Aiding Your Pet’s Achy Joints

As pets grow older, sometimes they begin to slow down and become less active and spunky than in their younger years. If you’ve noticed your pet is reluctant to play, go on walks, use the litter box or move around, your pet may be suffering from osteoarthritis, a fairly common joint disorder in older pets. Read on to learn more about the disease, its symptoms, and what you can do to ease your pet’s pain.

How It Develops

Osteoarthritis is the byproduct of wear and tear on your pet’s joints throughout their life, and may occur sooner in pets who are overweight or obese. When they’re young, cartilage sits between the two bones on either end of the joint, cushioning the bones. As the years go on, cartilage often begins to break down, causing irritation in the joint and surrounding tissues as the bones begin to rub together when the joint flexes.

Symptoms

Cats may sometimes hide their symptoms, but both species will likely experience these symptoms:

  • Unwillingness To Move – Your pet may be less willing to play, climb stairs, walk outside or even walk the distance to their food or litter box.
  • Clumsiness – Pets who are in discomfort may limp or try to avoid putting pressure on the limb that’s hurting, which may make them appear clumsy.
  • Swollen Joints – When the disease progresses and is left untreated, the result may be visibly swollen joints.

Treatment

There are treatment options available to both cats and dogs, but they differ depending on which one you’re treating.

Dogs can benefit from anti-inflammatory medications such as NSAIDs, which help to reduce pain and the inflammation in the joint. Physical therapy with a veterinarian can also be helpful. Some vet therapies for your dog’s joints include walking on a treadmill that’s underwater to strengthen the joints while keeping impact on them to a minimum.

Unfortunately, cats sometimes have bad reactions to NSAIDs, so they’re not a great choice. Instead, focus on making her comfortable and encourage her to walk short distances and climb or play when she feels up to it.

Both species may benefit from pet acupuncture to reduce discomfort. Pet acupuncture is generally performed by or under the supervision of a veterinarian, so it’s safe for your pet. Acupuncture also avoids potential side effects from chemicals or medications.

If your pet is overweight, work with a veterinarian to develop a weight-loss plan. Reducing excess weight on the joints can preserve any cartilage that’s left and reduce discomfort.

Finally, joint supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin may be useful in supporting and regrowing cartilage in joints.

Osteoarthritis may simply be a part of getting older for many pets, but that doesn’t mean your furry child has to live out their senior days in pain. Consult with a veterinarian to see if your pet is suffering from osteoarthritis and develop an action plan to reduce their discomfort.

For more information, contact Ashworth Road Animal Hospital PC or a similar location.

Four Cancer Treatment Options For Dogs

If your dog has been screened and found to have cancer, you likely know how heart breaking this can be. Cancer is something that can be very scary since it is unpredictable and moves quickly. Luckily, there are many treatment options that you can discuss with your vet in order to come up with the best solution. These cancer treatment options include:

  • Chemotherapy: Chermotherapy refers to using drugs that will help to treat the cancer. These drugs would be anti-cancer and cell-killing. When this treatment method comes up between you and your vet, you may begin to think about how this treatment usually causes discomfort and horrible side effects in humans. Not to worry though, this treatment method is much different for dogs. Dogs usually begin to feel better right away without all the horrible side effects.
  • Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is the use of a machine to administer radiation into the tumor in your dog’s body. This is becoming a more common treatment method for dogs since it typically is a more affordable option. Plus, radiation therapy is usually effective.
  • Surgery: Your vet may suggest surgery for your dog’s cancer in the case that the tumor can easily be removed without causing extreme damage. This may even be suggested if the tumor-infested organ can be removed. Of course, your vet should discuss any possible side effects that would come from the specific surgery your dog would need. 
  • Palliative Options: Palliative options would be suggested by your vet in the case that your dog is extremely ill from the cancer and the other treatment options aren’t viable options for a cure. This usually happens if the cancer is not found early enough. Palliative options are simply a combination of different treatment options that would be used to keep your dog as comfortable as possible for the rest of their life. This will help to make this hard time easier on you, since you will not have to see your dog in as much pain.

By knowing that there are quite a few treatment options for your dog’s cancer, you can be more comfortable discussing what options are best for your dog. It can also be helpful and put your mind at ease to know that there are at least three options that are extremely effective in most cases, so long as your dog’s cancer hasn’t advanced into stage four. For more information check out the site for this animal hospital.

