As our pets age, they are at risk for developing medical conditions which may be overlooked as we believe the changes we are seeing in our pets are just the years "catching up" to our pets and they are just "aging". Often, we do not attribute the symptoms to illness until the diseases causing the changes are significantly advanced, which can leave us with fewer options for treatment.
While Laboratory tests are important, it is important to bring your older pets for semi-annual physical exams, dental exams, and vaccinations. Alerting the veterinarian to any abnormal behavior your pet is displaying, such as changes in the amount your pet is drinking, increased coughing, or even excessive panting while resting at home is important. For example, diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, and thyroid dysfunction can cause our pets to drink excessive amounts of water and create the need to urinate more frequently.
If your geriatric pet seems to be having trouble going upstairs, getting up off the floor when laying down, or is moving around slower than in the past, he or she may have problems with arthritis. Your pet may benefit from pain medications such as Tramadol or Carprofen. There are also joint supplements that include glucosamine, MSM, and other natural additives that will help reduce the inflammation in your pet’s joints. This in turn will help reduce the discomfort your pet is feeling from arthritic changes. Along with these oral medications and supplements, there are injectable treatments, such as Adequan, that can give your pet an improved quality of life when the arthritis appears to be significantly decreasing mobility.
While we often feel that our older pets are like children, please remember, they are still fur kids. This means that the medications we use as humans may NOT be good for them. We urge our clients not to begin treating pets with any human medication before discussing this with our veterinarian. Numerous medications are not safe and can have devastating side effects if used for your pets.
Is your old Friend having troubles moving and getting around? Give us a call to help get their bounce back. (407) 862-6892