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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29034
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Have a 16 yr old short hair cat. "Knee" joint on front leg

Customer Question

Have a 16 yr old short hair cat. "Knee" joint on front leg is swollen. She walks with a limp but still jumps on furniture. She lifts foot whenever sitting. This happened last year also but resolved spontaneously. This episode has lasted for several weeks. Arthritis perhaps? Any OTC treatment or analgesics available?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're correct to suspect osteoarthritis at Cleo's age which is severe enough to cause joint effusion - excess joint fluid. The main differential for such swelling is a synovial or bone cancer but such cancers don't come and go. Aspirin (NOT ACETAMINOPHEN) is safe at 5 mg/lb every 72 hours but often isn't tolerated long-term in cats. Ibuprofen and naproxen are toxic to cats and must be avoided. Consider a neutraceutical such as feline Dasequin (please see here: as well as the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil which I dose at 20 mg/lb daily of the EPA in a cost effective generic human fish oil product. EPA is the most antiinflammatory of the omega-3 fatty acids.

If you didn't see a positive change within a few weeks when dosing her as above, X-rays of the joint are indicated. At her age a newly emerging cancer is possible. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish. I have to leave my computer for a few hours but I promise to reply as soon as I return if need be.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Hi Kay,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin