“Before starting Librela, Dizzy wasn’t using all four legs to go up and down the stairs,” says Firehouse 183 Client Service Coordinator Lisa Berletch of her 8-year-old Sheltie. “She was also hesitant to jump and run at full speed.”
Dizzy started Librela injections, a new dog arthritis medication, earlier this fall. “Now, Dizzy is using all four legs on the stairs and is returning to her old running and jumping self,” says Lisa.
“She isn’t as stiff-legged as she used to be and hardly ever needs the Rimadyl that was prescribed to her for pain management. This makes life so much easier and better for her, as she absolutely dislikes taking pills. We don’t have to worry about it with the monthly injections, which she doesn’t mind at all.”
Have you noticed that your pet struggles to get up, lie down, or play in the colder months? Frigid temps can make their joints achy.
That’s right – winter weather can affect a cat or dog’s joints just like it can affect us.
Here are three tips to soothe your pet’s stiffness during cold spells.
#1: Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to talk about new pain medications
Senior pets can’t simply pop a Tylenol when they’re feeling the aches and pains of osteoarthritis. In fact, certain human medications can be toxic to your pets. This is why it’s important to consult your veterinarian before giving your pet any medications.
We’re thrilled to introduce two new pet-specific medications that have the potential to alleviate the discomfort in your cat or dog’s arthritic joints.
For dogs: Librela is a new medication for dogs with arthritis. It’s a once-a-month injectable medication. Most owners see results after the second dose. If your dog stays on Librela for the long term, they should feel an ease in joint pain.
For cats: There’s also a new medication for cats called Solensia. Like it’s dog-equivalent, it’s a once-a-month injectable medication. Most owners also see results after the second dose.
14-year-old Tori can jump again.
We’ve found that Librela and Solensia are better than everything else on the market.
Let’s talk about your pet. We can create a pain-management plan using medications, joint supplements, prescription diets, fatty acids, laser therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care to get your cat or dog back on their feet.
#2: Provide firm bedding near heat sources
Although soft fluffy beds look appealing, they provide little support for arthritic joints. As your pet lies on their soft bed, they compress the layers of fluffy padding, essentially leaving them lying on the floor.
Instead, give your older pet a firm, orthopedic bed that provides additional support and cushion. If possible, place multiple beds in varying distances from heat sources, such as vents and space heaters, to let your pet choose how much warmth they desire.
Note: We do not recommend using a heating pad for pets. It’s especially unsafe for cats, who can get thermal burns.
#3: Keep walkways free from ice and snow
Young pets whiz by senior dogs when venturing outdoors in icy conditions, unafraid of slipping and falling. However, your older pooch will need help with balance and preventing sprains. Use pet-safe salt on paths where they walk.
Bathroom breaks can be tough in the winter for pets of all ages. It’s especially hard for arthritic pets: posturing to urinate and defecate can be painful. Clear an outdoor area where your dog has room to safely eliminate without slipping on ice or snow.
Meteorologists are predicting another cold winter for Central Texas. Here are general cold weather tips for your pets.
Has the winter chill left your pet feeling bad? Schedule an appointment with us to help soothe their painful joints.