Q & A with a Holistic Vet
By: Margaret Meier Jones, DVM, CVSMT
As our pet’s age, there can be changes that we notice in their behavior and personalities. Often, we dismiss these changes as the result of “old-age”, but that is not always the case. Here are some very frequent questions we address that actually may indicate that your pet has a medical issue that could be treated with the help of your veterinarian.
Why does my 12 year old cat yowl more? Especially at night?
Vocalization of the older cat can be an indicator of metabolic disorders such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, or arthritis. And, of these issues, I would say hyperthyroidism is the most common cause for vocalization, especially at night. Our thyroid glands help us with our metabolism, very similar to how the thermostat helps the furnace work in your home. With an over active thyroid gland, your cat can find it difficult to relax; and because cas are nocturnal animals, this can be seen especially at night. Your veterinarian will perform a blood test to determine if an overactive thyroid gland is to blame and discuss treatment options with you that best suit you and your cat.
My older dog is finding it very difficult to climb uthe stairs, even seeming to need a “running start” when he used to bound up the stairs. Can you tell me what might be the problem?
Difficulty climbing stairs and jumping can be indicationsof arthritis, especially in the hips and elbows. Arthritis is something that affects dogs and cats, but you may findit more difficult to see in your cat as both sides are oftenaffected equally in cats. As your pet ages, you may see a gradual slow down in their activity level and this is very often just attributed to age. However, there are numerous treatment options available today for arthritis, and many of these are non-invasive and very effective. If you are noticing your pet is a bit slower in it’s daily routine and having difficulty with stairs, please dont hesitate to contact your veterinarian for the best way to help your pet deal with it’s arthritis. They will often recommend anti-inflammatories,diets high in essential fatty acids, and supplements to improve cartilage health and increase joint fluid. As well as veterinary spinal manipulative therapy and/or veterinary acupuncture.
Is Acupuncture a good treatment option for arthritis?
Acupuncture may be a very viable treatment option for arthritis or other issues your pet is experiencing that are not responding to traditional veterinary treatment methods. As with people, acupuncture must be administered to your pet by a certified veterinary acupuncturist. It is always best to give your veterinary team a call if you have any questions or concerns regarding changes in your pets behavior and/or activity. There are numerous treatment options that are available to you and your pet at very affordable prices.
Dr. Margaret was certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association in 2007 and the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association in 2012.