As pets age their joints wear out, they don't digest food as well as they used to, they don't see or hear as well, and they don't heal quickly. Their metabolism changes. They tend to have gum and dental disease. They have digestive issues. And on and on.
On this page I highlight some of the many products we have to make older pets feel better, live longer, more mobile, and happier.
FoxNest Brand Joint Support Chews:
Joint support Chews contain all 3 important neutroceuticals that help with joint disease: Perna canaliculus, Glucosamine, and Omega Fatty Acids
Most vets sell these supplements separately.
Our product works better. Costs less.
Keeping it simple: There are about 10 things we can do for pets suffering from the pain and immobility associated with arthritis. In the early stages of the disease we usually recommend the gentler medications at the top of the list. As the disease progresses...we add on the more potent pain medications.
1. High quality, high quanity glucosamine has proven to slow the rate of cartiledge destruction and improve joint lubrication. Clinically you can often see the improvement in mobility.
2. Perna canaliculus (green lipped mussel) is very similar to glucosamine and is thought to improve joint lubrication. Very popular with veterinarians in Australia and New Zealand.
3. Omega Fatty Acids make anything with connective tissue more flexible. This is why we recommend this supplement for vascular disease (blood vessels are made from connective tissue), and skin problems as well as joint disease.
Our FoxNest Joint Support Chews have all the above ingredients at therapeutic levels.
4. Duralactin. This unusual product contains dairy enzymes that apparently have excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Very safe and at least half the pet owners that try Duralactin notice an obvious improvement in their pets within a week. Click here to go to the company web site. Not many vets know about this product
5. NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin, tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and Motrin. NOT recommended in dogs due to fairly frequent problems with gi ulcerations and sometimes liver problems...especially if used day after day. Especially dangerous in cats who don't metabolize these drugs well.
6. Cox 2 Inhibiting NSAIDs. This fairly new class of pain medications are less likely to cause side effects and yet are much more potent at reducing pain. They are truely amazing pain drugs and there are at least 4 brands available for dogs. Very expensive. And like all potent medications, possible side effects despite my comment above. The brand we use most is Rimadyl.
7. Tramadol is a commonly available (prescription only) morphine like medication that's often helpful in advanced cases of arthritis. A little inconvenient as it only lasts for a few hours at a time.
8. Steroids: Very effective for inflammation of all types but highly likely to cause undesirable side effects and higher and higher doses are needed as time goes on. May actually speed up the process of joint degeneration
9. Adequan Injections. Very helpful. But because of the expense and nuisance (injections every 1-4 weeks) we usually use this treatment when everything else is no longer enough for a high quality, pain free life.
Also: Believe it or not, stem cell therapy is now available for arthritis and some other problems. Apparently it's working really well. We don't offer this therapy at our clinic but it's available in Townville, SC at Happistance Veterinary Hospital. At present it costs several thousand dollars.
For Older Cats :
Arthritis in cats is not nearly as obvious as it is in dogs, but if you're observant you will notice older cats being much less active and reluctant to jump up on couches and so forth like they used too. Unfortunately, cats don't metabolize pain medications very well so we have a more limited choice when treating cats. But we do have tuna flavored glucosamine for cats. And Duralactin is great for cats.
Duralactin for Cats and Dogs:
Duralactin contains MicroLactin®, a patented dried milk protein from the milk of hyperimmunized cows. MicroLactin® contains factors that appear to block cytokines to inhibit neutrophil participation in the inflammatory response. This reduces inflammation and makes dogs and cats feel good. I recommend it for pets with arthritis, chronic illness, cancer, ear infections, bladder infections, and after surgery or trauma. I also use this product mixed with lysine for young cats with colds. This new medication is super safe, flavored, inexpensive, and very effective in a lot of pets. I love it. Safe and appropriate to use in combination with Dasuquin and/or Rimadyl if needed. The Cat version of Duralactin ... which we also recommend for small breed dogs ... has added omega fatty acids.
For both cats and dogs, using Duralactin in combination with either other arthritis products is both safe and appropriate and the results are often awesome.
Rimadyl Chewable Tablets For Dogs with Arthritic Pain: There are about 5 brands of cox-1 inhibitor medications available that are far superior in pain relief and safety for long term use than aspirin, Advil, ibuprofen, and Alieve. (note; none of these products including Rimadyl are safe for long term use in cats). Rimadyl (approved for people in Europe) seems to be the very best pain medication there is safe enough for everyday use in most dogs. Like all potent medications, Rimadyl has some potential negative side effects, the most common being GI irritation and elevated liver enzymes so we recommend a $10 liver screening test before starting long term Rimadyl therapy.
Why go to trouble? Because if your dog has obvious pain and stiffness due to joint disease you won't believe the difference Rimadyl makes in most dogs. It's important to keep arthritic patients active and moving or the condition only gets worse. Rimadyl lets arthritic patients get up and move without pain and it really helps.
