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Winter Arthritis Pain

Arthritis is a common ailment and while many of us suffer from its associated pain, it’s not just humans who feel the sting of joint pain in the winter months. Many of our furry friends are also afflicted with arthritis and the bitter and often damp Ontario cold can be very painful for them as well.

While usually touching our elderly white-whiskered dogs and cats, arthritis can frequently show up in young pets as well. Frequent precursors to this condition are bone fractures and obesity. A break in the bone can leave it susceptible to arthritis after healing, while the additional stress placed on joints and bones by obesity leaves our overweight friends at much greater risk of developing the condition.

Now that the weather is damp and cold, as it often is between November and March, your pet’s arthritis will be severely aggravated.

Reasons to take note:

  • Your pet is refusing or struggling in their day-to-day movements, such as getting down or up from a lying position or climbing stairs.
  • If your pet is whimpering while ambulating and visibly having difficulty
  • Your dog or cat begins to snap at you when you attempt to help them

Any of these signs suggest that a trip to the veterinarian is in order.

It is vitally important, however, to never medicate your friend with human medications, prescription or from the pharmacy shelves unless prescribed by a veterinarian. Many of our painkillers can be fatal. For instance, just a single tablet of Tylenol can be all it takes for a cat.

Keep warm this winter, and if your pet has arthritis, consider letting them stay indoors as much as possible. Let them go outside to void but bring them back into the warmth of the house afterwards.

For more winter tips, see our article, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.