Message Us

Wellness Care for Aging Dogs: Breaking Down Alternative Therapies

By DrBabetteGladstein. | Dog Health

Aging well isn't just a human problem. With proper care and attention, many older pets can stay vigorous and energetic, aging gracefully well into their senior years.

Wellness Care for Aging Dogs: Breaking Down Alternative Therapies Regular adjustments to key lifestyle factors, like diet, nutrition, activity and exercise levels can make a big difference to your pet's health and wellness throughout the golden years. By keeping your dog healthy and properly addressing age-related health problems as they arise, you boost your dog's psychological well being too, avoiding depression that often comes with poorly managed health problems. Since dogs are individuals with their own unique challenges, histories and genetics, no wellness plan is the same. Discuss alternative therapies with your vet to craft a wellness plan that meets your dog's specific needs in the safest, most effective way possible. The first step is to observe your dog and notice changes that may signal a need for changes to promote wellness. Observe your dog and ask yourself these questions:
  • Have you noticed a slowing of movement?
  • Does it seem harder for your dog to get up after sleeping?
  • Are stairs or steps a challenge?
  • Is my dog less interested in playtime?
  • Does my dog run less, or at all?
  • Are "doggie accidents" starting to happen around the home?
  • Does your dog have a problem sitting? Or getting up to stand?
Pain is a big problem for older dogs, but the good news is that there are excellent treatments to deal with both acute and chronic pain in aging canines. Observe your dog and try to identify the following behaviors. They are non-verbal cues that may indicate your dog experiences pain, and could benefit one or more pain treatments:
  • No longer wagging tail
  • Bending one leg while trying standing on all fours
  • One paw being smaller in size, usually noticeable when standing
  • Holding their head in an unnatural position
  • Uneven hip levels
  • A flinching reaction when certain spots on his or her spine are gently pressed
  • Not eating all of their food until night time
There are several non-invasive, alternative therapies, including acupuncture, massage and chiropractic, ultrasound, and Laser therapy, among others. Laser therapy is particularly beneficial to aging dogs that may have difficulty tolerating surgery or drugs. Let's take a look at how these therapies can help your dog:

Acupuncture

Acupuncture can reduce pain and inflammation, increase circulation and stimulate the body's own immune system to promote natural healing. Its immune-boosting properties can also help to prevent future disease states in currently healthy pets, so it's an excellent preventative measure. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles into acupoints at key locations on the body. Acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to release neurotransmitters that reduce pain, and triggers the release of B endorphins, which further the analgesic effect. The method derives from the renowned Chinese System of Medicine, dating back well over 2,000 years. Practiced throughout Asia for centuries, acupuncture has been increasingly researched and applied in medical and veterinary venues since the mid 20th century. Acupuncture can be used to treat musculoskeletal problems including intervertebral disc disease, arthritis, hip dysplasia, and neuropathies, along with other non-skeletal conditions such as respiratory difficulties, nervous disorders, and skin issues.

Massage and Physical Manipulation Therapies

Massage and physical manipulation therapy are complementary treatments that go great together. Massage focuses on the manual manipulation of the body's soft tissues, especially muscle, while chiropractic focuses on the manual manipulation of the body's joints, particularly vertebrae, to correct misalignments, known as subluxations, that can affect health and wellness. Massage therapy for dogs is associated with a number of health benefits, including improved lymphatic drainage and circulation, relief of muscle pain and spasms, relief from chronic pain, reduction in swelling and scarring, increasing range of motion, and an overall increasing sense of well-being. In physical manipulation therapy for dogs, the veterinarian makes small physical adjustments to the spinal column and other joints to achieve optimal joint alignment. This reduces pain and increases range of motion, and often helps to improve a number of other health conditions. Since the nerves emerging from the vertebrae either influence or directly regulate organs throughout the body, even small misalignments of the spine's vertebrae, can increase pressure on these nerves and affect their function negatively. The corrections that physical manipulation therapy makes help to restore nerve function, improving the health of organs throughout the body. Though musculoskeletal problems are at the top of the list, physical manipulation adjustments can improve general organ health, leading to a healthier cardiovascular, respiratory and gastrointestinal systems.

