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© 2020 Mark Zintel
Making It A
By Mark F. Zintel August, 2017
©2017 Mark Zintel, Inc.
Arthritis relief commercials seem to be
everywhere. Or maybe it just seems that
way because many viewers find them
relatable! With so many pet owners in
America (nearly 70% of households), it’s
curious that we don’t see more efforts to
reach owners of elderly pets. Maybe no one
on Madison Avenue has a pet with a gray face.
Animals have a high threshold of pain, so it’s not always easy to tell when they are hurting. Just ask a Lab owner.
Labs will generally chase that ball, and chase it again, and again… Some may keep going to the point of limping. It’s
more instinct than pride. Animals don’t want to show weakness -- even to a human -- let alone another animal. So
how do you know? Watch for those signals, such as a slight limp after play. Some dogs will simply lie down with
ball in mouth, instead of running back for another toss. Time to stop. Is an otherwise playful cat cutting you off
early (“Cattitude”)? Is Sylvester or Sylvette leaping between shorter places and with trepidation, instead of the
usual saut prolongé? Has that perfectly measured gate turned stiff during walks or has getting up and lying down
become a “process?” These are possible signs that joint stiffness is taking hold. And no, arthritis isn’t just for
humans and dogs anymore. Cat owners may want to look up a widely published 2006 Clarke & Bennett study on
feline osteoarthritis. The numbers for cats are noteworthy -- up to 90% being afflicted by age 12, which isn’t all that
old for a cat.
There are several ways to go when the day of reckoning comes. Fortunately, we’ve come a long way from the old
days when pet owners would simply write off a pet as lame. Today we have effective treatments, both
pharmaceutical and holistic. One of the most important no-cost treatments is prevention, namely keeping excess
weight off your pet. An extra 8% to 10% of body weight on a dog or cat is no different that strapping a weight to
them. While an adult human may easily rationalize an extra seven pounds, that same amount of weight added to
an already seventy-pound dog is a big deal. But even with all of the best preventative efforts, age and genetic
factors can cause joint problems in even fit pets. One natural treatment that works well for many arthritic humans
is a supplement of glucosamine & chondroitin. Some limited ingredient food makers like (insert brand) are adding
this supplement to their senior pet blends. And for those who have painstakingly found the perfect food for their
pet and don’t want to change, supplemental treats are available -- an excellent replacement for the “bad” treats.
(Author’s note: There are no “bad” treats as far as your pet is concerned!)
Ask your vet if this supplement is worth a try. It has proven effective for many humans and pets, and may delay
the need for a pharmaceutical for some time. Tasty treat forms of glucosamine & chondroitin for dogs and cats are
available from (insert Company), under the brand names of (insert brand) for dogs and (insert brand) for cats. They
are available at most pet supply stores or check online at (pet supply web site).com. In severe or advanced cases,
your vet may want to prescribe a pharmaceutical treatment. Your vet will most likely need to do a simple blood
test, which will help determine which treatment best suits
(INSERT BANNER AD FOR THE SPONSOR, HERE IN MID SENTENCE, TO AVOID CLICK-OUT)
your pet’s system. Even after beginning a pharmaceutical, a periodic blood test may be advisable to monitor blood
levels and the liver. Now we can treat arthritis in older pets and that can add years of active living. Watch for your
pet’s signals and the signs of arthritis, and trust your instincts on when to take action. Our pets are depending on