They’re 12 1/2-year-old twins. Born love-radors, their torsos are still black and sleek as seals, but now snow dusts their eyebrows and muzzles, rendering their faces more expressive. While age hasn’t diminished their charms, it hurts their joints.
Gentleman-Dog should have it worse, given his two knee surgeries at the age of three. Nonetheless, his ninja-jumper cheetah-swift sister feels it most. She’s become a creaky morning riser, climbs the four stairs into our home like a mermaid, and hesitates before revving up for walkies.
Angels live quick. My dear, oh-so-sweet dogs. Balancing quality against quantity of life is a guessing game when loved ones can’t mouth words.
Perhaps our story will help you and yours? Here’s what we’re doing so far:
- Chiropractic: for many years, the gifted and personable Dr. Michelle Zarzana, along with her efficient staff, has relieved numerous furry and non-furry family and friends of their pain.
- Laser treatment: more recently, Dr. Z has come to the rescue in this area too! When Lady-Dog’s vet recommended expensive rounds of laser treatments (twice a week for a month, then once a week for a month, then once a month thereafter at roughly $40 per dog per session), Dr. Z kindly stepped in for a fraction of the rate! Under her supervision, she generously allows me to administer her laser to my loyal hairy kin. As soon as we’re done, there’s a marked spring to their steps.
- Daily walks: even the shortest help. In the karma of dogs, walkers benefit too!
- A fellow dog loving tango-ista relayed that homeopathic anti-inflamatories help his doggie without danger of adverse side effects. At 55 and 65 lbs, I give each of mine a chewable tab of T-Relief three times a day. Now well into their first bottle, I’m seeing great results.
- Pharmaceuticals: Rimadyl, an anti-inflamatory prescribed by Lady-Dog’s vet, helps but risks injuring her liver and kidneys. Given her overall good health, she could live several more years (fingers and toes crossed!). I doubt she wants incontinence and added discomforts during her final days, so I only dose her on days when she lies about panting, not caring for treats. Her vet additionally suggested an extensive/costly regimen of spinal injections that I’ll consider if the other remedies cease to help.
- Glucosamine: The fab orthopedist who tended my knee last year says the sulfate formula (as opposed to the more available HCL kind) is best. My hunch is that human supplements are held to higher standards than those for dogs, so I buy the people kind. Improvement can take months to show. Fortunately, Gentleman-Dog was better within days, and Lady-Dog took about a week.