suffering from Athritis?
Types of Arthritis
Facts about Arthritis
How do I know if my horse has arthritis?
The clinical signs you will see vary depending on the type and duration of arthritis, and whether inflammation is present. In general, during the early stages of arthritis (acute stages) you may notice lameness of varying degrees, heat and/or swelling of the joint, and pain when the joint is flexed. If the arthritis has been developing for a longer period of time (chronically), the affected joint may be enlarged because long term inflammation leads to the development of fibrous tissue, and sometimes enlargement of bone as well. You may notice these changes as hard bumps or swellings in the area of the joint, or a grating sound (called “crepitus”) when the joint is used. Commonly, the horse may seem stiff, particularly after long periods of inactivity such as standing in their stall, or sleeping. If you notice any of these signs, it would be a good idea to consult your veterinarian.
How do I know if my bull has arthritis?
Cattle typically develop arthritis slowly, and as such, it can be difficult to notice the symptoms until late in the disease. You may notice a mild lameness lasting for years, and if you are using a stud bull, it may be unwilling to mount cows, but may still be used for electroejaculation. Bulls in beef herds on the range may tend to lack libido and lose weight due to difficulty foraging. You may notice muscle atrophy (wasting), particularly over the hindquarters. Unlike in other species, it is uncommon to see joint swelling during the acute stages because the disease is more chronic in nature with cattle. In the late stages you may hear a grating sound, or feel crunching in the region of the joint. Consult your veterinarian if you notice any of these signs.
How do I know if my dog has arthritis?
In the most common form of canine arthritis, clinical signs are typically very subtle and difficult to discern. You may notice a change in your dog’s gait, or unwillingness to perform certain functions such as jumping into the car, or onto your bed, or going up and down stairs. Your dog may interact less with people or other pets, appear uncomfortable or depressed. In the initial stages, your dog may be stiff after lots of exercise, or after rest which was preceded by exercise. In the later stages of arthritis, your dog may be stiff following rest not preceded by exercise. Some other changes include a preference to lying down as opposed to sitting or standing. Cold weather, lots of rest, or lots of exercise may make all these symptoms worse. Consult your veterinarian if you see any of these symptoms in your dog.
How do I know if my cat has arthritis?
Cats, unlike many animals, do not typically become lame when affected with arthritis. Some things you may see include: difficulty with grooming, jumping onto furniture, or getting in and out of the litter-box. Overall, your cat may seem more irritable. Make an appointment with your veterinarian if your cat is showing these signs.
John O. Houghton, BS, University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine, Athens, GA
Steve C. Budsberg DVM,MS, DACVS, Professor of Surgery, College Clinical Research Coordinator, University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine, Athens, GA
Greenough, P.R. Lameness in Cattle – 3rd edition. W.B. Saunders Company: 1997.
Sherding, R.G. The Cat Diseases and Clinical Management – 2nd edition. Churchhill Livingstone Inc.: 1994.
Slatter, D. Textbook of Small Animal Surgery – 3rd edition. Elsevier Science: 2003.
Stashak, T.S. Adams’ Lameness in Horses – 5th edition. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: 2002.
Tilley, L.P., Smith, F.W. The 5-Minute Veterinary Consult – Canine and Feline. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: 2004.