It happened again yesterday.
Someone asked me what I do for a living and I described my dog massage practice and how many of my clients are older dogs with varying degrees of arthritis and other orthopedic problems.
And then he said it. “My friend has an old dog, he’s almost 10, and we’re pretty sure he’s got arthritis. But then again, it’s just old age.“
I tried to explain that there are many things we can do for dogs with arthritis which keeps them pain free and happy. And because their pain is managed, they live longer.
The message still wasn’t getting through…and then he described his friend’s dog:
- he’s getting more aggressive; he even bit my friend one night when he went to feed him
- he doesn’t run around much any more
- he doesn’t come to greet me when I visit; he used to
I did my best to say that his friend needed to get his dog to a vet for an examination and that I would be too happy to see him for an assessment. Behavior changes often occur when a dog is in pain. And, just because the dog is older doesn’t mean the issue is arthritis. We would need a working diagnosis from a qualified veterinarian.
He took my card; I hope his friend calls. I can’t stand the thought of another dog who is in pain and doesn’t have to be.
It’s not about old age; it’s about the right care.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand
So true! Thank you for this reminder! Dogs are smart; just because they can’t talk, they certainly know how to communicate, and sadly, it just sounds like this dog’s owners are missing some vitals signs.