycline or tetracycline may be prescribed as well. While there is no cure for this pet health problem, proper treatment can help relieve your dog or cat's pain.

Breeds Affected

There are several types of arthritis and many different causes. As such, any breed of cat or dog can develop this condition. Additionally, animals of any age can experience arthritis. However, animals that have the following conditions are more prone to developing the disease than other pets may be: Osteochondrosis, Hip Dysplasia, Joint Injuries, Diseases or Infections, Patella Luxation, Ruptured Cruciate Ligaments, Obesity, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease, Canine Ehrlichiosis and Fungal Infections.

Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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