Signs of arthritis in dogs often are similar to signs of normal aging. However, just because your dog is getting older, doesn’t mean they should be in pain.
Please schedule a Senior Checkup if your dog seems to have any of these symptoms for more than two weeks. Because our furry friends aren’t able to tell us when something is wrong, it’s important for you to take note of any change in their behavior. Look for any of the following signs; they may be your pet’s way of saying “I hurt.”
- Being unusually quiet, listless, restless, or unresponsive
- Whining, whimpering, howling, or constantly meowing
- Constantly licking or chewing at a particular part of the body
- Acting funny and out of character, either aggressively or submissively
- Flattening ears against the head
- Having trouble sleeping or eating
- Seeking a lot more affection than usual
- Unable to get comfortable (constantly changing positions to find the most comfortable position)
Treatment options to reduce or eliminate pain
Through nutritional consulting, we will carefully monitor your pet’s diet to ensure he is not adding unneeded pounds. Maintaining a healthy diet will improve your pet’s pain level by managing his weight, regularity and physical health. Depending on your pet’s condition, he may need a special diet.
There is a variety of pain medications available. Aside from pill form, many drugs come in easily administered forms such as liquids, skin patches or gels. There are also new analgesic (pain-reducing) products to help treat your pet after an injurious trauma or to help treat chronic pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are often used to treat orthopedic-related pain with very few side effects. There are several other classes of pain medications and it is important that we decide together (pet owner and veterinarian) the best treatment plan for your pet.
In addition to pharmaceutical treatment, complementary (or alternative) options are becoming more available. Supplements, acupuncture, homeopathy, and even laser therapy are being used to help manage pain in animals. We’ll help you decide whether complementary medicine would be beneficial for your pet.
Whether your choice is complementary or traditional medical practices, consider the side effects and the time spent for each treatment option. We will review with you the costs, benefits and risks of the various treatment options.
As with any medical condition, pain management requires a team effort between us in order to have a happier and healthier companion.