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March 2024

How to Spot the 3 Earliest Signs of Arthritis

CareHealth & NutritionVet Guides

Our pets play hard! But that doesn’t mean they’re not susceptible to arthritis. Over 80% of dogs and cats will be affected by arthritis at some stage. Here’s how you can get ahead of the aches and pains and sneakily spot the very first signs of arthritis that they're trying to keep secret. By spotting it early, you can slow the deterioration process and keep your pets mobile for longer.

Pets And Arthritis

After living their life with no speed limit, there’s always the worry that joint problems will find them eventually. But way before they start limping, there are subtle signs that they might be pushing their limits. So, I thought I’d put together a list of my top 3 warning signs that arthritis is trying to find its way in...

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is the condition that occurs when wear and tear on the joint cartilage (that soft, spongy lining to the joints) results in a loss of this layer. The result is joints lose their cushioning, leading to bone rubbing on bone. This causes soreness, swelling and limping.

If you can spot the warning signs, then you can take action to prevent it from progressing to the next serious, debilitating stage.

So here we go...

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The Early Warning Signs of Arthritis in Pets

Warning Sign 1: The Exercise Hangover

You had a big park or beach play session with balls, frisbees and frantic play and, the next day, they don’t seem their typical exercise-loving selves. They may even look a little stiff and sore. In this situation their joints may be experiencing inflammation: the precursor to arthritis.

Warning Sign 2: The Stair Off

The interesting thing about running up the stairs, jumping into the car or even leaping up onto the sofa is that all this activity is driven by the hind legs. That means loading up the hips and knees - the two big hot spots for arthritis. So, if they lose their desire to do any of the above, they may be experiencing joint soreness.

Warning Sign 3: Get Up and Slow

Next time your mate gets up after a sleep, watch how they walk. If they spring back into action, no problem. If they move with a very upright ‘Tin Man’ walking style, however, start paying more attention. Major joints (like elbows, shoulders, hips, and knees) stiffen when they’re swollen and take some time to loosen after sleeps – so if your pet appears stiff after sleeping it’s another sign of impending arthritis.

If you’ve noticed any of these early warning signs, then it’s time to protect the joints from any further irritation.

Treatment for Pets in Early Stages of Arthritis

Encouraging weight loss, limiting high-intensity exercise like ball chasing, and providing supplements (like the glucosamine, chondroitin, and turmeric in my Joint Protect boosted treats) that fight back and protect the precious joint cartilage will make a huge difference and help keep that niggling arthritis at bay...

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Dr Chris


Dr Chris Brown

Dr Chris Brown is an Australian Vet, television presenter and author. Best known for his television series Bondi Vet, he is also the founder of Drool – a company which champions quality ingredients and hand-picked supplements for healthy pet treats

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