As a Vancouver WA Veterinarian, the winter months often find us seeing pets with unexpected signs of discomfort that were not as obvious during the warmer months of the year.
Unexpected aches and pains are not unique to humans. As we age, many of us feel stiff and creaky when we first get up, especially in the cold weather. With similar joints, our pets often feel the same way. Unfortunately, they can’t take many of the same pain relievers that we use; in fact, acetaminophen (like Tylenol), ibuprofen (like Advil) and other similar non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are TOXIC to pets. Even though we experience similar problems, the solution can be a different class of medication for our pets.
However, there are some things that can be beneficial for pets and their people. Many over-the-counter commercial senior dog foods contain glucosamine for joint health, and there are prescription diets like Science Diet J/D and others that help pets cope with the changes that come with aging. Fish oil supplements containing Omega 3-6 fatty acids can also help dogs and cats. It is important to remember that the ratios that are beneficial to people are not the same as for dogs and cats – there are different formulas designed to benefit each species’ unique metabolism. It is very important to talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s specific needs.
When supplementation isn’t enough, NSAIDS may be recommended. Again, human medications are not made for animals and they can have severe, life-threatening side-effects. Our veterinarians will examine your pet thoroughly and ask you about your pet’s lifestyle to help them determine the best course of treatment for their joint pain/arthritis.
We all experience changes as we age, but they don’t need to be negative changes. Call us today to set up your senior pet’s wellness checkup, and learn how to help them age gracefully, in comfort as they deserve.