Badger’s age has crept up on me. He was always the younger of our two dogs until we lost our lovely old Belgian Shepherd Fizz, so it came as a bit of a shock to realise that he wasn’t quite as nippy as he used to be. He hadn’t sprinted in a while, and although it’s healthy to see a rib or two (especially as badger has floating ribs) I was pretty sure he’d lost weight as well.
After a check-up at the vets it transpired that he had indeed lost around a kilo in weight, and has arthritis.
In both his front paws.
In his hips.
In his spine.
Poor badger. This apparently could account for his weight loss, as greyhounds are pretty solid creatures muscle-wise and muscle is heavy. If he’s not using them, then they degenerate.
We have some anti-inflammatory tablets and glucosamine to try for a week or so and see if he improves. If the weight keeps coming off, it’ll mean blood tests to check it’s nothing more sinister. ***Puts fingers in ears, closes eyes, “lalalala!***
Obviously prescription pain relief and other meds may be considered further down the line, but I am determined to do as much for him as I can alongside the vets orders.
So first up to help our old man’s bones is a good supportive bed. We’ve gone for one from the lovely Ninna at Woof Beds – an independent business born out of love and concern for her own dogs comfort. Not only did Ninna provide amazing service, she was also considerate enough to share lots of other tips for managing arthritis (diet, supplements etc). Lovely lady. Great product.
The beds come in three sizes and accommodate any size of dog from chihuahua to Great Dane. ***GEEK ALERT*** removable and washable covers too.
Woofbeds are pure memory foam which is wonderful for promoting a healthy posture and relieving pressure points that lead to aches and pains. After all, if it works for us humans then surely dogs could enjoy the benefits too? Badger certainly seems to like it and I can say with absolute honesty that he chooses to spend a lot more time on his new Woof Bed then he did in his old plastic one, or even lying on our living room rug. It’s a lovely feeling to see him so obviously comfy.
Next up, we were recommended Dorwest Veterinary Herbal Products for Dogs and Cats. Now I lost a good chunk of a Friday night looking through their website! Whilst hugely informative, it can be a wee bit daunting as there are quite a lot of products to choose from and I just couldn’t decide. In the end, I called them up directly and explained exactly what was going on with Badger. The lady who took my call – Gemma – was immeasurably helpful. No hard sell, a real understanding of the concern we have for our canine companions, and dosages and beneficial ingredients were all thoroughly explained to me. Gemma recommended two products to try in conjunction with one another: Mixed vegetable tablets and Garlic & Fenugreek.
(The pestle and mortar isn’t just for an ‘arty shot’ by the way. We grind up all his pills to mix with some stock or gravy and pour over his biscuits. )
They do not claim to be a cure but can be used alongside medication and the correct diet to minimise comfort, ease pain and hopefully delay the progress of the condition. I would happily recommend Dorwest for their excellent service and range of products. As for how effective they are – well you can read the testimonies on their website, but I will be letting you know my thoughts further down the line after the supplements have had a chance to get into his system.
Oh Badger. I hope with all my heart that you start to perk up a bit. Whilst it’s never nice to witness to the aging process in our furrbuddies, it’s times like this that can also serve to remind us just how lost we would feel without them, and we appreciate them that little bit more.
Last on the list?
Well . . . who doesn’t feel better after a cuddle?