Pets feel winter in their bones

North Cowra Veterinary Surgery's Stuart Austin and Lauren Badger treating Ruby the dog for arthritis.
North Cowra Veterinary Surgery's Stuart Austin and Lauren Badger treating Ruby the dog for arthritis.

A Cowra vet has warned pet owners to watch for signs of arthritis in their dogs and cats this winter, saying it is a common problem in animals during cold weather.

Peter Launders, owner of Cowra Veterinary Centre, said the problem is more common in overweight animals.

"We're seeing lots of people coming in and getting coats for their dogs to try and minimise the problem," he said.

"It's really just stiff and sore [for pets], especially getting up in the morning after lying down in the night time, or they don't want to exercise as much or head upstairs."

Other symptoms include difficulty in jumping into the car, limping or stiffness, change in character or aggression, reduced interaction with people, reduced appetite, increased anxiety, change in toilet behaviour and licking or self injury.

Stuart Austin, vet at North Cowra Veterinary Surgery, said arthritic pain for animals is exacerbated by a lack of blood flow to joints in cold weather.

Mr Launders advised pet owners to keep their animals warm and reduce their pets' weight if they show signs of arthritis.

"There's also medication we can give them, that makes them much more comfortable. There is something that can be done for them, it's not just keep them warm and hope for the best, we can be a bit more proactive than that," he said.