5 Tips For Preparing Your Apartment For A New Kitten

Bringing home a new kitten can be a wonderful experience for your entire family, but it’s important for you to take some time to prepare your apartment before they’re brought home. Apartments come with some unique challenges for pet-proofing, compared to a traditional home, so you’ll want to consider the following tips so that you can be as prepared as possible.

Get Familiar with Your Apartment’s Pet Policy

Most apartment complexes have some kind of rules regarding pets, such as only being permitted to have up to two pets or needing to pay an extra pet rent fee each month. Before committing to adopting a new kitten, you’ll want to meet with your landlord to get the facts regarding pets.

Buy a Scratcher to Avoid Damages

While cats are likely to do far less damage to an apartment than a dog, their claws could mean trouble for your apartment floors and furniture. In order for you to keep both your furniture and flooring in good shape, you’ll want to buy a scratching post. Cats are naturally  drawn to these scratchers, making all the difference in the condition of your apartment.

Be Careful Around the Patio or Balcony

If your apartment unit has access to an outdoor space, you’ll need to take special care to prevent your kitten from getting outside. Both patios and balconies can be highly dangerous for pets, so it’s important to keep the door locked shut and supervise closely whenever the doors are opened.

Designate a Specific Room for Your Kitten

Kittens can get into a ton of trouble, making it a good idea to set up a room specifically for them. Making sure that the room doesn’t need to be accessed a lot so that your kitten can’t run out is a good idea, along with placing all the essentials such as toys, food and water bowls, and a litter box.

Take Care of Any Potential Dangers

Keeping your kitten safe also means getting rid of things that could be dangerous to them. Some house plants, for example, could be highly toxic if ingested by your kitten. Looking through your apartment and removing any dangers can help pet-proof your unit before your kitten is brought home.

Preparing for the arrival of your new kitten takes some effort, but will make all the difference in ensuring that your kitten is safe and that your apartment won’t be damaged by this new addition. Check out local outlets that offer pet adoptions, and you’ll be well on your way. 

Using Aromatherapy To Soothe Your Dog’s Anxiety

If your dog is suffering from anxiety, you may want to try aromatherapy in addition to or instead of medications. Aromatherapy is a good way to relax your dog in a quick and safe manner. Aromatherapy is effective because dogs have a heightened sense of smell and this helps them benefit from the natural therapeutic properties of certain fragrances. In order to carry out aromatherapy in the right way, you will need to have some knowledge of the essential oils that are safe for dogs and how to administer them.

Less is more

When you use essential oils for aromatherapy, you should always dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil, such as olive oil. If the essential oil is too strong then it will overwhelm the dog’s senses. If you plan to use the oil on the dog’s coat or paw pads then a carrier oil will help to nourish the dog’s skin.

Safe oils

Not all essential oils are safe for your dog. However, lavender and Roman chamomile are two essential oils that are safe to use on dogs. You can use them together or separately, along with olive oil as the carrier oil.

Here are few ways that you can use these two oils effectively to calm your agitated dog:

1. Add a few drops of lavender and Roman chamomile to at least one drop of olive oil. You can then rub this mixture on the pads of your dog’s feet, behind your dog’s ears and through your dog’s fur. You can use lavender or Roman chamomile by themselves if you prefer; it is not mandatory that they be used together.

2. You don’t have to use essential oils directly on your dog to benefit from the therapeutic effects. You can get the same effect by soaking cotton balls with a mixture of essential oils and a carrier oil. You can then implant the cotton balls into small opening in pillows or bedding on which your dog sleeps. The dog will get a chance to inhale the soothing scents and this will produce a calming effect

Always choose high quality oils

Always buy high quality aromatherapy oils. Low quality oils will usually contain contaminants and these may be toxic to your dog especially dog if the oil is strong and the dog is small. Make sure the oil is manufactured by a reputable company in order to get the best quality.

Aromatherapy is an easy and effective way to calm your dog’s anxieties. The materials to make aromatherapy effective can easily be found at most health food stores or drugstores. This offers an easy and natural way to relieve your dog’s anxiety.

You can speak with a holistic veterinary clinic, such as Clayton Veterinary Associate, for more ideas.