Concerned your dog or cat isn’t getting around like they used to and could be in pain? Pet experts say dogs and cats can suffer from joint pain just like humans. 

On this week’s Pet Doc with Nikki Burdine, we learn some of the signs and symptoms of joint pain from our pet expert Dr. Staci Cannon that we can watch out for as our furry friends get older.  

Nikki Burdine: We are joined by Dr.Staci Cannon with Metro Animal Care and Control, and we are talking about joint pain with your pets.  What do we need to know?

Dr. Staci Cannon:  That’s a great question.  So with our dogs, dogs and cats can both have issues with their joints.  We think about joints just like with us, sometimes dogs will have developmental problems with their joints so you might see issues in a young dog.  Especially larger breed dogs, they can have things like elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia those are common ones we hear about.  That can mean their joints are not developing quite properly.  Especially common as dogs get older and cats get older are for them to develop degenerative joint disease or arthritis, just like people  As they age their joints become less fluid and they can develop lameness.  

Some of the common signs we’ll see with cats and dogs both, sometimes they will just be less active.  They may not want to jump on the couch or jump on the bed as much, they may be hesitant.  Maybe the dog doesn’t want to jump up in the car or needs assistance to get up into the car. Or maybe they just don’t want to play or run as long as they used to. So those are things, they are pretty subtle signs, but they are kind of protecting their body because they are uncomfortable. 

These are all really good indications you want to talk about that with your veterinarian.  One of the most important things to help prevent that is they have a good quality diet and they don’t become overweight because if our pets are overweight, they put a lot of stress and strain on their joints as they age.  So There are definitely supplements and medications that can help keep our pets comfortable. When you think, just like people, nobody wants to live in chronic pain. If you think your dog or your cat is suffering and has that pain in their joints, definitely a reason to talk to your veterinarian.  

Nikki:  There are fixes out there so they can be happy and healthy. Thank you, Dr. Cannon.