Lameness and joint pain: problems affecting dogs and cats of all ages

How can we recognize joint problems in our four-legged friends? What signs indicate lameness and changes in habits? The importance of early consultation with the veterinarian is critical to effectively detect and treat such issues. Let's find out together how to take care of our furry companions' joints.

Joint problems are very common in our animals. If in the dog they are well evident, because they are often accompanied by a more or less pronounced lameness, the same cannot be said in the cat: this is an animal that can compensate very well for pain and tends not to manifest it except in extreme cases, so sometimes we become aware of a joint problem exclusively because the subject’s habits change, and he stops climbing on armchairs or beds and playing by ambushing and chasing. For this reason, osteo-articular diseases are underestimated in the feline population.

In dogs, breed predispositions to the occurrence of joint disease are related to physical conformation. Analicomorphic or brachymorphic subjects, such as dachshunds, bulldogs, mastiffs, and pugs, show greater inclination to develop joint problems. Important to note that some breeds, such as Golden Retriever or Labrador, despite their mesomorphic physical conformation, often suffer from joint disease due to exaggerated past selections lacking breed control.

There is a tendency to think that joint problems only affect the elderly, but this is incorrect. Precisely because of the breed predispositions and particular physical conformations mentioned earlier, even individuals in adulthood or even puppies may exhibit lameness and joint pain. If symptoms of a joint problem appear, it is essential to see your veterinarian promptly for an orthopedic checkup. Observation of the animal’s walk, manipulation of the joints, and, if necessary, taking radiographs will enable the veterinarian to make a diagnosis and provide the most appropriate treatment.

Dr. Valentina Bregoli, Veterinary Physician

NUTRIGEN’s advice:

KARTILEG offers a range of products designed to meet various osteo-articular needs of dogs and cats. Each product contains Perna canaliculus, known as the “New Zealand green mussel,” a mollusk rich in chondroitin and glucosamine that contributes to joint cartilage regeneration. The presence of Omega 3 also confers an anti-inflammatory effect. Kartileg Junior is designed to support the joints of growing puppies, Kartileg Adult Forte is formulated for adults with joint predisposition or problems, Kartileg Senior is dedicated to elderly dogs and cats with arthritis and pain, and Kartileg Forte H.E. offers joint support following surgery or trauma, thanks to the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effect of devil’s claw.

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