Dear VetBabble: How Can I Assist and Support My Senior Dog with Hip Discomfort?
Elderly pets often face health challenges similar to those of aging adults and, as a caring pet owner, it’s natural to search for ways to offer comfort to your four-legged companions. A pet owner brought this concern to my attention with the question – “My 14-year-old mixed Lab, who weighs roughly 72#, is currently taking Aspirin at 162mg and a Glucosamine supplement daily. She’s showing signs of discomfort in her hind legs and hips and seems hesitant to use them. What can I offer her if she appears to be in pain?”
Understanding The Possible Underlying Concerns
The first symptoms our furry friends tends to exhibit are difficulty in movement and apparent discomfort. This might be due to a variety of complications common with old age, including joint issues and various forms of arthritis. In dogs, Hip Dysplasia and Arthritis are common ailments that affect the hind legs and hips, whereas cats frequently suffer from Arthritis as well. These conditions can cause discomfort and hinder mobility, making it crucial to comprehend the signs and offer timely care.
Supporting Your Pet Through Pain Management
When our beloved friends display signs of pain, we should not take it upon ourselves to introduce new medications without professional guidance. Over the counter medications used in humans could be harmful to dogs. Instead, consult your local vet and consider a formal pain management plan. These plans are designed to provide relief while enhancing your pet’s overall wellness, possibly including changes in diet, moderate exercise, and appropriate medication.
Role of Supplements in Enhancing Your Pet’s Mobility
While medication is a key component of managing your pet’s discomfort, including the right supplements in their diet can also be quite beneficial. For instance, your Lab is already taking a Glucosamine supplement, which is great as it aids joint health. There are additional Joint Supplements available that might benefit your dog as well. It’s important to remember that although supplements can be beneficial, they should be used alongside a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. It’s always a good idea to consult with your vet before introducing any new elements into your pet’s routine, to ensure their overall health and wellbeing.
Our pets depend on us for their comfort and wellbeing, especially when they are discomforted or in pain. While we should always reach out to veterinary professionals for advice, understanding the possible causes and treatments of their discomfort can help us provide our pets with the best care possible. Recognizing these common issues with elderly pets, such as joint conditions or arthritis, can ensure we provide the right care when they need it most. Maturing with grace is as important for our furry companions as it is for us. We must always strive to provide them with comfortable and healthy golden years.