Human beings are able to decide for themselves when they need painkillers, dogs can’t and cats won’t. bopvets.co.nz/22091208
Dogs and cats rely on us noticing their pain, if we are going to help it, writes Dr Michael Baer, Te Are Manu Vet Clinic medical director.
It was painful
just watching him walk. He swayed, braced for what was coming, planted his
foot, put some weight on it, and swung the other leg forward as quickly as
possible. Then a normal step, then the same rigmarole. Painkillers twice a day,
sometimes more, helped him get through the day and sleep through the night. Luckily
for my dad, he had a knee replacement operation.
Dogs and cats have
the same problems as my dad. As youngsters they run, jump and have themselves a
great time. But joints degrade. A new joint has less friction than an ice cube
floating over a frozen pond. Special cartilage and syrupy joint fluid make movement
smooth and seamless. Then life happens, an average dog takes more than one
million steps in its lifetime. That is a bit of wear and tear. Like metal
fatigue, strength erodes, and joint cartilage does too. The special cartilage is replaced with scar tissue
after injuries. Instead of being frictionless, the joint feels like you are
rubbing two cheese graters over each other – grrrgrrrgrrr as you walk along.
My dad was able to
decide for himself when he needed painkillers, dogs can’t and cats won’t. And
because the change is gradual, it is hard to see. From not noticeable to not
noticed is a short step. My dad had a knee replacement because arthritis cannot
be cured. We can’t offer that to our pets, so painkillers, food supplements and
special diets are what we have.
they kill pain, and they help slow down the changes that make arthritis get
worse and worse. But they don’t reverse it and are not a cure. But for pets
they are an important part of managing arthritis. There are daily tablets or
liquid for dogs and cats, and for dogs there is a monthly treatment. Our pets
often seem happier, and younger, when they aren’t sore all the time.
and diets usually contain omega 3 fatty acids, chondroitin, and glucosamine.
The ingredients are usually from green lipped mussels, plant oils and deer
velvet. They help prevent further damage and aid in repair, but once again they
are not a cure. If there was a cure, my dad would not have had a knee
Dogs and cats rely
on us noticing their pain, if we are going to help it. Grumpy? Pain? Slow to
get off the ground? Pain? Won’t jump? Pain? Doesn’t like stairs? Pain? Walking
on three legs? Pain. Dragging back legs? Pain! Can’t stand? Agony!
Keep an eye on
your pets and if you think they might have arthritis give Te Are Manu a call. And
don’t forget we are at the Avatiu Rugby Club on Thursday for our desexing