Burr Ridge Veterinary Clinic
A graying muzzle, increasing cloudiness in the eyes, and a slower gait are some of the more obvious physical changes you might see in your senior pet. Exactly when these changes occur varies from pet to pet but, in general, pets are classified as seniors after the age of seven years. Senior pets are more likely than younger pets to be overweight due to reduced daily energy needs and decreased activity. If your senior pet is in good health but overweight, overfeeding is most likely the problem. BRVC’s complimentary Curviest Critters weight management program can help you reduce an aging pet’s weight to a healthy level.
We can recommend the best treatment option for your pet’s condition such as a diet change or weight loss exercise program, medications for long-term pain relief, or surgery to correct abnormalities such as hip dysplasia. Feeding your pet a high-quality, premium senior food will enhance your pet’s health and may offset some digestive, and other health problems. Just imagine what your breath and teeth would be like if you never brushed or had a dental cleaning! Regular veterinary dental cleanings, at-home dental care, and dental chew toys help prevent plaque buildup and bad breath and are important to the overall health of your senior pet’s mouth, heart, kidneys, and liver. Many older pets develop thinner, graying coats, and dry skin; however, red, itchy skin or a balding coat could signal diseases such as diabetes, thyroid disease, or Cushing’s Disease.
Older pets with thinner coats and less muscle mass are more susceptible to extreme temperatures, so be sure to provide warm bedding during colder months and a cool resting place during months with high temperatures. The decisions you make regarding preventative care, nutrition, and exercise have a major impact on your pet’s health. If your pet experiences any of the health issues described above, please call to make an appointment with the Burr Ridge Veterinary Clinic team.
Pet Dental Care
Dental health is a very important part of your pet’s overall health, and dental problems can cause, or be caused by, other health problems. Veterinary dentistry includes the cleaning, adjustment, filing, extraction, or repair of your pets’ teeth and all other aspects of oral health care. Some pets become irritable when they have dental problems, and any changes in your pet’s behavior should prompt a visit to your veterinarian. Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats – by the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely have some early evidence of periodontal disease, which will worsen as your pet grows older if effective preventive measures aren’t taken. Your pet does not understand the benefit of dental procedures, and he or she reacts by moving, trying to escape, or even biting.
Anesthesia makes it possible to perform the dental procedures with less stress and pain for your pet. Anesthesia allows for a better cleaning because your pet is not moving around and risking injury from the dental equipment. If radiographs are needed, your pet needs to be very still in order to get good images, and this is unlikely without heavy sedation or anesthesia. Prevention of the most common oral disease in pets consists of frequent removal of the dental plaque and tartar that forms on teeth that are not kept clean. Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most effective thing you can do to keep their teeth healthy between dental cleanings, and may reduce the frequency or even eliminate the need for periodic dental cleaning by your veterinarian.
There are many pet products marketed with claims that they improve dental health, but not all of them are effective. Talk with your veterinarian about any dental products, treats, or dental-specific diets you’re considering for your pet, or ask your veterinarian for their recommendation.
Pets And Pain Management
Pet therapy involves the use of interaction with trained animals to help a person recover from or cope with health issues by improving the individual’s physical, emotional and social well-being, thus enhancing self-esteem, providing comfort, helping with anxiety issues, and facilitating healing. The first programs to certify animals for therapy was finally introduced in the late 1980s. Any animal may be used for the purpose of pet assisted therapy, from cats, guinea pigs and rabbits, to horses and dogs, and even dolphins. In 2012, a study was carried out in a pain management clinic to investigate the effects of pets on patients with chronic pain. Another study to consider is the one that investigated the effect of short visits with therapy dogs on acute pain.
Those patients who participated in daily visits with the therapy dogs required less pain medication than patients who did not receive the therapy. Therapy dogs may be trained for a variety of jobs, but unlike their service dog counterparts, therapy dogs are encouraged to interact with humans, be sociable and engaging while they’re on-duty. Because pet therapy builds on the pre-existing human-animal bond, interacting with a gentle, friendly dog can have significant benefits. Pet therapy can also significantly reduce anxiety, pain, fatigue and depression in people who experience a range of health issues. Many children, teens and adults enjoy working with animals, thus pet therapy can be an effective method of treating individuals who are resistant to medication, or those who have difficulty accessing their emotions or expressing themselves in talk therapy.
People who are allergic to animal dander may have reactions during pet therapy. Consider pet therapy today as you work to manage and recover from your pain.