Diagnosing osteoarthritis in cats is difficult even for experienced veterinarians because cats, unlike most dogs, can tolerate bone and joint problems.
Also exploration of cats is difficult because the veterinarian cannot observe his gait due to they normally don’t move in the consultation room and sometimes cats do not allow their limbs to be felt. Commonly the lameness is not a clinical sign reported by the owners.
Weight loss, loss of appetite, depression, change in general attitude, poor grooming habits, urination or defecation outside the litter pan, and inability to jump on and off objects could be signs of pain in cats. X-rays are important. Forty per cent of cats have clinical signs of osteoarthritis, but only 13 per cent of affected cats are diagnosed.
Treatment options for cats with osteoarthritis are limited. Unfortunately, no veterinary NSAIDs are currently approved for safe, long-term control of osteoarthritis pain in cats.
Weight loss for overweight cats, increased exercise, and environmental accommodations, providing soft bedding helps. There is currently an injectable treatment based on monoclonal antibodies that relieves feline osteoarthritis pain for a month.
Jose Rial, veterinarian AVEPA Accredited Veterinarian in Traumatology and Orthopaedics.
Centro Veterinario de Diagnóstico por Imagen de Levante
C/Los Arcos 23, Ciudad Quesada Rojales. Tel: +34 609 779 109
Anicura Marina Baixa Hospital Veterinario
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