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Degenerative Joint Disease in Cats



Medical treatment of DJD is designed to control the signs and symptoms of the disease, this disease cannot be cured. But, surgery may help alleviate symptoms and slow the disease’s progression. This can include reconstructive procedures, joint removal or replacement, and the surgical removal of aggravating causes, such as bone or cartilage fragments, in a joint.


Physical therapy designed to maintain or increase joint motion is very beneficial and may be done with various motion exercises, swimming, and massage. Exercise designed to strengthen muscle tone is also useful. The pain that comes with arthritis can be managed using cold and heat therapy, such as with heating pads.


Long-term medication may also be helpful in reducing joint swelling and pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs, for example, are often recommended.


Living and Management


Continue to monitor your cat's symptoms, as DJD is likely to progress with time. A change in drug selection or dosage, or even further surgical intervention, may become necessary. Limit physical activity to a level that will not aggravate symptoms and pain. In addition, a diet including omega fatty acids is sometimes recommended for decreasing inflammation.




Prompt treatment of DJD is an important part of reducing the disease’s progression of symptoms. It is important to avoid trauma or excessive pressure to joints, but exercise and a healthy diet are essential for the prevention of obesity, which can add stress to the joints.



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