I’m scared to take my dog to the vet as they are old and I don’t know what the vet will say to me, what if they want to put him to sleep?
There are very few instances where euthanasia is the only option and even fewer where it would need to be done there and then, without any time for you to say goodbye. We know that speaking with your vet can be nerve racking but we promise we are here to help and work with you to get the best treatment plan for you and your dog. If you’re worried about forgetting what you wanted to say then why not write it down or take a friend or relative along with you. You can even take a note pad and jot down what the vet tells you as you go along. Trust me, we’ve seen it all before and honestly don’t mind. You could always ask to speak with a veterinary nurse if your not sure that your dog needs to be seen by a vet and they can advise you as to what to do as the next steps
will my pet insurance help cover the cost of my dogs arthritis treatment?
Probably yes, but it will depend on your insurance company and the type of policyyou have with them. Where possible we would advise taking out a Dzlifetimedz policy as any condition your pet develops, including arthritis will be cover for their whole life. Some companies will even pay out complimentary therapies such as hydrotherapy or acupuncture. The best thing to do is call your insurance company and ask them if they will help cover costs and how to make a claim. Most vets, nurses and receptionists deal with insurance companies every week so ask at your practice as they may be able to guide you too.
My dog is slowing down. He's just getting old isn't he?
Slowing down and getting old should not be just accepted as simply that. It is also not just arthritis that causes your dog to slow as he ages.
Slowing down could be related to:
Pain elsewhere such as spinal, or spinal nerves.
Lethargy due heart or lung disease.
Poor coordination and weakness from a neurological disease.
Lack of energy due to hormonal disease or cancer. It is essential to get a diagnosis from your vet, which minimally requires a clinical examination, a neurological and orthopaedic exam, and ideally imaging plus urine and blood testing. If your dog is slowing down, do not just presume he has arthritis, and seek veterinary attention.
What is the best harness for my arthritic dog?
We don't have a number one harness that we recommend at the moment, but here are a few things that we suggest you look for when purchasing one for your dog. Ensure a good fit - many harnesses are ill fitting and actually impede your dog's mobility. The harness should allow free movement but fit snugly without rubbing. Fleece lined harnesses help to avoid this. Consider your dog's arthritic joints. For example a dog with elbow arthritis will find it painful to have their forelimbs lifted up and through a harness when it is put on. Think about one that secures without having to bend the legs. Consider a handle. There are a few harnesses on the market that have a handle on the back. This allows you to support your dog over rough terrain, or take some of their weight as they climb hills or steps for example. Handles get more useful as the disease progresses. We have previously tried and tested some harnesses. See our product blogs for more info.
My dog is young but is less inclined to walk, and limps occasionally. Could this be arthritis?
Yes sadly it could be arthritis, however there are many other conditions it could also be, so it is important that you consult your vet, have a thorough examination and take their advice if they feel further investigation is needed such as x-rays. If it was early onset arthritis it is likely secondary, which means it is developing due to another reason rather than simple wear and tear seen with ageing. This may be a developmental issue where your dog’s joints has not grown to perfectly fit and are unstable. Or due to trauma to the joint structure. Other causes may be your dogs own immune system attacking its joint, or it may be due to an infection within the joint. As you can see there are many possible causes that lead to the osteoarthritis. Thus, it is important to identify the joint/ joints affected, the underlying cause and treat appropriately. This may involve simple lifestyle changes, supplements and regular further check- ups. Or it may lead to the identification of an underlying cause that requires more complex investigation and potentially surgery. Whatever the cause, ignoring the condition could end to an early onset painful poor functioning joint and a significantly less optimal long-term outcome.
What is the best anti inflammatory on the market?
Firstly there is no overall superior anti inflammatory. There are many available in the non steroidal anti inflammatory drug family, but none can be classified as superior, at this stage we can only suggest they all work slightly differently. Secondly, when choosing an anti inflammatory it is imperative that you work with your vet to minimise the risks of potential side effects. Studies have shown that common causes of the side effects are not related to the drug itself but the frequency of administration, the amount administered, co-morbidities that affect the action and disposal of the drug, as well as co-administering contraindicated medications. CAM strongly recommends you discuss with your vet what anti inflammatories are available to you. How to use them safely and effectively, and how to monitor for effect and the early signs of potential side effects.