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Help Old Pets in Pain Using Overlooked Ways to Make Your Cat or Dog Feel Better

Updated on November 17, 2015

In addition to traditional veterinary medicine, there are some often overlooked ways to help pets with chronic pain and aging pets live happier and more active lives.

It’s not always easy to know when a cat or dog is in pain, but the most frequent tipoff is simple: Rover or Fluffy isn’t behaving as he or she usually does.

A cat that suddenly doesn’t follow you up the stairs may not be able to climb without pain. A dog that’s usually calm but becomes restless could be in pain too.

Animals that run away when you try to lift them, pet them or put your hands on them could also be in pain, and so could a cat or dog that whimpers, whines, howls or meows constantly.

Both dogs and cats sometimes also press their ears down against their heads when they’re uncomfortable. And of course, an animals that starts to bite at you or stops eating is also likely ill or hurting.

Here are four ways to treat pain in animals other than a trip to your regular vet that you may have overlooked.

1. Animal Chiropractic Care

There are chiropractors that treat cats, dogs, horses and other animals too. Sometimes called veterinary spinal manipulation therapy, this type of treatment corrects misalignments in the back that cause pain, weakness and trouble walking, among other ailments. A poorly aligned spine can be caused by trauma like a fall or accident or by simple wear and tear from everyday life.

Animal chiropractic is becoming an accepted practice for treating horses, but many practitioners treat small animals, too. Ask your vet for a referral or check online for an animal chiropractor.

2. Homeopathic Remedies

They idea of homeopathy is simple: A small amount of something toxic can often help rather than hurt. Some vets are finding success with a topic product called Traumeel, a topic blend of remedies that eases pain in animals. Other remedies, either taken internally or applied to the skin, are available from a holistic vet.

For humans, homeopathy is becoming somewhat mainstream. Even discount store chains are now stocking homeopathic treatments for ear infections and pink eye, for example. So why shouldn’t pets benefit from this old and test method of treatment?

3. Chinese Medicine

TCVM -- or traditional Chinese veterinary medicine -- can also play a role in keeping your cat or dog pain free. Diet, environment and other factors are examined by practitioners of TCWM who consider disease an imbalance in energy flow. They correct these imbalances with herbal formulas, acupressure, acupuncture and other methods of redirecting energy.

While an injury may be corrected with only one treatment, several treatments or a long-term program may be needed for chronic problems, but these are sometimes offered as part of spa-like experience for the pet rather than in a sterile vet’s office.

4. Nutraceutical Treatment

Sometimes, nutrition is the key to solving a medical problem like low-level pain. Non-drug nutrient products are available from holistic veterinarians that can help your pet’s body repair its damaged tissue and restore efficient metabolism.

These are usually used for a short time to eliminate pain caused by an injury, for example.

Working with a holistic vet, a well-informed regular vet or a Chinese veterinary medicine practitioner, you may be able to help your valued cats and dogs live long, healthy, pain-free lives.

All you need to get started is an open mind and a willingness to look beyond the limited options offered by some uninformed mainstream veterinarians.


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