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Aches And Pains In Senior Pets


Joint pain during the winter months, slow to get going in the morning, reluctance to go for long walks. As veterinary medicine and the care we provide continues to improve, our pets are living longer now than ever before. These longer lifespans are bringing with them more age-related conditions for us to care for. Unfortunately, there is no perfect equation to say how old our pets are in human years. But according to the AVMA, a 15-year-old cat is equivalent to a 78-year-old person and a 15-year-old dog, depending on size, is equivalent to a 76-115-year-old person (small to very large breed). There are numerous problems that can befall our geriatric pets such as heart disease, diabetes, senility, and even cancer. But the most commonly see is joint and bone disease and weakness. Older pets, especially larger breeds, are prone to arthritis and joint disease that can lead to pain and weakness.

How To Tell If Your Pet Has Arthritis

Some signs of arthritis in pets can be non-specific and often similar to normal aging so ask your vet to evaluate your senior pets pain level at each visit. Some signs are weight gain, sleeping more, favoring a limb, hesitating to jump or run, decreased activity or interest in play, decreased energy levels, mobility issues, and stiff or sore joints. The good thing about improvements in veterinary medicine is that there have also been improvements in how we treat arthritis and pain in out pets. There are more options now than ever before and can include both Eastern and Western medicine philosophies.

  • Acupuncture: This technique has been used in human and animal medicine in China for thousands of years to treat many ailments including arthritis. Each acupuncture point has specific actions when stimulated with the insertion of a needle. There has been a lot of research to show positive results in the treatment of arthritis with acupuncture.
  • Cold Laser: Cold laser uses a beam of light to stimulate cell regeneration and increase blood circulation. It has been used with great success in treating arthritis, tendon or soft tissue injuries, and promotes wound healing.
  • Omega 3 Fatty acids: The two main omega-3 fatty acids used for anti-inflammatory purposes is EPA and DHA. They have been used to improve coat quality, help with allergic skin disease, and to decrease inflammation in joint disease and arthritis. The key point we have found is that many over the counter fatty acid supplements do not have the appropriate dosage to be efficacious for our pets as an anti-inflammatory therapy. Consult your vet about possible use for your pet, we generally recommend 60 mg/kg of body weight of combined EPA and DHA to be effective.
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin: Glucosamine effects the collagen within the cartilage and has a mild anti-inflammatory effect due to its ability to scavenge free radicals. Chondroitin inhibits the destructive enzymes within the joint and cartilage. When used together they have shown some positive effects in the treatment of arthritis and joint pain in our senior pets.
  • Prescribed Pain medications: There are numerous prescription medications your veterinarian can prescribe for the benefit and treatment of your senior pets pain that can greatly improve their quality and longevity. These prescribed pain medications can help ease chronic pain.

With the extension of our pets’ time with us, we in the veterinary field are here to help them feel their best and live long happy lives with the pet owners that love them. There are so many options available to us to help our pets, consult your veterinarian on what you can do to help your pet age with grace today.

What Our Clients Have To Say

Yesterday was our first visit to this clinic. I brought my 6 year old Goffin Cockatoo Chance in for a wellness check and nail trim and also to discuss her ongoing feather plucking issues. Dr. Leigh Samanowitz was Amazing as were all the staff.

Margie Bauer

We’ve always had a great experience at University Animal Clinic. The doctors and team are all very knowledgeable and friendly. They get back to you in a timely manner and work with you when it comes to scheduling appointments.

Natalie Platt

I’m from New Jersey and our dog was hit by a car the day we arrived. The staff at the clinic were amazing. We went to the cliniceget out dog’s stitches out and both JJ (the nurse) and Dr. Sam both sat on the floor to make him feel comfortable.

Lambi Newsham

Dr Sam was very sweet, knowledgable and took the time to explain everything to me. The nurses and front desk staff were wonderful.

Kaila Baziuk

Dr Sam and staff are friendly, knowledgeable and truly care about your pets health and happiness! We wouldn’t trust our babies with any one else.

Sherry O’Neill

Very nice and welcoming entree, king and professional vet and nurse. Thank you very much, I will come back and be happy to recommend you

Simone Lutz

There are several Clinics near me so that say it all! Looking for the best care for your pet go no further. Starting with the Staff they are all caring, have excellent listening skills, and properly follow up and the facility is always clean. Dr.

Stephen Pierannunzi SR

The team at University Animal Clinic is so compassionate and caring, organized and punctual, responsive and appreciated!! Thank you so very much for all of your support and expertise.

Tamara Knapp

I took my galah Rosie for a general physical. The staff and vet took the time to show me (as a new bird owner) how to clip nails and wings and what to look for as far as outward signs of her health.

Susanne Arbagy

I just moved to Florida, and looking for a veterinarian I came across university animal clinic walking around the plaza so I decided to stop in and get information on the veterinarians, the women at the front desk was so kind and caring, I unfortunately forgot her name.

Karen Hulty
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