Pet Meds That Might Make Life Easier For An Aging Furry Friend

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Despite our deepest wishes, our beloved pets will not live forever, but with the right pet medications, you can certainly help your furry friends survive into their golden years in comfort.

While every animal is different - and certain breeds are more predisposed to longevity than others - you can expect that your dog will live about 10 to 13 years. The average house cat can live anywhere from 15 to 18 years. The quality of those years is up to you, their faithful owner. Anything you can do to improve the quality of your pet's life in later years will surely benefit you and your pet alike.

Anti-Inflammatories

Dogs

Joint disease is one of the most common afflictions that can strike an older dog. Often one of the best treatments is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory agent like Deramaxx (deracoxib) for dogs. It is used to relieve pain and inflammation in dogs that have undergone orthopedic surgery. It can also be used when the dog is in chronic pain or lame as a result of osteoarthritis. Deramaxx will not cure your dog's osteoarthritis, but it can help control the pain and symptoms of osteoarthritis. With the help of this medication, your dog should be able to get up and move around more comfortably.

This medication, which comes in flavored chewable tablets, can be given with or without food. The medication is generally well tolerated by dogs, but you should watch for common side effects like vomiting or soft stools. Be sure to alert your veterinarian so he can evaluate the benefits against the risk.

Want to try to keep your dog healthy and avoid problems like osteoarthritis? Consider giving your dog a dietary supplement containing essential nutrients that will help keep his joints and muscles healthy. Pala-Tech Canine Joint Health Soft Chews and Granules replenish your dog's joint fluids and optimizes muscle performance, strength and endurance.

Containing supplements like Glucosamine, Creatine and MSM, the Pala-Tech Canine Joint Health Soft Chews may not work right away. Give your pet the treatment for several weeks before talking to your veterinarian about other options. Side effects with these chews are unlikely. They are well tolerated and, in fact, most dogs think of them as a tasty treat. They have a roast beef and liver flavor base that generally ensures dogs are happy to take their medicine.

Cats

If you want to limit the inflammatory response in your cat, consider Duralactin Feline. It was created to help manage long-term chronic inflammatory conditions in cats. The active agent is MicroLactin, which is a patented dried milk protein concentrate that comes from hyperimmunized cows. It appears to block cytokines and inhibit neutrophil participation, reducing your cat's natural inflammatory response. It comes in a capsule that can be broken open and sprinkled onto your cat's food and is also available in a liquid format.

If you want to try a supplement to build muscles and replenish your cat's joint fluids, try Cosequin Sprinkle Capsules for Small Animals. It offers pure glucosamine and low molecular weight chondroitin sulfate and manganese ascorbate to help keep your cat's joints healthy. Cosequin, containing Glucosamine and Chondroitin, will actually rebuild and repair damaged joint cartilage in an arthritic cat.

It also has anti-inflammatory properties that may keep your cat's joints healthy. There are also other indicated uses for Cosequin, including the treatment of lower urinary tract disease in cats and cancer pain. It can be used with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Heartworm

Heartworm is a parasitic disease carried by mosquitoes. Infected mosquitoes have been found in every state in the United States, so prevention is key to keeping your dog or cat healthy. Prevention is easy, but curing an already infected dog or cat is expensive and difficult. Luckily, there are many preventative medications from which to choose.

Dogs

Advantage Multi (imidacloprid + moxidectin) for Dogs is a once-a-month topical solution to consider. It prevents and treats heartworm disease, kills adult fleas and controls intestinal parasite infections in dogs and puppies. You apply the medication topically, between your dog's shoulder blades. If you have a medium to large dog, squeeze the tube over three or four spots located between the shoulders and the tail.

Be sure to use all the medication in the tube. When treating heartworm, you need to repeat the application every month, all year long. If you are treating fleas, use the medication monthly to prevent re-infestation. If you are treating internal worms, a single treatment will suffice.

Cats

For felines, try Heartgard Chewable for Cats. It can prevent feline heartworm disease by eliminating the tissue stage of heartworm larvae for up to 30 days after a cat is infected and to remove and control hookworms. Ivermectin, the anti-parasitic drug in Heartgard Chewable, is given by mouth or topically when treating ear mites.

Whenever you are in doubt about the medications you want to administer to your dog or cat, contact your veterinarian immediately. The combination of a loving pet owner and a knowledgeable veterinarian is what you need to keep your beloved pet healthy and happy for years to come.

 Douglas DiMattio is a freelance writer who writes about pet care and pet meds.

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