Day #7 of rain and impending winter gloom. The cool mornings have begun, oh how I miss basking in the warmth of the Sun’s rays. As a senior, ahem, I mean “mature” gal, the chill seems to go right to my bones. I don’t roll out of bed like before (my caretakers claim I’m grumpier). I’ve been slacking on making the hospital rounds throughout the day. And a couple of days ago I attempted to jump up on my favorite chair and I missed, at least three humans witnessed this. Embarrassing.
My medical team (why have one doctor when you can have three? perks of being a clinic cat) had the arthritis talk with me, the cat in me pretended to ignore the entire conversation but they did have some good suggestions to make me more comfortable (and can be applied to those creatures called dogs as well).
Glucosamine supplements – usually come in a capsule or liquid form that can be added directly to food — making it an easy addition to your daily routine. Your veterinarian will have a product that is formulated just for pets so that you can get the appropriate amount for your weight.
Thermal pad – along with a cushy bed to rest on makes my day. Activated by my own body warmth, this pad is a safe alternative to electric heat pads.
Pain medication – Have your servant chat with the veterinarian on your behalf about the usage of anti-inflammatories. WARNING do not self medicate with aspirin! Aspirin, even if labeled for pet usage can damage your organs, and if you need the good stuff, you have to wait until the aspirin has cleared your system.
Acupuncture and laser therapy – both of these treatments in conjunction with the tips above can help improve mobility and decrease joint discomfort. Your veterinarian can make a plan for the frequency of treatments.
Be on the lookout for the following changes in your “more life experience” pet that could indicate arthritis.
- Lack of interest in normal activities such as walks or play
- Avoidance of stairs or difficulty jumping up and down
- Weight gain due to less activity
- Slow or hesitant to get up after laying down
- Tension or tenderness in certain areas of the body such as spine or hips
As always, it is important to consult with your veterinarian for the best course of treatment.
Until next time purrs and snuggles,
CFO (Chief Feline Officer)
Tigard Animal Hospital