Family & Pets

Pet owners urged to keep dogs rugged up this winter

Pet owners urged to keep dogs rugged up this winter

Australian pet owners have been warned of the dangers of freezing temperatures increasing arthritis-related problems in dogs.

Animal Welfare League senior veterinarian Karishma Dahia told NCA NewsWire that she had seen a 20% increase in consults for arthritis-related problems in dogs in Queensland, following the state’s cold snap.

“I’d say we’ve seen a 20% increase in consults for osteoarthritis in middle-aged to older dogs sort of seven years older in the winter,” she said.

“The colder weather does seem to, I guess, progress the worsening of osteoarthritic spine, so dogs seem to get a little bit more stiff and are slower to rise.”

The vet said although arthritis is common among all dogs, she mostly treated larger dog breeds for the condition. 

University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science professor Bob Doneley told NCA NewsWire that arthritis was a degeneration of the joints that caused joint cartilage to erode.

“Most commonly, it’s an age-associated problem because both the bone around the joint itself are affected and age is a factor of diet and veterinary care,” he said.

“All pets face the same sort of ageing problems as people do, including heart disease, kidney problems, cancer, and arthritis.”

“I don’t think you can prevent arthritis, but I think you can reduce the severity of it. And you can certainly reduce the effects on the animal’s quality of life.”

Some common signs of arthritis among dogs include trouble walking up the stairs or jumping into the car, doing circles before they sit down and even muscle spasms causing the back legs to shake.

Image: Getty

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