Lessons from an Old Dog

About a year ago, my husband and I adopted an old basset mix with a few classic ailments and a larger than life personality. Roxy has been an absolute gift to our household; she makes us laugh every day and she has taught me some very valuable lessons.

Arthritis is debilitating. Roxy has some of the most severe arthritis I have ever seen in a dog, and controlling her pain has been a rewarding process, but even small amounts of joint pain can really slow a senior pet down. Before Roxy’s arthritis regiment was in place, moving was a struggle, she was dull, uninvolved and grouchy with our other younger, more agile, canine companion. As piece by piece of her program (a joint & weight loss diet, salmon oil, joint supplements, and a joint prescription) came into play, Roxy came to life. She began to lope around, steal toys and wrestle with anyone willing. The lesson here; pain, even mild, can drain your pet, and you can lose valuable, wonderful time with them.

Aging is not the end, it’s a new chapter. All of our four-legged companions will age with time. Their hearing will fade, vision will cloud, and basic day to day tasks will get more challenging with time. How well our pets age falls squarely on our shoulders. Roxy has taught me to pay close attention to how my patients are experiencing joint pain, vision and hearing loss. To take note of the little changes, such as fur fading, the sensitivity with their joints and changes in their attitude towards people and other animals.

There are so many options to help our beloved older furry friends age gracefully so we do not miss their wonderful older years.

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