What Your Pet Can’t Tell You

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Mobility issues in pets are common, with one in five adult dogs suffering from pain and stiffness. This is even more prevalent in older dogs, and although it may be less noticeable in cats, research shows that about six in ten cats are affected as they age. Dr Guy Fyvie, Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s Veterinary Affairs Manager, says that our pets can’t tell us when they are in pain, but there are some behaviours which can indicate joint pain. “If joint pain is diagnosed and a treatment plan is put in place soonest, damage to the joints can be limited and aggressive treatment programmes can be avoided or postponed.”

Some signs pet parents can be on the lookout for with their dogs or cats are:

  • Difficulty getting up after lying down for extended periods of time, stiffness, limping, just slowing down and ‘slipping’ on smooth floors
  • Increased irritability and general grumpiness
  • Reluctance to climb up or down the stairs or jump in the car
  • Swollen joints and excessive licking of a sore joint
  • Loss of muscle mass (especially on the affected limb)
  • Not expressing usual enjoyment when playing or going for walks
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Grooms with difficulty

Dr Fyvie adds that while arthritis is a painful and debilitating condition, it can be managed successfully. “With early detection and the correct treatment, including nutrition, the pain and inflammation your pet is experiencing can be reduced and further joint degradation can be prevented.”

When managing arthritis, a long-term solution that addresses the cause and not just the symptoms is preferable. Dr Fyvie says this is where nutrition plays an integral role. Hill’s Prescription Diet Mobility foods limit cartilage degradation and preserve healthy joint cartilage, they help to reduce inflammation and joint discomfort. Significant research has shown a marked improvement in your dog in as little as 21 days and 28 days in cats* when fed this food.

This winter Hill’s is encouraging pet parents who think that their cat or dog may be suffering from mobility issues to visit their vet for a check-up, with the possibility of receiving a free bag of Hill’s Prescription Diet Mobility food if arthritis is indicated, as well as a coupon for 25% off their next purchase of any Hill’s Prescription Diet Mobility food**(terms and conditions apply).

“We have experienced that when pet parents see the difference in their pets’ mobility and decreased pain, there will be no doubt in their minds as to the effectiveness of the food in managing mobility issues,” concludes Dr Fyvie.

Visit www.HillsMobility.co.za for more information and tips on helping your pet.

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