Getting Older

Senior pet, arthritis, aging, gray face,

Hannah Brocht
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month and advantages of adopting a senior pet can be found at They have a very good article on adopting older pets and how to find the one for you. Please take time to look at their site and think about adoption next time you get a pet; hopefully one that can age gracefully with you.

I have a thumb that has issues.  Yeah, I know, in the scheme of things it is a small problem but it is a problem for me.  I have had the issue off and on for a couple of years but the fun part is that a pet didn’t do this to me – a client did!

The client didn’t mean to hurt me but he ended up pulling my thumb while disciplining his dog.  It hurt really bad, really quick but being a typical doctor I waited to see if it got better.  It didn’t and I went to see the human doctor a couple of weeks later.

By then, they couldn’t tell if it had been dislocated or if the tendons were damaged so I was stuck in a brace and given the almighty corticosteroid shot – yuck!  My thumb has improved and hurt periodically over the last couple of years and each time they give me a shot and a new brace.

I finally got tired of it and decided to have a diagnosis once and for all.  I have gotten four different ones in the last two years and while waiting to see the doctor over my thumb and I thought about how his different diagnoses affected me.

When they first thought it was carpal tunnel I was “okay – a hazard of my job – giving injections all day”.

Then I got a diagnosis of a cyst on the tendon – a little worrisome but still not too big of a deal.

The next time they thought it was tendonitis and I again assumed job related but when the final diagnosis of arthritis was made; I became depressed.

Arthritis in my mind meant I was old.

Now I don’t know about you all but even though I know my age – I don’t feel it.  I feel like I am still in my 20s.  Yes, yes, I know that I don’t look 20 but honestly I don’t look at myself in the mirror very frequently.

I know that sometimes I will look at my hand and think when did my grandmother’s hand become attached to my body. arthritis, older, senior, aging, pain, pet

I think this is why we don’t see arthritis in our pets – we see the gray but we still see that young pup.  It is hard to imagine that they and we are aging.

To have to say that my pet has arthritis means we are getting older and none of us want to do that.  I know I don’t – why can’t we just stay 20 forever but with the knowledge our age has given us.  I don’t know the answer.

I do know that pain medication and exercises are helping me and we can help our senior pets the same way, but it is the thought of aging.  I want to do it gracefully so I guess I will quit complaining and continue to think of myself as young – just like my pets.

If you need help keeping an older pet comfortable and moving, call us at ARCC — Animal Rehab & Conditioning Center and we will devise a plan to keep you and your pet together longer.

If you have an older pet, leave us a comment on how you are aging gracefully together.

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