Signs Your Pet May Have Joint Pain
Joint pain and/or inflammation are some of the most common signs seen in pets with musculoskeletal disease. Discomfort in the joints can have many causes ranging from traumatic injuries, infections including tick born diseases such as Lyme disease or Ehrlichiosis, or fungal infections. In young pets, congenital joint disease, including hip dysplasia also may be involved. In middle-aged and older pets, autoimmune and degenerative diseases of the joints are common, especially diseases of the stifle joints, including luxating patellas and torn cruciate ligaments (known as a torn ACL).
Clinical signs of joint pain may include swelling and tenderness of the joints, as well as cracking of the joints on movement. Varying degrees of lameness and limping, stiffness and limb weakness also may be seen. Many pets with infectious or inflammatory conditions of the joints may develop fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Other pets with severe joint pain may be reluctant to jump, or go up and down stairs, as well as have a reluctance to play or move around. In pets with signs of severe and/or chronic joint pain, a full veterinary diagnostic workup is recommended so that proper treatment can be implemented.