Arthritis is a common medical condition that affects the joints. Millions of people suffer from it, but what some people may not know is that it often affects pets as well. Both dogs and cats can experience stiff joints that can hinder or completely prevent them from being able to climb stairs or do normal activities such as jump. There are certain signs and symptoms you can look out for if you suspect your dog or cat might have arthritis.

Limping

Limping is a chief first sign that your pet may have arthritis. Depending on which leg contains the arthritis, you may notice your dog or cat limping and favoring one particular limb. This symptom is generally most noticeable when your pet is rising from a sitting position or from lying down. It can also become a bit less obvious as he or she begins moving around.

Less Movement

An animal that has difficulty moving or is reluctant to move should alert you to the possibility that it has arthritis. This is especially the case if your cat or dog once enjoyed certain physical activities such as playing with a favorite toy. If you suddenly notice that he or she no longer has the energy or interest to continue playing as in the past, it very well might be because of arthritis pain. A cat that has arthritis will also very likely stop regular activities such as jumping up on furniture and high places in the home.

Different Posture

If your pet has arthritis, there is a good chance that he or she will not only favor a limb but will display a different posture than usual as well. This is because the condition can affect the spine as well, which results in a hunch in the back or the neck being in a position other than its normal one.

Tiredness

Pets who suffer from arthritis tend to exhibit more tiredness. You may notice your dog having less of a desire to go on longer walks. Both dogs and cats may sleep or rest more often than previously.

Irritability

Dogs and cats with arthritis become a bit more irritable. It is not their fault because they act up as a result of the pain they feel. You may notice your pet snapping or biting at you more often than normal as a result, especially if you are handling him or her. Even while petting your dog or cat in certain areas of its body can trigger arthritic pain.