OSTEOPHYTES IN CATS, ALSO CALLED VERTEBRAL SPONDYLOSIS

Spondylosis is a degenerative condition of the intervertebral joints, manifested by crook-shaped bone formations (bone spurs), or osteophytes, on the ventral side of the vertebrae. It is also called deforming spondylosis.

These osteophytes can be partial or total, forming calcification bridges between two vertebrae, from one to another.


WHY ?

 

Most often, osteoarthrosis results from unusual strain on the cartilage (excess weight, traumas, excessive loads). Inflammation begins in the joint and first destroys the cartilage, then the surrounding structures. As the time goes by, the bone is distorted, and pain becomes permanent and keeps increasing in intensity.


WHAT ANIMALS ARE AFFECTED?

 

Any animal can be affected with osteophytes. Among domestic animals, dogs, cats and horses are affected most of all because of their longer lifespan, level of activity and way of life. In particular, the factors encouraging the emergence of arthrosis are overweight, vigorous or inappropriate physical activity, previous traumas of joints or bones, advanced age and the breed.


WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

 

This vertebral dysfunction manifests by pains during flexion of the spine, but not always by obvious signs of lameness: in fact, less than 17% of cats with arthrosis exhibit any lameness (because of the muscular and postural adaptive abilities which are characteristic of this species).

Still, there are many indirect signs that you can use to detect it just by looking at your cat!

Thus, as its owner, you can observe the signs suggestive of this pathology. Your four-legged companion counts on you!

Here are the questions to ask yourself:

Is my cat lame?

Is my cat miaowing in an unusual manner?

Is my cat not clean?

Does my cat not go to the litter box?

Does my cat no longer jump on the furniture

Does my cat eat less?

Does my cat sleep a lot?

Does my cat scratch or bite me when I touch it?

Is my cat aggressive?

Is there ugly hair on my cat’s back?

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