Question: My ten year old dog seemed sore after a walk and is now limping on the left hind leg. I gave him an aspirin the last two days, is this something I can continue for his arthritis?
Answer: It has been thought, over the years, that dogs can tolerate and should be given aspirin for pain. In recent years it has been shown that even one microscopic dose of aspirin can cause ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. Once in their system, aspirin is slowly excreted causing it to linger for almost seven days. Aspirin cannot be combined with many other pain medications that we tend to prescribe. For arthritis in pets, I strongly recommend scheduling a consultation appointment where we assess the source of pain and get the pet started on safer medications. These medications may often be used in conjunction with other joint supplements so we can provide maximum comfort levels while minimizing the risks of long term effects to overall health. In addition to these items, ice and rest do wonders to alleviate some mild cases of discomfort.
If you think that your pet is experiencing discomfort from arthritis or another reason, please give your vet a call to discuss options prior to administering anything from home.
Question: My dog “Abby” has started having accidents in the middle of the night. It seems to happen more often after we have been gone for an extended period of time. Do you think she is mad at us or could it be something else?
Answer: Any time there is a change in pattern of urination, it may be cause for concern. If “Abby” was once able to hold her urine overnight and is now having accidents during the night, I would be concerned about the potential for a urinary tract infection or a bladder stone. I would strongly recommend having her seen for a urinalysis and radiographs (x-rays) to rule out stones. It has been often thought that pets inappropriately urinate out of spite- this is often not the case. They may be urinating behaviorally however for a different reason such as marking and communication. Again, the only way to differentiate the two causes is a thorough case history and physical exam with urinalysis. Once we have a diagnosis of either medical or behavioral we can further discuss ways to clean the environment and potentially stop the unwanted behavior. The sooner a problem of inappropriate urination is addressed, the easier it typically is to correct the problem.
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