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What Causes Inflammation in Pets?

As pet parents, our number one job is to protect our furry family and keep them in good health. When our pets are in pain, we often see signs of stress and confusion making us feel absolutely helpless! While pain can stem from many ailments, inflammation is one of the most common, which is why it is vital to understand the cause of this condition as much as possible.

Signs of inflammation in your dog and cats show themselves as many of the ‘itis’ conditions such as dermatitis or conjunctivitis, is a result of your dog or cat’s immune system fighting off foreign objects. While inflammation indicates that your pet’s white blood cells are doing their job of battling infection, inflammation that is sustained or chronic can lead to more serious illnesses such as arthritis, or it could cause genetic or pre-disposed diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, to start sooner.

Understanding the underlying causes of inflammation in cats and dogs is key to prevention, meaning you will provide your pets with a happy, healthy life – what more could a pet parent want?

Causes of Inflammation

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Caused by inflammatory cells move into the stomach and/or intestines, IBD often shows itself through continuing diarrhea, regular vomiting, weight loss, and stomach cramps in both cats and dogs.


Skin conditions in dogs and cats that are caused by allergies and irritations, or even underlying muscle damage, can cause inflammation on your pet’s skin.


Infection from viruses and bacteria can cause inflammation of the eye in your cat or dog, making them uncomfortable and out of sorts. However, irritation and swelling around the eye may not always be conjunctivitis and may be a sign of another allergy.


In dogs, pancreatitis is often caused by high fat diets which lead to inflammation in the pancreas, a vital organ which produces both insulin and digestive enzymes that are critical for efficient digestion. In cats, however, this type of inflammation has nothing to do with nutrition. Instead, it could be causes by certain types of medication, diabetes, or any kind of abdominal trauma the cat has received.

Exercise and Dogs

Exercise is often thought to be one of the best methods of prevention for inflammation, as it

helps to keep animals fit and healthy. However, when it comes to inflammation and dogs, exercise can be a cruel mistress.

Indeed, exercise is necessary for a happy, healthy canine (and felines!) but continual, repetitive movement such as jumping for a ball over a long period of time, can cause inflammation to occur around joints.

Processed Diets

With fast food restaurants outnumbering grocery stores, by a long stretch, it is safe to say that the relationship we have with processed food has changed over the last 50 years. And the same can be said for the way pet food is being created.

Many pet food manufacturers churn out labels reading ‘lamb’, ‘tuna’, or ‘turkey’, yet the ingredients shed light on high percentages of cheap grains being used to bulk up the food.

Processed foods with a high content of simple carbohydrates will quickly leave your pet lethargic and at higher risk of inflammation.

With a wide range of factors causing inflammation in pets, and the signs being difficult to read at times, make sure that you watch your furry friend’s behavior and movements for

signs of underlying issues such as inflammation.

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