Caring for a senior pet with arthritis

It is heart-breaking to watch an older dog become debilitated by disease. Animals, whether human or canine may suffer arthritis, a degenerative bone disease and slowly their mobility declines. Some develop it as a result of injuries, but some diseases are passed in the genes. Though mutts may be much less susceptible to cancers or arthritis than purebreds, Comet may have been prone to arthritis due to having the leg bones of a greyhound and the larger body of a Shepherd. And we assume that he might have been a few years older when we adopted him, so old age may be catching up with him.

The pain reliever gabapentin has been his daily relief for the last few months. Comet’s eagerness to be involved with us has not let up though he is snoozing more. For the last several weeks, he still wants to accompany Dexter for a little walk, but we take him out for a little walk either in the morning or the evening. We give him probiotics and glucosamine, though the old boy’s appetite is declining. Comet monitors me as I write this to be assured that we aren’t giving up on him. Looking after him, as long as he has heart to live, we will continue to be “his people”.

I’ve got plenty of arthritis. But if you keep moving, it won’t bother you that much. That’s why old guys stiffen up. They forget they have to get out of their chairs and do something. You let the moss grow over, it’s your own fault.

Dick Van Dyke

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