“I have an older dog who’s really having a hard time walking. What do you suggest, or should I be thinking it’s soon time to say goodbye?”
ASK DR STACEY OF SUNRISE VET CLINIC IN COMOX
I understand how heart wrenching this can feel. Our senior pets have been with us a long time and they are our friends and family… they are our heroes!
I think if your pet is still having fun, wanting to be with you, and they can get around with some ease, then it’s not time to say goodbye yet. If they are in trouble past this, we must ask ourselves if it is possible to bring some quality back to their lives. To me, this means less arthritis pain and feeling well more than they feel nauseous or sick.
The question of arthritis in older pets is not “does my pet have it” it’s “how much does she feel it?” Remember we humans are the ones who have to see the signs. They won’t tell us. And we can miss this for months. A simple 1 week trial treating pain can reveal any pain they have been in.
Hand in hand with arthritis, is making sure other diseases easily treated are not making the pain look worse. A good history and exam for me tells a lot about where to go - always keeping in mind quality of life over simply extending life that’s not being enjoyed.
I think keeping treatment as simple as possible is important. This may mean fewer medications which is easier for us to give (a must with busy lives). Also, finding ways to make medicines a daily treat and not a struggle is important for your relationship with your aging pet.
If you’ve been thinking “something’s up but there’s nothing that can be done” this is probably not the case.
There likely is something that can be done to improve quality of life.
These questions are best answered in the exam room face to face.
Find out what you can do for your senior pet.
GET 20% OFF YOUR SENIOR PET EXAM AT OUR CLINIC IN NOVEMBER (for pets 10 years+)
We’re here to help.
All the best,