A Herefordshire vet practice is introducing a range of alternative therapies such as acupuncture and physiotherapy to help ease the aching joints of elderly pets.
Leadon Vale Veterinary Centre, in Lower Road Trading Estate, is to offer the treatments in a bid to help pets who could be suffering from conditions such as arthritis, back pain and even respiratory disease.
The move comes after clinical director Rachel Mowbray identified a number of cases of chronic pain conditions in pets which have increasingly benefited from such therapies.
Rachel said: “Dogs, in particular, can be canny in hiding debilitating conditions, leading unsuspecting owners to deal with sudden changes in character or decreased appetites in their pets.
“By introducing this wide range of new treatments, we are offering different options for pet owners to help alleviate problems which can often have a real impact on their animal’s quality of life.
“There are preventative and, in some cases, curative treatments available to either tackle a condition or stop something before it has the chance to get any worse.
“Certain conditions such as osteoarthritis occur with age and won’t necessarily go away but can certainly be managed by treatment such as acupuncture to give pets a far better quality of life.”
Other treatments being introduced at Linnaeus practice Leadon Vale, which also offers a 24-hour emergency service, include stem cell therapy, sports medicine to assess working or sports and develop conditioning programmes, and a chiropractor to help restore normal movement to joints and manage pain.
Rachel said: “As well as introducing new treatments, we have also invested in a stance analyser, which looks at the amount of weight bearing in each limb to help with diagnosis of lameness and to monitor progress of rehabilitation.
“This is all in an effort to further enhance our offering to clients and patients, and to provide the very latest treatments to help make a better world for pets.”
Rachel said typical signs of early chronic pain in pets included:
- Reduction in physical activity, along with weight gain
- Loss of muscle mass, particularly in the back legs
- Behavioural changes, dogs may appear “clingy” or, conversely, avoiding over-boisterous physical interaction
- Becoming quieter or sudden signs of aggression
- A decreased food intake leading to weight loss in cats fed on counter tops, where jumping on and off is necessary
- Scratching and self-mutilation
- Cats may become reluctant to make use of their litter tray
To find out more about the services being offered at Leadon Vale, visit www.ledburyvets.co.uk or search for Leadon Vale on social media.