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Warning Signs of Arthritis in Dogs and Cats

February 15, 2016

Arthritis is one of the most common medical problems our four-legged buddies face in their senior years. Many of our furry friends develop this painful condition as they age. Do you know what to watch out for? Read on as an Oconomowoc, WI veterinarian lists some symptoms of arthritis in pets.


Limping is one of the most noticeable signs of arthritis. In the early stages of arthritis, your pet may only limp occasionally, or just after rising, but over time, this will become more pronounced. Of course, any pet that is limping should see a vet right away.

Chewing, Licking, And Biting

If your furry friend has arthritic pain in a specific joint or area, you may notice them licking, chewing, or biting that spot.

Less Activity

Our furry pals are quite frisky when they’re young, but, just like people, they often slow down with age, and can become stiff and sore. Pets with arthritis may sleep more, and sometimes lose interest in playing with or interacting with people or other pets.

Reduced Mobility

Pets with arthritis may be hesitant to run or jump. Fluffy, for instance, may choose napping spots that are low to the ground, instead of hopping onto a high bed. Kitties may also exhibit litterbox issues: your cat may have difficulty getting in and out of a litterbox with high walls, and may not cover her waste as she once did. Fido may balk at climbing stairs or getting into the car, and could have problems getting up or down.


Crankiness can be a red flag for several medical conditions, including arthritis. It’s hard to be cheerful when you don’t feel well! If your furry pal seems cranky or irritable, or doesn’t want to be petted, there may be something wrong.


While arthritis can’t be cured, there are ways to manage your pet’s pain and keep your furry friend comfortable. A good nutritional plan and suitable exercise regimen are very important. Proper veterinary care is also crucial. If your pet has any of these symptoms, schedule a veterinary appointment right away. Once your vet has examined your furry friend, you’ll be able to discuss specific treatment options, and get recommendations on your furbaby’s care regimen.

Do you know or suspect your pet has arthritis? We can help! Call us, your Oconomowoc, WI animal clinic, today!