Ultrasound Therapy

Ultrasound therapy is one of many drug-free therapies that works particularly well with dogs, helping pets with injured tendons and ligaments. It's also an excellent pain therapy for arthritis, and reduces scar tissue. In fact, ultrasound works particularly well with dogs. During an ultrasound treatment high-energy sound waves directly to the injured areas, with a probe. The damaged tissues absorb the sound energy, and then radiate heat in return. This serves as a form of intensive heat therapy for the affected tissues, stimulating the formation of collagen fibers, accelerating the growth process of tendons, and long-term tendon strength. Here are some common health problems in pets that ultrasound therapy can treat:
  • Tendon injuries
  • Ligament injuries
  • Muscular back pain
  • Wound healing
  • Excess scar tissue
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Swelling

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is an excellent option for older dogs at greater risk from more invasive treatments, like surgery and medication, and it works well with other alternative therapies. Laser therapy uses the regenerative properties of lasers for instant pain relief, and to jump-start the body's natural healing processes. It's a safe, effective, non-invasive treatment, with virtually no side effects. High energy Laser light accelerates numerous biochemical pathways in living cells, leading to rapid cellular growth, increased blood flow, enhanced nutrient distribution, and reduced inflammation throughout injured tissues. Basically, laser light accelerates the body's innate healing mechanisms, promoting the repair and strengthening of injured tissues without risking the side effects that often come with surgery and drug therapies. Aging Dogs and Dog Seat Covers: Cargo, Dog Bed Liner, Bed Cover: 30% Off Premium Seat Covers
Dr Babette Gladstein - HeadshotDr. Babette Gladstein Babette Gladstein, DMV, makes house calls and offers non-surgical and alternative solutions for all animals, but specializes in geriatric dogs. For a complimentary manual on how to stretch your dog, visit www.drbabette.com and sign up for her newsletter. WebsiteFacebook page

Comments

Signup/Login to post a reply

 

Reviews From 4Knines Customers VIEW MORE »

The best evaluations of our products come from the people who’ve bought them.

Great Protection

I think this seat cover is going to work out just fine. It fits well, was extremely easy to install. Just waiting for my new puppy to be old enough to bring home.

READ MORE »
Charlie Hendrix

Seat cover just received

It would be nice to be able to actually get some use out of it before I can honestly review the product. I will say that so far my experience with 4Knines has been wonderful. Their customer service is great.

READ MORE »
Gary Beaton

Great Cover

I been getting these covers for many years and have never been disappointed with them great quality and well made something you don't see very much anymore !

READ MORE »
Jere Miller

If you have dogs, and love your car, this is a must buy!

I recently purchased the Cargo Cover to protect my new Subaru Outback. My dogs love car rides, but they're also shedding dogs and make a mess. The Cargo Cover took a brief 30 seconds to install and provides protection against dirt, scratches, hair, dander. It's super easy to clean-up too!

READ MORE »
Ryan Bracken

Great Product!

XL cargo liner fit my GMC Yukon Denali perfectly. While our 20 lb dog doesn't put much stress on the liner, it works great keeping the back clean from carrying our often muddy recumbent bicycles around. Top notch product, fast delivery. Thanks!

READ MORE »
Leon Campbell

Great products. We are return customers.

Bought the bench cover and side panels for our Nissan Pathfinder. Looks great. We have the same set up in our Titan truck and couldn't be happier with the protection it gives to our leather interior. Highly recommend. Shipping was super fast!!!

READ MORE »
Marchelle Jones

Super nice

I purchased seat covers for my Ford F-350 and my Ford Edge - really nice fit and I have piece of mind knowing my seats are protected!

READ MORE »
Deby Hackney

Well Done!

Bought the seat cover for a rental SUV we were using on a road trip. It worked great. Kept off all the dog hair and our fur baby rolled around on it like crazy. Am going to move it to our everyday SUV. Nicely done!

READ MORE »
Neal Cohen

4Knines.com

For all general inquiries, please call or email us
Phone: 888.602.2509
Email: support@4Knines.com

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Nothing but the best for your best friend!
© 4Knines. 2017. All rights reserved | Terms | Privacy

Message Us