Better care today, healthier foods, advanced veterinary medicine, and therapeutic alternative medicine means that animals today, live healthier, longer lives. More cats and dogs are living indoors, then in years past, with their human companions which means less exposure to extreme temperature changes, accidental injuries, victims of malice, less exposure to disease and more supervision.
Dogs and Cats, like humans age at different levels. Factors such as breed orientation, large or small in size, obesity, genetics, exposure to disease, if they were used for breeding or surgically altered at an early age, lifestyle, ect, all figure in as to how an animal will age. You will start to see the muzzle turn white, eyesight is not as good as it was, they may become startled when you enter a room because of faulty hearing, have difficulty going up and down stairs, lack of energy, sleeping more, lack of appetite, dull coat, they may become more needy, all of these are normal signs of aging. We can help our companions with the aging process by paying attention to diet, regular veterinary exams, and examine alternative holistic treatments for the aging pet.
Acupuncture, acupressure, massage, reiki, reflexology, aromatherapy, crystal essences, Bach flower essences are just some of the examples of alternative holistic therapies that can help increase the quality of life for aging pets.
The 'Animal Wellness Connection' can provide geriatric massage that can help with physical limitations, empower the animal with calmness, comfort and confidence, and increase the quality of life.
The benefits of geriatric massage include:
- Improvement of proper blood circulation and flow of the lymphatic system.
- Strengthens tendons and ligaments
- Improves function of the immune systems. (Very important when dealing with cancer)
- Aids in detecting illness at an early stage. (lumps and soft tissue changes)
- Increase joint flexibility and range of motion (Very helpful with arthritic diseases thereby reducing stiffness)
- Decreases blood pressure.
- Promotes healthy skin and coat.
WARM WATER HYDROTHERAPY
**** Our Warm Water Hydrotherapy Pool is now open!!!! ****
Warm water therapy is ideal for older dogs, dogs recovering from injury, mobility issues
and arthritic dogs. This is done by placing the dog in a warm water hydrotherapy pool with
a hydro therapist. The warm water around your dog will help ease soreness, relax your pet
and soothe the symptoms of arthritis, spondylosis, and spine arthritis, relax
muscles, improve range of movement, increase blood flow, and speed up
the healing process of soft tissue injuries.
Reiki Therapy is a gentle non invasive approach. Sometimes during the aging process, an animal will be so sensitive to any kind of touch that may be painful to them. This is were Reiki therapy can come in to provide comfort to the animal.
The benefits of Reiki include:
- Eliminate energy blockage.
- Reduce side effects from surgery, medications, and chemotherapy.
- Speed recovery and reduce effects of trauma.
- Relieve geriatric conditions.
- Calm the mind and relax muscles.
- Support behavioral and social issues that come with aging.
PREPARING FOR THE END
Death is a painful but natural part of life. This is often difficult to talk about, but the best time to talk about potential pet loss is before you are faced with the difficult decision. Sitting down with the family and getting an idea on what everyone's thoughts and feelings are. Talking with your veterinarian on what to expect in the aging process or in the case of a terminal disease process can be very helpful as well. This will eliminate any surprises, prepare you for the outcome and help you reach a decision that you will be comfortable when the time comes.
The relationship and the spiritual bond between a person and an animal needs to be honored and respected in the matter that the owner wishes, what is best for their animal, and what they are comfortable with.
During hospice care our goal is to help you allow your pet make the transition away and with as much comfort as possible. I will help you provide gentle loving care. I will help by respecting your pets needs and your wishes and by responding intuitively. Each case will be different and depend on the animals needs. I will work closely with your veterinarian to monitor the quality of life of your pet, to provide comfort for your pet, and offer support to you by helping facilitate your pet's transition to the other side. I will provide gentle comfort via massage or reiki treatments, manual lymphatic drainage for relief from pain, fear and anxiety. If you need someone to help support you through this difficult period I can also accompany you to your vet. When the time comes I can either go with you and in some cases if you are unable, I can go with your pet and be there for them if you can not. Afterwards we can help with the grieving process or put you in touch with someone who can.
HOSPICE AND WARM WATER HYDROTHERAPY
Hospice Hydrotherapy Sessions With Your Dog by appointment only
When dogs are in hospice care, sometimes there is not much more that can be done other then provide love and comfort. This is a special session that AWC offers for this time in a dog's life. Palliative hospice care and warm water hydrotherapy for the owner and the dog includes soft music and candlelight for a healing mental environment. The session is quiet and private and it is time you spend in the pool with your dog.
During this time you will be assisted by our therapist, who is compassionate and will help you during the session. Most of the time you will just be cradling your dog in the warm water therapy pool. Sometimes an owner will choose to not go in the pool and just have the pet in the pool with our therapist. In this case the owner is present by the pool.
The session is very comforting to the dog and the owner, will help ease pain (physical and mental) It is a very special indescribable bonding for the dog and owner. Water can have a very profound emotional release and you will feel this with your dog. By holding your dog in the warm water you are taking your dog back to the beginning at a very vulnerable, nurturing place of mind. The owner and the dog will become one, loving, melting into each other with a loving touch. Each breath and heartbeat is in tune with each other. You are in the water with each other free from aches, pains, discomfort, without worry or fear, or grief. Just being in the moment, a quiet peaceful bonding time. It is a sacred and loving moment to help release emotion and any heartfelt pain from having to release and accept the next transition.
This moment is a lifetime memory and has been very helpful for pet owners that are having trouble accepting the final steps of transition for your pet while your pet is in hospice care. I promise you, you will not forget the moment. I have had many owners tell me how much they appreciate having a chance to spend time with their dog in this way during the hospice period. It is very healing and heartfelt.