Our pets are living longer lives, thanks to advances in veterinary medicine. However, with old age comes certain chronic issues, such as arthritis. Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes:
- Reduced mobility
- Both cats and dogs can develop arthritis.
Your pet may have arthritis if you notice the following behavior:
- Trouble getting up after laying down
- Difficulty jumping
- Acting grumpy
- Licking or biting at their legs
Pain in cats is generally more difficult to spot than pain in dogs. When cats have arthritis, they simply become less active than they once were. Pet owners often attribute this decreased activity to old age, but it can be a sign of chronic diseases, such as arthritis.
While there is currently no cure for arthritis, there are different treatment options to relieve your pet’s pain. The most commonly prescribed treatment of arthritis in pets are NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). If your pet is taking these prescription drugs, it is important to closely monitor their liver and kidney function.
Side effects of these medications can include:
- Ulcers of the stomach and intestines
- Liver or kidney damage
- Loss of appetite
Other drugs that are often prescribed for arthritis are opioids, which are pain relief medications, most commonly tramadol. Some of the side effects that may occur in pets taking opioids include:
- Loss of appetite
Customizing a pet’s home can also mitigate the pain of arthritis. Making sure your older pet has:
- Plenty of soft, padded places to lay down
- A warm environment
- Access to stairs
- Can help ensure a comfortable journey into old age
Cannabidiol or CBD
CBD has an important role in the future of medicine. CBD is a component of the cannabis plant. It is non-psychoactive, which means that it doesn’t produce the “high” commonly associated with marijuana. CBD is currently used by many patients (human and animal) who seek an alternative form of therapy without the unwanted side effects. CBD has been shown to have potent anti-arthritic therapeutic action, resulting in both joint protection and clinical sign improvement.1 “Oral CBD has a beneficial action on two symptoms of established inflammation: [swelling and sensitivity to pain]” 2 Furthermore, studies indicate chronic use of CBD has not been shown to elicit negative side effects and does not induce tolerance.1
Continue to explore and learn more about cannabinoid therapy right here, as we update you on the latest research and findings.
1Malfait, A., Gallily, R., Sumariwalla, P., Malik, A., Andreakos, E., Mechoulam, R., & Feldmann, M. (2000). The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 9561-9566.
2Costa, B., Colleoni, M., Conti, S., Parolaro, D., Franke, C., Trovato, A., & Giagnoni, G. (2004). Oral anti-inflammatory activity of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis, in acute carrageenan-induced inflammation in the rat paw. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology, 294-299.