It’s often hard to judge our pets as being “Senior”. Evolved to survive predation and pack mentality, our animals tend to hide their aging and their illnesses. Time has a way of ticking by and suddenly we check the date and realize our friends are a little older than we realized. Maybe we notice a little grey around the muzzle, or that they’re not demanding their walks at dawn anymore. How did that happen? They were just kittens/puppies a few years ago!
Being aware of your pet’s aging is an uneasy place to be. No one likes the thought of their best friend starting to decline in comfort and strength, let alone facing a severe illness or even their mortality. In fact, some people choose to avoid veterinary care because of the emotional challenge of what they fear may be found.
Now, more than ever, veterinary medicine and especially integrative veterinary medicine has ways of maximizing our pets quality of life throughout their golden years. These are often the sweetest years of their life. They’ve learned all their tricks and have settled into a lovely rhythm with you and your family. This phase of life can be so precious to us, full of celebration and gratitude for each day we have with them. Yet, sometimes, it can be more and more challenging to care for them as their needs become more demanding.
What are ways that we can help?
- We can help identify what’s normal and what’s not normal behavior for an older pet.
- We can discuss ways of keeping your healthy older pet healthy and vibrant.
- We can help with changes in mobility caused by chronic arthritis and sore muscles. Acupuncture and Chiropractic are particularly useful drug-free approaches for managing chronic pain. Judicious use of pain medications can be integrated into our plan to keep your pet comfortable on their walks and throughout their daily routine.
- We can be proactive in finding and addressing manageable diseases like urinary disorders, chronic kidney/liver disease, thyroid disease, or heart disease so that we can start long term plans to minimize their effect on your pets comfort. Catching these diseases early, before your pet’s symptoms are severe, can increase our chances of successful management. We work with you to find the right solution for a sustainable treatment plan, usually with herbs, supplements, dietary strategies and appropriate medications.
- We can help with some of the more painful topics that come up when we’re confronted with a more serious disease. Treatment choices can be overwhelming and the decision to do aggressive heroic measures is not always clearly the best one. We are here to walk you through the resources that are available, and we can help guide you towards the treatments that are most likely to provide relief and improve your pet’s comfort for as long as is needed.
There may be more ways than you realize to help your aging pet. Feel free to contact us and schedule an exam to discuss how we can work together to make these the best years ever.