The other day as I was looking into the mirror wondering who that old fart was, then as I turned to leave was reminded it was me as my joints popped like popcorn and the sore back and knee reminded me yes it was me and I’m that old. Well damn it anyway! Our pets get old also and they feel the same as we do in the process. While I can pop a few Advil or something stronger if needed someone else is in charge of our pet’s pain relief. That is us and it’s our job to help them get by as well as possible. How do we tell if our pet is in pain? Well since they can’t talk and frequently don’t cry out unless the pain is unbearable it can be difficult. The signs can be subtle like just not as playful as before to more obvious like limping or having trouble getting up from lying down. Our pets don’t have talking voices and can’t complain to us like we complain and communicate to each other. Your veterinarian can examine your pet and discuss their behavior with you and come up with a plan to help your pet if needed.
Supplements like glucosamine and chondrotin have now been used for some time to fairly good effect in pets. Examples of these are Joint MAX and RēMATRIX. Please note that these “nutraceuticals” do not have a proven effect but it is widely believed that they do have a positive influence on helping with chronic pain and joint issues. Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), like Advil, aspirin, Aleve and Tylenol are some of these medications people take and should not be given to animals. However, there are specific medications that are approved and safe for use in pets. These drugs can be very beneficial for chronic pain and arthritis in our pets. Examples are Rimadyl, Quellin, and Deramaxx. There are other medications that can be added to a Pet Pain Plan that have influence in different parts of the body to help with the way the brain responds to pain.
There are also some non medical things we might do to help our pets with chronic pain. Acupuncture, Chiropractic, and Physical Therapy are some of these ancillary modalities that have an effect also that can be beneficial to the chronically painful pet. Here at AHOS we offer therapeutic laser (see our laser therapy page) as our main ancillary modality and have had good success with this as part of our Pet Pain Plan.
So if you are lucky enough to be on this planet long enough to notice “geeze I’m getting old” and all the things that go along with it don’t forget that your pets go through the same stuff. So “He’s getting old” may be an indication that he hurts and we can help!!
Written By: Craig Evans, DVM