My grandmother’s dog Mickey, a whippet- chihuahua mix, has the personality of a bouncer and the plump, muscular build of a chicken breast with legs. My grandmother Binkie has a fragile build—knobby joints and slender wrists—suited to her 90 years. They are an unusual and somehow perfectly suited pair.
In my first two blog post here on the Grey Matters Blog we discussed simple signs for you to look for to potentially identify if your dog has joint pain or not. We then introduced the concept of “The Pain Trial,” which all dog owners should know about and be able to discuss with their veterinarian. I have listed these posts for easy reference, in case you missed them.
In my last post here on the Grey Matters Blog, I described the “Silent Signs” dogs show us that they are potentially dealing with chronic pain specifically related to their joints or spine. We discussed that it is critical for us, as pet parents, to change our perception of pain when it comes to our dogs and actually LEARN HOW TO LISTEN to them differently than we do now. The truth is that most dogs don’t cry, whine, or whimper when dealing with chronic pain.
As pet parents we’ve all most likely been in situations where our dogs have gotten hurt. Whether you accidentally tripped over your dog or stepped on their paw carelessly, you’ve probably heard your dog let out a quick yelp or cry and run off. Was it pain or fear? Either way how did you feel in that moment? Does the word horrible come to mind!
Foster Pet Outreach is a Peoria, Illinois-based rescue focused on promoting the well-being of animals in their community. In their grant application to Grey Muzzle, they wrote, “Our problem is that we don’t adopt out enough senior dogs!” A grant from Grey Muzzle will change that. With Grey Muzzle’s support, Foster Pet Outreach has created a Senior Dog Program dedicated to finding forever homes for a greater number of senior dogs.
As a veterinarian, I have a healthy respect for anesthesia and understand my clients’ fears. Anesthesia is essentially the process of taking a living being to the brink of death—obliterating many life-preserving reflexes—and then bringing that being back to life again. It is never, ever without risk, but that risk should be carefully calculated from the start—weighing risk vs reward.
Dogs don’t have a human voice. They place implicit trust in us to speak for them and care for them, which goes well beyond food and shelter. It extends into the intangible realm of setting up situations to go in their favor. And a prime example of this is shaping your dog’s experience at the veterinary hospital.