Message Us

Senior Dogs: Understand the Aging Process Part 2

By DrBabetteGladstein. | Dog Health Dog Info

As our beloved pets age, it's up to us to provide the best possible care. That means making changes to their care to accommodate their age and new habits. Last month we looked at identifying changes and what to expect during a Geriatric Exam. In this article, we will explore treatments that can help keep your pet feeling good even in old age

FOCUS ON WELLNESS

Wellness is of the utmost importance to health and a major factor in your dog's happiness. An aging, enervated dog often feels gloomy, while an invigorated dog greets life daily with a wagging tail. Senior dogs can benefit greatly from a unique wellness program designed especially for them. Simple lifestyle changes, such as a proper diet, exercise and physical therapy can help older dogs feel and perform better in their daily lives.

Purchasing products for your home, such as orthopedic bedding, a raised bowl, steps or ramps leading to your dog's favorite spot, and "slipper" socks that have non-skid material on the bottom, can help ease the transition to old age for your pet. All of these products are easy to find online.

As pets become older, it becomes harder to digest their food. Eating smaller, more frequent meals, and adding a supplement with enzymes and probiotics, plus omega-3 fatty acids and a multivitamin, can be a good idea.

HOLISTIC TREATMENTS

Older dogs with arthritis and degenerative joint problems can greatly benefit from holistic medicine. Veterinarians who practice holistic medicine are also trained in traditional practices, and use all appropriate treatment modalities to keep a dog healthy. Alternative therapies that may especially benefit older pets include including acupuncture, chiropractic, ultrasound, massage therapy and laser therapy. Ultrasound uses high-energy sound waves to treat tendon and ligament injuries. As the tissues absorb the waves, they are converted to heat. This promotes collagen fiber formation to maximize the long-term strength of the tendon, and helps control the pain associated with arthritis.

Laser therapy treatment delivers high-spectrum light waves into the body, relieving discomfort and reducing stiffness. The safe, pain-free treatment can be used to treat a variety of injuries, pain, wounds, fractures, neurological conditions and dermatological problems.

Prolotherapy is a lesser-known treatment for weak and torn tendons and ligaments. The treatment involves injecting a solution into the affected ligaments and bony junctures, which causes the growth of new connective tissue. Pain is alleviated as the tendons and ligaments tighten and grow stronger. The therapy, which has been used in humans since the 1950s, can also be used to treat arthritis, hip dysplasia, knee problems, back pain, neck pain and other musculoskeletal ailments commonly found in dogs.

Surgery can be a treatment option for some orthopedic diseases that grow worse as animal ages. When considering surgery for an older dog, it's best to first evaluate alternative options. Surgery and the risk of anesthesia may be great at any time in a pet's life, but are particularly problematic with an older animal.

Surgeries such as hip replacements and ACL surgery may be avoided with the application of prolotherapy. Back surgery may be avoided 50 percent of the time by acupuncture, electric stimulation and ultrasound treatments. When considering surgery, you should consult a good holistic veterinarian and at least get a consult on the new medical protocols available to you.

Unlike many prescriptions drugs, these holistic therapies have few side effects, promote overall natural healing and can help keep your older pet pain-free. Keep in mind, however, that pain is nature's way of curtailing an animal's activity. We need to remember that a dog or cat may need time to heal. Eliminating the pain does not mean the animal is healed and is ready to play.

WHEN TO LET GO

Of course, when it comes to senior dogs the most agonizing decision is when to let go. If your animal is no longer able to be active and enjoy their life and it is not possible for the condition to improve, it may be time. If your animal is in pain, and/or has stopped eating for a week, this may also be an indication that they have had enough. In nature, an animal would just curl up and die; in many cases, they can even will themselves to die.

Making the decision to euthanize our pets and dealing with our grief can cause great emotional stress. Still, choosing to euthanize your animal at the right time is a loving, compassionate choice. The animal just goes to sleep. This is a great blessing, and we are lucky to have this choice with our animals. Ultimately, they will look into your eyes and tell you when it's time to go. 

 

Behavioral Science and Dog Seat Covers: Cargo, Dog Bed Liner, Bed Cover: 30% Off Premium Seat Covers


Dr Babette Gladstein - HeadshotDr. Babette Gladstein

Dr. Babette Gladstein practices integrative medicine in the greater New York area.  For more information please visit her website: http://www.drbabette.com/, also her: Facebook 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 cover

This is actually a replacement for my original 4 knines cover which was 4 years old. I used it daily (bringing my pup to work with me) and washed it weekly, so the backing finally started to flake apart and come off. This newer version is easier to put over the headrests, great improvement in the strap and closures. Also the best improvement is the side flaps, the old cover didn't have these. These flaps help to catch the dirt from dogs feet when they are jumping up into the car, instead of it going on the side of the seat.

READ MORE »
Diane Breland

Fantastic

This is my 2nd seat cover from 4knines and love them both. The product and service were both fantastic.

READ MORE »
GREG BATEMAN

Repeat customer VERY satisfied.

We have made several purchases from 4Knines and are VERY satisfied with products (cargo liner, back seat cover, bucket front seat cover...). I volunteer at a shelter and take dogs offsite daily. Always a Pleasure doing business with 4Knines. Highly recommend.

READ MORE »
Cristina Jones

Split Rear Dog Seat Cover - Fitted - No Hammock

I had ordered this item from an on-line site and was extremely disappointed when I received the wrong item. I was impressed with the quality of the seat cover and decided to contact 4Knines directly. I placed my order with Maggie and received the Split Rear Dog Seat Cover within three days. The seat cover fits nicely in my new Honda CR-V and as stated by 4Knines, is very easy to install and remove. My 8-month old labradoodle Brodie likes the comfort, and friends agree with him. Great quality item, reasonably priced, and outstanding customer service. Thanks 4Knines.

READ MORE »
Sally LIEDHOLM

New seat cover and side panels in Nissan Titan

Excellent solution for my truck. Absolutely no complaints. A+ quality materials, engineering, and design. Fast service on delivery. Cannot ask for anything better. J Jones Aiken, SC

READ MORE »
john jones

New truck seat cover and side panels

I really do like the seat cover and door side panels. The side panels are a must as the Beagle mix puts her feet on the doors. Every now and again someone comes up with a nice product that works well, has quality in its materials, and is well engineered. These are those. I am super satisfied.

READ MORE »
john jones

Pawesomeness!!!

Easy and fast install. Stays in place...works great!! (and the dogs are happy that they get to ride along again!) :)

READ MORE »
Ericka Spiva

Great fit, Great look, Stays in Place

I really like the look of this cover on my front bucket seat. You can't tell it's to protect the seat from the dog! It's very nice looking and fits great. Most importantly, it stays in place! My dog is wiggly, up and down, looking out the windows; and this seat cover doesn't mind. Do make sure you watch the video and carefully follow the installation instructions. I did not at first; and Support was Wonderful in helping me figure out what I was doing incorrectly.

READ MORE »
Sherry McClurkin

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