Helping Your Pet Age Gracefully


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Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, pets are not only living longer, but they are doing it with better health and energy. Because of this, it is critical that pet owners utilize all of the advances that veterinary medicine can offer to help them age gracefully. For more specific details visit www.dogagingproject.com  You must also understand the lifespan of your particular species and breed to understand what their age related needs might be. Your veterinarian can make the necessary recommendations.

Here are 4 steps that help your furry family members age gracefully:

  1. First and foremost is keeping your pet at a healthy weight. Excess weight leads to joint problems such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and much more. Proper diet, excersice and with large breeds, joint supplements can and will help.
  2. Preventive exams are critical. You might think fluffy is doing fine, but animals are excellent at hiding symptoms. Your vet will discover potential problems well before you can through a complete physical exam, bloodwork and preventive dentistry. If your pet has a chronic health problem, it is recommended that they visit their vet at least twice a year. Learn more about preventive care in pets
  3. Exercise them. We cannot say enough about the importance of this. Even at an increased age they need exercise. Just make it moderate intensity if needed!
  4. Give them love and affection. Their emotional well being has a strong impact on their physical well being.

This list is not all inclusive but it is a good place to start. As always, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 303.691.3720 or staff@gentletouchanimalhospital.com. www.gentletouchanimalhospital.com


Arthritis: Helping Your Pet Age Gracefully

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Arthritis: Helping your pet age gracefully

I remember the first time I realized how quickly pets age, I was 19 years old and back from college visiting my family on spring break.  I watched my then 15-year-old tabby slink her way down the stairs to greet me and was shocked at how old she looked.  Her orange fur was less vibrant, and her spunky attitude was now mellow.  My once rambunctious green eyed kitten was now an old lady.

Since becoming a vet, I have learned so many things.  The things that have stuck with me the most have been topics that I wished my vet had spoken to me and my family about.  One topic in particular is osteoarthritis/arthritis.  This topic is often overlooked and just attributed to the natural process of aging.  Although arthritis can be an unfortunate part of aging, there are many steps that can be taken to slow the progression and/or allow pets to at least feel more comfortable as they age.

Arthritis is inflammation localized to a joint, and can cause intense pain and swelling.  An arthritic pet may behave similar to humans with arthritis, in that their clinical signs may be more severe in the morning and during cold weather. Below are some of the clinical signs of arthritic pets:

❏ Becomes less active

❏ Gets up slowly

❏ Walks stiffly or limps

❏ Has swollen joints

❏ Yelps

❏ Hesitates or refuses to climb stairs

❏ Changes in mood

❏ Licks at limb frequently

If you notice any of these signs (read more here http://www.vetstreet.com) or you are concerned that your pet may develop arthritis in the future—PLEASE CONTACT YOUR VET.  There are many preventatives and treatment options now available.  We are here to help you navigate the sometimes-difficult waters of caring for an aging pet, and although we cannot reverse aging, we can help your pet age gracefully.

Natalie Alberg, DVM

As always, with any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at (303)691-3720 or staff@gentletouchanimalhospital.com