Adequan & B-12 Injections for Dogs: For really old dogs that are stiff, sore, arthritic, and just not feeling well, it's amazing how much better they feel and get around after giving an injection of Adequan and B-12. This is not normal, approved, veterinary medicine. Adequan & B-12 is used by equine race track vets to help horses with joint inflammation run better and it's a trick I learned while working as a young vet doing horse work. These injections are fairly expensive at $20-30 a pop depending on the size of your dog and need to be repeated every 1-4 weeks. We often do this just once or twice to get old patients feeling better when they're down.
B-12 Vitamin Injections for old Cats or Dogs: Inexpensive
B-12 injections make a lot of old cats and dogs feel good for 3-4 weeks at a time. B-12 is made naturally by the liver in young and healthy mammals and plays a role in stimulating metabolism and perking you up after waking. But B-12 levels fall when mammals become ill, old, or if they aren't eating well. We routinely give B-12 injections to sick patients in our hospital. If you have a pet older than 12 years old, the next time you bring in your pet for a routine wellness exam, ask us about giving a $5 injection of B-12 to see if your pet doesn't act perkier and better for the next few weeks. It's harmless, inexpensive, and for reasons no one really understands, seems to work much better than the same medication given orally.
Omega Fatty Acids for Cats or Dogs:
A good many of the special diets and supplements designed for older pets or for treating diseases already contain added Omega Fatty Acids. That's because they play an important role in the helth, healing and flexibility of blood vessels, skin, and the mucosal layers or surfaces of the bladder and urethra. Omega fatty acids of the right type and ratio are important to the health and repair of the brain, the eyes, the kidney, and heart.
In addition to the special diets and supplements like Feline Duralactin that already contain therapeutic levels of high quality Omega Fatty Acids, we also offer several choices of Omega Fatty Acid supplements containing different combinations of cold water fish oils, sunflower oil, olive oils, and other oils known to contain healthy ratios of poly-unsaturated Omega 3, Omega 6, and Omega 9 fatty acids.
We offer several choices of Omega Fatty Acid Products. Most of them are marketed for shedding, skin allergies, and other skin problems but they are also excellent for improving internal health in middle aged and older pets.
Virbac OmegaDerm for Cats or Dogs: Packaged in premeasured daily doses of oils you squirt on your pet's food every day. Our highest quality, most successful Omega Fatty Acid product for shedding, skin disease, or skin allergies.
Vibrac Omegaderm is a potent nutritional supplement providing the best essential fatty acids (EFA) from the omega 6 and omega 3 families. Omegaderm is formulated in an ideal 5:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3. Omega derm helps in the control of various dermatological conditions in dogs particulary in allergies. Ingredients: Sunflower seed oil, cold sea fish oils, and evening primrose oil.
Optima 365 for Cats or Dogs: A less expensive competitor to OmegaDerm with a different ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 claiming to be better for inflammation and shedding. I can't really tell which one works better but some pets prefer the taste of one over the other so we offer both.
Optima 365 has 33% less calories than other brands. Provides the essential 10:1 ratio of omega 6 and 3 fatty acids ideal for skin and coat conditioning. Highly palatable. Contains Antioxidants Vitamins A and E and other essential vitamins and minerals. Fortified with serine and proline for healthy skin and shiny coat.
Ingredients include Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Non-Fat Dry Milk Solids, Olive Pomace Oil, Sunflower Oil, Vitamin E, Evening Primrose Oil, and Borage Oil
Multi-Vitamins: Most diets have more than adequate amounts of vitamins for normal, healthy pets. But for military and working dogs, pets that are nursing, sick pets, and older pets, giving addiitonal vitamins can help a lot and maximize performance and vitality. We have inexpensive, high quality, chewable multi-vitamin tablets for cats and dogs.
Hill's T/D Tarter Control Diet: Hill's Tarter Control is designed to be fed as the pet's main diet. It's a low calorie, high quality diet with a unique kibble containing floss like fibers that clean teeth and gums. Another unique thing about this food is that the fat portion of the diet is sprayed on the surface of the kibble. The upshot of this trick is that pets love the taste of what is otherwise a high fiber, low calorie pet food. This diet is so good tasting, that we also recommend it as a very low cost, low calorie treat for both cats and dogs
C.E.T. Oral Brushless Gel:
Oral rinse formulation for use in cats and dogs to help fight plaque, maintain oral health, and freshen breath fast.
Delivers antibacterial action and superior plaque prevention in a soothing, refreshing solution that quickly covers and rinses the entire mouth.
Unique combined formulation of chlorhexidine gluconate and zinc produces well-known antiseptic activity.
Effective in helping maintain oral health and fighting plaque when used daily with or without brushing. Ideal for cat and dog owners who either can’t or won’t brush their pet’s teeth.
Freshens breath fast with cetylpyridinium chloride.
DigestRite digestive Enzymes and Probiotic: an effective all purpose flavored powder containing enzymes that break down starches, proteins, and fats to aid in digestion for older animals combined with Probiotic "good" bacteria cultures that keep the gut healthy and functioning. Good for cats and dogs. Digest-Rite is a source of live, viable,
microorganisms and digestive enzymes, beneficial amino acids and Yucca.
It helps to re-establish natural digestive balance, contols gas, stool-eating, weight problems and other digestive disorders. Most people who try this come back for more.
