Owner-perceived signs and veterinary diagnosis in 50 cases of feline osteoarthritis.Can Vet J 2012; 53(11):1181-6CV
Veterinarians contacted to identify cats diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA) provided information on signalment, method of diagnosis, treatment and concurrent disease. Owners of 50 cats were interviewed to collect information on specific OA signs observed in the home, relating to mobility, self-maintenance, social and exploratory behavior, and activity and habits at diagnosis and after treatment. Mean age at diagnosis was 12 y; concurrent diseases were common (44%). Owner-reported abnormalities led to OA diagnosis in most cases; either as the primary finding (30%), or combined with abnormal physical examination or radiographic findings (64%). Owners frequently reported changes in mobility, particularly gait, jumping, and use of stairs. Oral or injectable disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs were the most common treatments (71%). Feline OA diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring appear to rely heavily on owner-perceived signs; physical examination abnormalities may not be detected. Questioning of owners revealed various observable signs potentially useful in OA detection and monitoring.