Monthly Archives: November 2014

Maintaining a Senior Pet

Hi, my name is Sophie.  My Mom and Dad call me The Bear Cub, but Sophie will do just fine.  I’m gonna be 13 years old soon, and I have to say that my parents have done a great job keeping me feeling young and spunky.  I get to see my good pal Dr. Cook at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD at least twice a year for wellness exams, sometimes more if my joints are bothering me, and he monitors my liver values with annual blood work.  

My Mom feeds me Hill’s J/D which is formulated to nourish my cartilage and provide an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acid.  I get glucosamine supplements called Dasuquin every day and an injectable glucosamine supplement twice a month called Adequan.  Those sure have made a positive difference in my mobility over the years!  Mommy also gives me this yummy tablet every morning called Denamarin which has significantly regulated my elevated liver enzymes.  
I’m no stranger to having my teeth cleaned – I get to spend a whole day every year with one of the lovely technicians at KAH having my teeth scaled and polished to prevent periodontal disease. In between my cleanings, my Daddy likes to give me CET Chews and Greenies.  He says they keep my mouth healthy and make my breath smell super!
Written by Megan Stone (as told to her by Sophie)

Osteoarthritis Management-What is available for my senior pet?

Osteoarthritis is defined as degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone, most common from middle age onward. It causes pain and stiffness, especially in the hip and knee joints. Osteoarthritis hurts!  I know because I have it.  Some days the pain is tolerable.  Other days it is not.  I have the ability to say that I am not feeling well.  Our pets are not able to tell us when they are experiencing pain.

As pets age, wear and tear on the joints cause inflammation and arthritis.  Your pet may walk slower.  You may notice that they seem stiff when getting up from a laying down position or may groan with the effort.  They may not jump up on the bed or into the car as easily as they used to. They may seem lethargic on rainy days.  You may notice some limping on occasion.  Although these are signs of getting older, they are not normal and there are treatments available.

The veterinarians at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital are well versed in pain management.  They can make recommendations based on your pet and it’s lifestyle.  There are many options available for osteoarthritis management.  Here are a few:

Hill’s Prescription J/D diet is formulated for joint health.  The ratio of fatty acids in the diet help to reduce inflammation.  It also includes glucosamine and chondroitin which are nutraceuticals that are found in normal cartilage and tendons.  The addition of these agents helps to relieve joint pain and restore cartilage.

Dausaquin is a once daily glucosamine/chondroitin supplement.  It comes in a flavored, chewable tablet for dogs.  It comes in a capsule form for cats that can be opened and sprinkled on the food.

Welactin is a high-potency natural salmon oil supplement. Welactin can be mixed with food, and is a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids which have beneficial effects on the joints, skin, heart, kidneys and immune system.

Adequan (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) is a prescription,  polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG) that helps prevent the cartilage in your dog’s joint from wearing away. It helps keep the cartilage healthy and intact, so that the bone in the joint cannot touch other bones.

NSAID’s or Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are prescription medications that are used to treat inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.

If your pet is showing signs of osteoarthritis, call our office in Frederick, MD at 301-631-6900 for an appointment.  We will be glad to help you keep your pet healthy and comfortable into it’s senior years.

By: Ranee Baker RVT

Why are physical exams recommended biannually for pets 8 years and older?

We all know that our pets don’t live as long as we’d like them to. Just like people, their bodies’ age and regular check-ups and health screenings become a recommendation. For humans, our senior years start between 56 and 60 years of age. Our pets, however, reach senior status at 6-8 years of age, depending on species and breed. At this point, they are between 50 and 57 years old in human years, and your veterinarian will start recommending semi-annual examinations every 6 months.

Older pets can develop the same health problems as older people, including joint or bone disease, senility, kidney disease, and diabetes. Unfortunately, our pets cannot tell us if anything hurts; many early signs of disease are very subtle and may not be something you, as a pet owner, notice. Increasing your pet’s examinations to a semi-annual basis helps you and your veterinarian detect signs of illness and other problems sooner, so we can diagnose earlier and begin treatment.

Even though our pets don’t live forever, semi-annual examinations with your veterinarian at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital may help to not only prolong their life, but also maximize their health and well-being so that the time you get to spend with your beloved animal is as wonderful and pain-free as possible.