Hi everyone! November is "Celebrating Seniors" month at the Elmsdale Animal Hospital so we thought it would be the perfect time to start our blog series on senior pets! Part 1 will be focusing on something that plagues many seniors: Arthritis.
Senior pets have always had a soft spot in my heart. With advances in science and research we have been seeing pets live longer and more comfortable lives. With this in mind, there are many things to watch out for as our pets age. When a pet ages normally, you will still see them engaging in their normal everyday activities, just a bit slower. They may not jump as high, walk as far or run as fast, but they should still be interested in doing these things. Their hearing may not be as keen, and their eyesight may weaken, especially at night.
Because our four-legged friends can’t tell us what hurts in words, we have to look for other clues of arthritis. In cats, the signs are usually that they are jumping up less and finding it harder to get in and out of the litterbox. Dogs with arthritis may not be as excited to go for a walk or play with their toys.
Alternative therapies like acupuncture, massage and therapeutic laser treatments have also been shown to help many senior pets by reducing pain and inflammation.
While these drugs are tolerated well by most pets, there are some possible side effects (mostly gastrointestinal upset) so you should only use them after consulting your veterinarian.
The most important thing to remember when you have an arthritic pet is that their quality of life is the top priority. We never want our pets to be in pain, especially our older friends who have given us years of companionship and love. So, whether it takes supplements, medications, alternative therapy or any combination of the above, if our pets are comfortable, we’re happy 😊
**MAKE SURE TO CALL THE OFFICE AT (902)883-7080 TO HEAR ABOUT OUR NOVEMBER SPECIALS FOR YOUR SENIOR PET!**
Dr. Juanita Ashton, BSc, DVM, ACDBC-IAABC is a certified Canine Behavioural Consultant, and one of the owners of the Elmsdale Animal Hospital