LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Arthritis causes pain and inflammation in the joints and can be hard to live with, especially for animals.
"Pets get it for a variety of reasons," says Veterinarian Adam McMahan from Lake Area Animal Hospital, "We see a lot in older dogs where it's a result of age or younger dogs where they have a history of trauma."
McMahan says it's typically easy to tell if your pet is suffering.
"They're slow to get up, they have a lameness in a limb, they can be painful when a limb is touched and sometimes the pet isn't acting themselves and not doing things they like to do," says McMahan.
It's important to know that as soon as you recognize symptoms of arthritis, you have them checked by a vet.
"The arthritis in the joint can cause irreversible damage in that joint," McMahan says,"So if we're able to diagnose it early and treat it, then we're going to have a lot better results."
Diagnosing arthritis in animals is seemingly simple.
"The most common way we diagnose arthritis is by x-rays," McMahan says, "We find a joint that's painful or a leg they're lame on and we x-ray that and we can see changes in the cartilage or the bone that are evidence for arthritis in that joint."
Arthritis in animals doesn't mean a death sentence, Dr. McMahan says joint supplements, anti-inflammatories, and weight control can all help curb the pain.
The animals featured in this story are currently up for adoption, you can find them HERE.