Jun 21, 2010

Normal Aging, Dog Arthritis, or Something Else?

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Pain in Pets

Recognizing the signs of aging is important if we want our pets to have a good quality of life in their golden years.

A visit to the vet may be needed if you notice any of the following in order to know if your dog is aging normally or if there are things you can do to help them:

•   Change in energy level, gets tired more easily, not as playful

•   Personality change- more grumpy towards dogs and or humans

•   Vision loss, lens in eye looks like it is white or cloudy

•   Change in appetite, weight gain or loss.

•   Lumps or masses found under the skin, these can be early signs of cancer

•   Increase in water intake or increased urination

•   Bad breath, tartar build up and red irritated gums

•   Coughing or excessive panting

•   Difficulty walking, getting up from a down position

•   Hearing loss and disorientation

•   Dizziness, leans to one side.

You and your veterinarian should discuss any of the above changes/problems.

What can you do to help transition your pet into his/her senior years?  Keep your buddy at a healthy weight!  Weight plays such an important role in arthritis and other conditions. (see our Blog post on Dec 9, 2009).  By exercising your pet regularly, you will help them keep their muscle support which is so important as their joints are becoming arthritic.  For tips on exercising your pet refer to our blog on March 9, 2009 “What is the right amount of exercise for my dog”.  Talk to your vet about different pain medications or supplements like fish oils and other natural products that might be helpful for pain from arthritis.  Speaking of natural, if you are opposed to drugs, consider treating your pet’s arthritis with their own stem cells from fat- a much more natural way to combat pain from arthritis.  You can read about how stem cells help here.


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