Milk thistle’s most important therapeutic efficacies are:
hepatoprotection against a vast array of toxins.
The active ingredients in milk thistle are fragile and easily inactivated. The ground seed seems to be the best source. We get ours from Buck Mountain Botanicals, and I like to recommend this medication to pets that need long term pain meds, long term antibiotics, or steroids.
S Adenosyl liver support tablets: Enteric coated supplement for older pets with liver disease, depression, poor appetite, low energy, and senility. This is "brain food". S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine and L-Cysteine are amino acids crucial of proper brain and liver function. Other ingredients include milk thistle, taurine, vitamin E, Zinc, and B vitamins.
Proin for incontinence: Just to let you know we have a prescription, chewable, inexpensive tablet if your older pet urinates while sleeping, leaks urine, or otherwise have trouble controlling it's bladder.
Elimiodor Spray: Older pets often have body odor. This enzyme spray breaks down the sulfur chemical bond that gives "doggy" and other pet odors such a strong smell. This spray can be used directly on pets and also on furniture, bedding and so forth. It works.
On This Page:
A short description of the products we have for helping older pets live a longer, happier, more comortable life.
On Other Pages about this Topic:
As pets age their metabolism changes, their activity level tends to change, their immune system changes, and the wear and tear of a long life starts to noticably affect the heart, the kidneys, the joints, the muscles, the brain, the eyes, the gums, and well, pretty much everything.
As loving owners we can anticipate these changes and take certain health measures in order to keep our aging pets as comfortable, happy, and healthy as possible. For as long as possible.
These preventive health measures include:
1. Twice yearly wellness exams designed to detect and discuss problems early enough to make a positive difference.
It's important to see our patients often enough to have a good "feel" for them and to monitor problems. And remember that pets age about 7 times faster than humans making fairly frequent check ups even more important. Click here to go to our pages about wellness and preventive medicine
2. Senior Screening tests for detecting early stage kidney disease. We recommend this test for both cats and dogs every few years starting at about 7 years old. Kidney disease is the number one major disease of older pets.
3. Chest, spine, abdominal, and pelvis radiographs to look for heart disease, lung disease, arthritis, spinal diseases, stones, and cancer. We recommend screening radiographs for both cats and dogs for any pets over 10 years old.
Radiographs are $85 for multiple views. A little more if light anesthesia or barium is needed
4. Blood panels that detect kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, anemia, adrenal gland diseases, infection, pancreatic diseases, and some types of cancer. We recommend blood panels for both cats and dogs for any pets over 10-12 years old. The fee for an extensive list of appropriate tests is $85. About 10% of the older pets that seem perfectly healthy on exam and with no owner history of having problems come up positive for serious disorders. If we detect them early, we can often cure or manage these diseases well, preventing misery and early deaths. Click here to go to our pages about lab testing at our hospital
5. Dental Prophylactic Cleaning, polishing, and inspection when needed. If you don't already know how important oral health is to overall health, please click here to go to our pages about dental health. When and how often professional cleaning is needed differs from pet to pet and depends mostly on genetic luck, on age, and whether or not you've made an effort to use any of the oral hygiene pet products that help keep your pet's gums and teeth healthy.
7. Supplements: The health market is over saturated with supplements claiming to help with the problems of aging. The supplement market is also, for the most part, unregulated by the FDA, so there are lots of uneffective, poor quality, and plain bogus products being aggressively sold.
On the other hand, many of the high quality glucosamine formulas available for joint health, anti-oxidants for aging, omega fatty acids for everything, and digestive aids are really helpful. And the better products for oral health make a critical difference to the health and well being of your pet.
It's confusing to everybody, doctors included. Because the supplement market is so flooded with both useless products on the one hand and great products on the other, we are very careful to recommend only those supplements we truely believe are superior and useful to your pet.
That's what this page is all about.
Epakitin Flavored Phosphate Binder for Dogs & Cats:
Phosphorous levels rise with kidney disease which initiates a destructive cycle further reducing kidney functions. All prescription renal diets have reduced phosphates to help prevent this problem. But, by adding medications that further reduce serum phosphorus has been shown to inprove quality and quanity of life in kidney patients. Phosphate binders are available in tablets but they are notoriously bad tasting.
But luckily, new on the market is Epakitin which has helped a lot of my patients and has the advantage of tasting good... an important plus especially for cats.
Phosphate binders are especially important for pets that refuse low phosphate renal diets.
Vetasyl Flavored Fiber Capsules: Flavored fiber capsules to aid in regular bowel movements, improved digestion, and less gas. Good for either older cats or dogs.
FoxNest Hair Ball Treats: Intestinal lubricant for any age cat with slow bowel motility due to ingested hair or old age. What makes our brand special is the taste; most cats go nuts over these treats.
FortiFlora Probiotics made by Purina: Flavored cultures of "good" bacteria help keep the gut healthy and functioning well. Designed for pets that get frequent diarrhea associated with stress, antibiotic therapy, or are being treated with medications like Rimadyl that sometimes irritate the bowel. Available in either feline or canine flavors that you add to the diet.