Joint stiffness – recognising the signs

Unfortunately, ‘slowing down’ and ‘getting a bit stiffer’ are often mistakenly attributed to inevitable old age. The early stages of joint stiffness or decreased mobility in dogs and cats can be subtle and sometimes difficult to detect, so understanding what to look out for can really make all the difference…

For Dogs

Stiffness or limping when walking

Reduced mobility – such as reluctance to get up or lie down, particularly on colder days

Swelling on the joints

Showing difficulty when jumping into cars or climbing stairs

Changes in grooming habits, such as licking or chewing their joints

For Cats

Reluctance or delay when jumping onto or off surfaces

Changes in grooming habits including matted areas of fur

Difficulty getting comfortable

Going up and down stairs becoming challenging

Toileting accidents in the house

What can I do to help?

If you spot any of these signs in your pet, don’t panic. There is plenty you can do to support the health of their joints and ease their discomfort.

The most important thing to do first is to speak to your vet. They will be able to answer any of your questions and concerns and will be able to recommend the best next steps for your pet.