As the days become shorter, colder and darker, many pets will feel just like us……they won’t be quite as eager to go outside to face the elements. Many dogs and cats develop pain in their legs or back associated with arthritis. They may struggle to jump, have difficulties getting up after laying down, have a stiff gait, shift their weight from one foot to the other because it is too painful standing for prolonged periods of time on one foot, laying down more or be reluctant to walk as far as they used to.
Dogs and cats are tough and do not show pain in ways that we easily recognise. We often hear that the old stiff dog does not seem to be in pain, but how can we be sure about it? Bring your pet to us for an examination and try some pain relief – see what a difference it makes to your pet’s wellbeing and quality of life. There are many different pain reliefs for pets and joint supplements available to help ease the pain and discomfort of arthritis. But if your pet is stiff or painful from arthritis, there are so many other things you can do besides just giving medication. Here are a few suggestions to help your pet cope with mobility disorders.
- Feed an appropriate diet and avoid obesity: Your pet’s diet should be designed for their age, body condition and mobility disorders. It is very important to avoid obesity as this will worsen the pain your pet has to endure.
- Joint supplements: Good quality joint supplements can be helpful in improving your pet’s mobility and reducing pain.
- Pain relief: Pain relief can significantly improve your pet’s quality of life. We recommend performing a blood test prior, a month after starting long-term treatment and then every six months or more frequently in some cases. This blood test will check if the liver and kidneys are healthy enough to break down and excrete the pain relief. There are numerous pain reliefs available, and we will choose the most appropriate one for your pet. We require your feedback on how your pet is responding to it, so that we can adjust the treatment accordingly. With time, your pet may have to take more than one medication to ensure your pet’s good quality of life.
- Cartrophen injections for dogs: Some dogs may benefit from regular injections with Cartrophen. It modifies the underlying disease processes in the joint and therefore reduces lameness and pain. The initial course is a weekly injection for four weeks followed by further injections as and when required.
- Providing more food and water dishes: It may be a big effort for your pet to have to go to the food or water dish. Just have a few more water and food dishes around the house in an easily accessible area.
- Litter tray for cats: Providing a litter tray closer to your cat’s favourite spot can make a huge difference to your cat. Use one with a low entrance for easy access.
- Flooring: Slippery surfaces, like laminate flooring, can be very difficult to walk on. Think about getting a few rugs, so that your pet can move easier.
- Favourite spot: If your pet has a favourite spot on an elevated surface such as the couch or windowsill, then help your pet getting on it by creating a step or a ramp.
- Stair gates: Stair gates should be used when your dog is not able to safely navigate the stairs and is at risk of falling down.
- Orthopaedic beds: Orthopaedic beds are a blessing for all achy joints. You may want to have one in each room where your dog spends its time.
- Comfortable rehab harnesses with a handle allow you to support your dog when walking.
- Brace: Some cases may benefit from a brace.
For further questions or advice on any of these topics, please contact us on (071) 963 1043 or book an appointment using the ‘Book Now’ button at the top of this page.