Old dogs new tricks
Does your best friend struggle to get out of bed these days?
I spend considerable amounts of time in the consulting room discussing strategies for older pets who are slowing down. Having reached an age myself where my joints can get quite achy, I feel especially qualified to empathise.
But it has become a frustration that I have so much potential information and ideas to offer, which cannot all be explored in a 15 minute consultation, often at the same time as a vaccination or discussion of other issues.
So my team and I decided there had to be a better way.
This month, after a long period of special training, we are launching our nurse-led mobility clinics.
These involve the vet referring a pet who is slowing down to one of our specially trained Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs). The appointments are free of charge, and last thirty minutes. The RVNs will make the time to discuss my pyramid of care, laying the foundations by establishing a perfect weight, and helping you and your best friend to get them there.
They will then go on to support with ideas about how to adjust their regular exercise program, home comforts and grooming routines to best relieve stiffening joints. They will demonstrate home massage and physiotherapy that you can do yourself for your pet, and discuss whether acupuncture, hydrotherapy etc might be worth investigating.
I have written a little book, which is free of charge for our dog owners on this topic, giving examples from my own experience.
It’s amazing how all these things can make a great deal of difference before ever we reach to the Pharmacy. We will also recommend suitable nutraceuticals: food products that can support joint health. In the short term, we often use pain-killers and anti-inflammatories whilst the benefits of these changes kick in, but it has been remarkable how many have gone from Metacam to pets that can in our trials over the past year.
If you would like to discuss a cat who is less playful, or a dog who is lagging behind, call my friendly team on 01444 456886 to make an appointment for our nurse led mobility clinics.