What are the Major Types of Arthritis Found in Companion Animals and What are the Symptoms?
Arthritis is a joint disease that not only occurs in humans but also case companion animals such as dogs and cats. Osteoarthritis is a common type of arthritis that is mostly found in companion animals. It is sometimes also called progressive degenerative joint disease. It occurs when the cartilage within a joint becomes damaged. Arthritis mostly affects older and middle-aged companion animals.
Some diseases are common in the case of humans as well as animals. Arthritis is one of them. It is a joint disease that occurs when the protective cartilage that pads up the ends of the bones wears downs. There are several types of arthritis recognized in humans. However, osteoarthritis is a common condition that is found in companion animals such as dogs and cats. It is also known as degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis mostly affects older and middle-aged companion animals. Sometimes younger animals also suffer from such diseases. Initially, it is difficult to find out the symptoms of arthritis. Some abnormal behavioral changes in companion animals or pets concerning their ages such as reduced mobility, problems in getting up and down, restlessness, etc. which are caused due to severe arthritis pain help pet owners to identify the disease in their pets.
With the increasing prevalence of obesity in companion animals, the global companion animal arthritis market is expected to experience remarkable growth in the forthcoming years. The market is anticipated to generate a revenue of $5,520.5 million and rise at a CAGR of 7.0% throughout the analysis timeframe from 2022 to 2031. The major players of the market include Elanco, Dechra, Zoetis, Elanco, Vetoquinol, and many more.
What are the Different Types of Arthritis Found in Companion Animals?
Majorly, there are two types of arthritis found in companion animals, which are discussed below:
- Osteoarthritis: This type of arthritis is mainly caused due to the wear and tear of the joint. However, this can also occur due to external injuries. Osteoarthritis starts with the disruption of the cartilage, later, this causes the deterioration of bones in the joint. In the beginning, the pet may experience minor pain during daily activity, however, it can develop into continuous chronic pain even when the animal is resting. According to studies, it is found that osteoarthritis mostly affects the weight-bearing joints, however, it can also affect both the large and small joints of the companion animal. This type of arthritis cannot be cured but the condition can be prevented from worsening.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: It occurs when the immune system of the animal’s body begins to attack body tissues. Such attacks not only affect the joint but also other parts of the body. It also causes damage to the joint lining and cartilage. This type of arthritis can be treated with specific drugs such as corticosteroids.
What are the Symptoms of Arthritis in Companion Animals?
There are no such particular symptoms that can indicate arthritis immediately. However, some behavioral changes in companion animals that are not desirable to their ages can help in identifying some signs of arthritis. Some of the major symptoms are discussed below:
- Abnormal Posture: Arthritis often affects several parts of the spine which can result in abnormal postures such as a hunched back, lameness in one or both hind legs, a sore neck, etc. in companion animals.
- Less Mobility: Due to severe pain caused by arthritis, companion animals may become reluctant to move, or else they started moving unusually. For instance, arthritis can stop cats to jump from heights. Dogs with arthritis may face difficulty in sitting or getting up and down stairs.
- Muscle Atrophy: Muscle atrophy means a decrease in the mass of muscles. Companion animals suffering from arthritis may develop muscle atrophy due to inactivity which means they may have thinner legs than usual ones.
- Changing Temperament: Arthritis can make companion animals cranky. They may become irritable due to discomfort and pain and may bite, snap or vocalize while handling.
What is the Treatment for Arthritis in Companion Animals?
Though arthritis cannot be completely cured, however, it can ease the pain of companion animals to a great extent. With proper exercise, pharmaceuticals, and diet, arthritic pain among companion animals can be significantly reduced. Starting exercises to strengthen muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the joints, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and opioid derivatives, and essential fatty acids and diets can fruitfully bring relief to the pain caused by arthritis.
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