How to spot mobility problems in your pet?
Mobility issues can develop slowly, and symptoms can be mild at first. It’s often hard to spot the signs that your pet is struggling, but catching problems early will help to slow the process and improve your pet’s quality of life.
The 6 signs of mobility problems
Rise, Run, Jump
Struggling to rise from resting or seeming stiff after a long snooze may indicate joint problems in your pet. Particularly in the hip and elbow. Did your cat have a favourite snooze spot in their younger days? Cats love high places, but you may notice they now use a chair to jump up or reach down slowly before leaping. They may even pick a new spot. These are signs that the jump might be causing occasional discomfort and your pet needs some help.
This might seem obvious, but the signs of lameness can be subtle, especially if the discomfort is on both sides of your pet’s body. Notice if your pet is favouring one leg over the other. Are they nodding their head as they walk? This could signal an issue in their front legs. Resting one limb more than the other when standing, or sitting off to one side rather than straight, may also indicate a problem.
Tiredness & Inactivity
It might seem like your pet is lazy as they get older, but if they struggle to keep up on walks or avoid hitting the garden, it’s time to think about supporting their mobility. Cats normally sleep for around 15 hours a day, but if that is creeping up, they may be hiding that they are finding it hard to get around. Dogs and cats of all ages should be keen to play. If they’ve lost their get up and go, it’s your job to help them find their inner puppy or kitten again.
Stairs are a great test of your pet’s mobility. As a youngster, your pet would zoom up the stairs. Watch closely, how do they move now? Are they slow, tentative or awkward? As they come down, do they hunch their back or favour one leg over the other? Being aware of how your pet moves up and down stairs is an excellent way of keeping an eye on their long-term mobility.
With stiff joints, self-care tasks can be difficult. Grooming those hard to reach spots is uncomfortable, and they may start to look untidy. But, if your pet grooms one joint more than others, it could indicate a problem in that spot. Cats can find squatting in the litter box becomes a challenge, and they have accidents or go in unusual places. Your dog may struggle to squat or lift his leg. Toilet trouble can also lead to urinary tract problems, so if you notice these signs, please get your pet a checkup with your veterinarian.
No one wants to be pulled about when they’re feeling uncomfortable. If your pet is unusually grumpy or becoming aggressive when petted, they may be telling you they’re struggling. Are they more vocal or avoiding their usual cuddles? Any changes in behaviour could indicate that your pet is uncomfortable and needs your help.
Noticing mobility problems early ensures you can support your pet’s joint health and improve their quality of life. Giving AntinolⓇ daily will help keep happiness in motion for your pet.