Osteoarthritis (OA) is a complex condition involving inflammation and degeneration of one or more joints. The word osteoarthritis is derived from several words in Greek: osteo meaning “bone,” arthro meaning “joint,” and itis meaning “inflammation.” Cats with OA experience pain and inflammation in various joints that interfere with the activities of daily living.
OA is diagnosed through a combination of a thorough physical examination, a palpation (feeling with the fingers to localize pain and determine its intensity), and additional diagnostics including x-rays or other imaging technology. About 90% of cats over the age of 10 years experience OA in at least one joint.
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