Old Age is not a disease. However, getting older does bring with it many changes which can impact your pets’ health and quality of life. Grey hair is easy to see but a problem such as arthritis can be harder to detect. Arthritis is simply inflammation of joints. The inflammation results in pain and stiffness. Your pets’ risk of arthritis increases with age. September is Senior Pet Wellness Month reminding us to care for our older pets differently than the youngsters. Exams for seniors are recommended more than once a year in order to identify health issues in advance.
Dogs and cats communicate in non-verbal ways and as owners we need to be aware of changes in their behavior as they age. Often they do not complain about achy backs and sore hips, they simply change their habits. If your furry friend seems to be sleeping more than normal, reluctant or slow to get up in the morning, or more irritable when being cuddled, he or she may be displaying effects of stiff and painful joint disease, Arthritis.
Arthritis discomfort can often be eased and its’ progression can be slowed in different ways:
- Supplements – Joint supplements containing glucosamine and omega fatty acids in the form of fish oil have shown to increase mobility.
- Prescriptions – Another option for pain relief is giving your loved one a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID such as Rimadyl.
- Weight control – Maintaining a healthy weight and feeding premium foods are important. Choose a premium dog food that is formulated for senior pets.
Our family pets do not have to suffer from arthritis in silence. If your pet is getting older, please make a trip to Sunset Vet Clinic and discuss what you can do to try to provide a comfortable life to your friend who gives you so much.