April 2017 Magazines - Page 50

Some pets may repeatedly lick an area that’s causing them irri- tation, so pay attention to their grooming and take note if you notice them focusing on a certain spot incessantly (especially if you’re unable to break their focus from it). If after two days they’re still licking the same spot, consider making an appoint- ment with your vet, as it might be more than just muscle pain. So, what do you do if your pet starts exhibiting these behav- iors? Really, the only thing you can do as a pet owner is get involved. Start by rubbing your animal down head to toe, slowly massaging them if you can, and gauge their reaction; if they wince or whimper at a certain area then, chances are, you’ve found the source. For short-term issues like an injury or brief inflammation, you can talk with your veterinarian about an aspirin regimen and gauge how it helps your pet. If short-term treatment doesn’t help, then it’s possible your pet has chronic pain– which is going to require a bit of a lifestyle change. Managing your pet’s diet, weight and activity can reduce chronic inflammation and increase mobility. A regular glucosamine and chondroitin regimen is believed to help joint movement and alleviate pain; consider a ramp or stairs to help pets get up to places they’re used to getting to, not only to make it easier but to keep their morale up; raised feeders can make all the difference to a pet in pain; and be aware of slip- pery floor surfaces (especially in places they frequent, like near their food and water or litter box). Consider an area rug or even rubberized claw grips to promote traction. These are just a few things you can do to make your pet more comfortable at home, but always talk with your veterinarian about the best long-term treatment options for your pet. Ahh! Aiding an Anxious Animal Anxiety is defined as the anticipation of danger from an unknown or imagined source, and it almost always results in abnormal behavior. Most fear and anxieties develop at the onset of social maturity, from 12 to 36 months of age, so it’s very possible for you to adopt a dog that already has anxiety rather than a specific event causing it. The most common sign of anxiety is destruction, but inappropriate elimination and excessive vocalization are two other telltale signs something’s going on in your pet’s head.