Vol. 16, No. 23 – Aug 9 – Aug 22, 2023 – The Pet Page

• On Aug. 12 (12-4pm) there will be dog adoption event at Rincon Brewery (4100 Telegraph). Dogs will be at the event brought by their foster parents. The adoption fee is $350 for adult dogs and $450 for puppies. It covers spay/neuter, microchip, deworming, defleaing, all core vaccines, a wellness check and training to help transition. They were rescued off the euthanasia list and are incredible dogs who are extremely well behaved looking for their forever home!

• The Role of Preventive Medicine

As our pets age, we may notice changes such as arthritis or the presence of growths on their bodies. By taking a preventive medicine approach, we may be able to mitigate these things or detect them earlier.

“When I think about what aging gracefully may mean, I think of a dog or cat that is not hindered by obvious pain and mobility problems, significant chronic conditions, or anxiety/stress,” says Dr. Gene Pavlovsky, “whether these are absent or just well-managed.”

Dr. Pavlovsky says, “We know that obesity contributes to conditions such as osteoarthritis and diabetes. By giving your pet proper nutrition and preventing excessive food intake, you can keep your pet at an ideal body weight throughout life.”

Even concerns such as growths on the body can benefit from a preventive approach. “The true value of preventive medicine lies in early detection,” states Dr. Pavlovsky. “If a pet owner presents their pet to the veterinarian at the earliest sign of a problem, the condition may be diagnosed, treated, and cured in many instances.”

Other crucial preventive medicine measures include year-round flea/tick, intestinal parasite, and heartworm prevention, vaccines, veterinary exams, and a proper diet.

What about Joint Supplements?

With so many supplements being marketed to pet parents, it is hard to know which ones are actually beneficial. It is important to note that these supplements are not regulated like prescription medications. There is a significant lack of data about safety and efficacy to guide veterinarians and owners alike.

Dr. Pavlovsky advises, “In general, if an otherwise healthy dog or cat, regardless of the age, is consuming a commercial diet that is balanced and complete and designed for their life stage, no supplementation is needed.”

Omega-3 fatty acids, however, are backed by research and may be helpful in reducing inflammation in pets with osteoarthritis. Still, with any supplement, it is essential to consult your veterinarian about quality and safety.

Just like people, pets need exercise to promote heart health, optimal body weight, muscle tone, and joint mobility. “Hydrotherapy and other physical therapy modalities can be a very helpful part of the treatment plan for pets that suffer from joint pain,” says Dr. Pavlovsky.

He also recommends regular low-level exercise as opposed to infrequent high-intensity exercise. Maintaining a regular exercise regimen for our pets will contribute positively to their overall health.

Many pet owners find that their pets have rather pungent odors to their breath. What they may not realize is that at least 75% of dogs and cats over age 3 have periodontal disease. This condition often leads to problems much bigger than just bad breath.

“Effective dental care for pets should include regular professional dental cleanings done under anesthesia as well as at-home dental care. Tooth brushing done at least every other day is most effective,” says Dr. Pavlovsky.

However, he recognizes that regular tooth brushing of some pets can be quite challenging. “If frequent at-home care is not possible, then certain diets designed for dental health, dental treats/toys, and water additives could be helpful,” he advises. “Pet owners should always consult their veterinarians for options for their pet dental care plan.”

“Owners are best positioned to make decisions regarding their pets’ health and to know what’s best for their pet,” Dr. Pavlovsky says. “We as veterinarians serve as advisers, and pet owners should not hesitate to tap into their veterinarians’ expertise in guiding healthcare decisions.”

As a team, veterinarians and owners work together to help each pet age gracefully, using an individualized approach. This strategy takes into consideration the specific needs of that breed and that pet and complements the preventive medicine approach.

“When I think about what aging gracefully may mean, I think of a dog or cat that is not hindered by obvious pain and mobility problems, significant chronic conditions, or anxiety/stress,” says Dr. Pavlovsky, “whether these are absent or just well-managed.”

In pets as in people, prevention truly is the best medicine.

• Dogs may stay in ‘Better Health’ if they have a pet friend at home, study finds.

By Kaitlyn Huamani

A recent study that involved over 21,000 canine subjects outlines the social and environmental factors associated with longer lifespans for dogs

The key to keeping your beloved dog healthy could be adding another furry friend to your home.

A recent study by the Dog Aging Project found that dogs who get routine social interaction from living with another canine are associated with “better health” outcomes than dogs with access to less socialization.

Having other non-canine pets in a household was also linked to better health outcomes for dogs, according to the study published in the journal Evolution, Medicine & Public Health. Of the dogs the researchers examined, those who lived with another companion animal were rated “significantly healthier than dogs with fewer household companions.”

Dogs with non-human companions were also reported to have significantly fewer disease diagnoses than dogs without furry friends of their own.

Dogs who became best friends at shelter and climbed walls to stay close get adopted together.

The research team, which consisted of scientists from Arizona State University, the University of Washington, and other prominent medical institutions, drew their conclusions from detailed survey data on over 21,000 dogs.

The researchers also looked at how environmental factors — like the stability of a neighborhood, the total household income, and the age of a dog’s owners — impacted dogs’ lifespans and overall health.

Dogs in households with greater financial and neighborhood stability and older owners were reported to be in better health than dogs in more unstable environments with younger owners.

Still, the study found that the strength of these financial factors pales compared to the effect of social companionship and support. The researchers reported that the impact of socialization is five times stronger than the effect of economic factors.

“We were really encouraged by the findings because it means there are things we can do to help improve the health of our animal companions, as well as us, without resorting to medical interventions,” said Brianah McCoy, a lead researcher of the study, in an interview with FOX. “Having a friend around really matters – which I am sure we can all relate to.”

The study was designed with the Dog Aging Project, a scientific organization dedicated to researching how genes, lifestyle, and environment influence aging in dogs and their owners.

Because of the correlative nature of the study, the researchers can’t make specific recommendations to dog owners to ensure better canine health.

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