Autumn Aches and Pains

posted on October 15, 2012 by Dr. Jamie Hartman

As colder weather sets in, our pets may feel it in their joints too.  According to the Arthritis Foundation 1 in 5 dogs in the United States is estimated to have arthritis.

So what is arthritis?  Arthritis is a chronic, degenerative disease of the joints which occurs when the cartilage of the joint is damaged by trauma or injury, wear and tear, or congenital abnormalities such as hip dysplasia.

Signs that your pet may be suffering from arthritis include:

  • Reluctance to take walks of usual length
  • Decreased interest in play
  • Stiffness, which may disappear as pet “warms up”
  • Difficulty climbing stairs, getting into the vehicle, or jumping on the bed or other furniture
  • Difficulty rising from rest
  • Limping or abnormal gait or posture
  • Licking a single joint
  • Acting withdrawn and spending less time with the family
  • Soreness to touch, which can in some instances lead to aggression
  • Decreased range of motion
  • “Slowing down”

If your pet is exhibiting any of the above signs, they may be suffering from arthritis.  While there is not a cure for arthritis, there are many treatment options aimed at preventing the disease from progressing and minimizing the impact of the changes that have already occurred.  In other words, we want to help keep your pet comfortable and acting like their younger self!

Treatment options may include things such as:

  • Weight reduction
  • Controlled exercise
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements
  • Omega fatty acids
  • Physical therapy
  • Veterinary therapeutic diets
  • Prescription anti-inflammatory and pain medications
  • Joint injections
  • Acupuncture and massage therapy
  • Surgical options

Your pet does not have to live with the pain of arthritis, so give us a call today!

Posted in: Uncategorized

Buyer Beware

posted on October 02, 2012 by Dr. Jamie Hartman

Online pharmacies are cropping up all over the place, and the FDA is warning consumers that it’s buyer beware.

According to the recent report in the Huffington Post, buyers are “likely to get fake drugs that are contaminated, are past their expiration date or contain no active ingredient, the wrong amount of active ingredient or even toxic substances such as arsenic and rat poison.”   The report went on to say that only 3% of online pharmacies actually follow state and federal laws.

The concern is safety.  Wrong ingredients could interact with other medications, cause reactions, or in the case of toxic ingredients, can kill.  Inactive ingredients, expired ingredients, or wrong doseage amounts can cause overdoses which can be fatal, or may cause your pet to be deemed “resistent” to a medication, causing the veterinarian to pick a more potent medication that may have more side effects or may be more expensive.

Heritage Animal Hospital maintains a well stocked in house pharmacy that contains the medications we use and recommend.  A licensed doctor reviews the medical chart for other medications or possible interactions, and calculates a dose based on a physical examination and laboratory testing.  We know your pet, and we want to help keep them healthy.  So while you may be able to find the medication cheaper elsewhere, please consider the FDA’s warning and decide what your pet’s health is worth to you.

Posted in: Pharmacy