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New book helps you care for your furry family member

Flickr user pinoyed / Creative Commons


It’s a trying moment in the life of a pet owner: the worry that something is wrong with our furry friend.

But it can be hard for pet owners to tell what’s happening with their pet and when it’s time to head to the veterinarian's office.

Dr. Michael Petty understands those questions. In fact, he gets them all the time at his Arbor Pointe Veterinary Hospital and the Animal Pain Center in Canton.

He’s a vet who specializes in pain management, and his new book is Dr. Petty’s Pain Relief for Dogs: The Complete Medical and Integrative Guide to Treating Pain.

Petty tells us the advice in his book is “very dog-specific.” He considered writing a book that gave advice for both dogs and cats, but he says the diagnostics and treatments for the two are so different that he was afraid it would cause confusion.

According to Petty, owners will often fail to recognize signs of pain in their dogs as they get older. He says they just assume certain signs or changes in behavior are normal just because they’re dog is 11 or 12 years old.

But, Petty says, that’s not true.

“Old dogs like to play, old dogs can get up and down, they use stairs, and so forth,” he says. “They don’t have the exuberance of youth, but they still do all those things.”

Petty tells us the number one thing to keep an eye out for is changes in your dog’s behavior.

“That is a high sign that something is wrong. It might not be pain, it could be an illness from something else, but it’s worth having checked out,” he says.

Petty also tells us that most pain problems will take more than one treatment to resolve.

“It usually involves multiple things. Usually a pharmaceutical, but often things like acupuncture, rehabilitation, which is the equivalent of physical therapy in humans. There are treatments like stem cell therapy and so forth that you can keep going and going,” he says.

Dr. Michael Petty talks more about his work and gives more advice for pet owners in out conversation above.