Too Cold For My Old Bones!
Submitted by Lisa A. Yackel, CVPM, PHR
Hospital Administrator at Case Veterinary Hospital
When I married my husband many years ago, he was in the Coast Guard and, therefore, slotted to move every three to four years. I begged him to only put down stations that were â€śsouth of the Mason/Dixon lineâ€ť as I hate the cold (and am also partial to all things Southern). Well Savannah is the true South, but the last few weeks have been a little too cold for my taste. I cannot get a good night sleep without my heated mattress pad and an anti-inflammatory and glucosamine tablet once a day. My bones protest every morning and my arthritis in my knees tends to slow me down a bit.
Our older pets also suffer from the same symptoms. It always surprises me when clients donâ€™t recognize the same things in their dogs and cats that they themselves experience. Does your older dog walk stiffly when he first gets up in the morning? Does he not seem to want to run and play as much? Does he circle his bed several times before finally easing himself down into it?
These are all signs that your pet may be suffering from arthritis. Like us, there are products out there that can help. NSAIDS, or non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are very beneficial in keeping the symptoms of arthritis at a minimum. They can be expensive, but for the price of a soda a day, your pet can be so much more comfortable. Glucosamine supplements or diets with glucosamine in them also help control the damage and pain that bone rubbing on bone causes. Be careful and ask your veterinarian what diet he recommends as they are not created equal. Often times, glucosamine is listed in the ingredients but not in adequate amounts to properly help.
A nice, comfortable bed raised up off the ground is beneficial. Padding helps to keep pets more comfortable and they will appreciate the extra touch. Donâ€™t forget about weight management as well. Getting that extra weight off your pet will do wonders for their joints.
There is nothing more gratifying than having a client who had just assumed there was nothing they could do about a pet â€śjust showing his ageâ€ť come in to tell us that they have their old dog (the younger versionJ) back. There is nothing better than having your pet greet you at the door and be jumping around excitingly versus looking up at you from their bed and not wanting to make the effort to get up because they are hurting.