Posted on Sep 09, 2014
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
At The Gentle Barn, we rescue and give sanctuary to animals who no one else wants, including elderly animals. We save senior dogs from being euthanized at the pound, older horses who can’t be ridden anymore, and mature pigs who no one would adopt, to name a few. Caring for these elders is a big job! Many times they have arthritis, aches and pains that need to be addressed. Sometimes they have difficulty getting up or walking. Our job is always to make sure they are comfortable and have a great quality of life.
Right now we have two seniors that need special attention: our lovely cow, Grace, and our sweet piggy, Jazz. Grace, 16-years old, has arthritis and it is getting harder and harder for her to stand up. She is getting regular massage therapy and Reiki treatments to help keep the inflammation down, and Grace pain free and mobile. Grace lies down a lot to get off those sore joints, but after a while we have to help her get up so she is not down too long. Laying down more than a few hours can cause irreparable damage to her joints and organs. We are keeping a careful eye on her and helping her get up when she can’t get up on her own.
Jazz is also in her high teens and she was doing fantastic until the other day she had a seizure late at night. Thankfully, we were there when it happened, tucking all the animals into bed, and were able to help her stabilize and talk her though it until she stopped shaking. Her coordination and breathing returned to normal and she went back to bed. We were up most of the night watching her sleep and talking with our vet, making sure she was completely okay. Upon the recommendation of our vet, we finally went to bed in the wee hours of the morning. Jazz is completely fine now but we will keep a close eye on her to make sure there is nothing she needs.
Both Grace and Jazz continue to do well, but as with all our seniors, we are giving them extra TLC and Sun Chlorella to keep them strong and healthy. We are also keeping Puremedy close and handy should they get any sore muscles or bed sores from laying down so much, as older animals tend to do. We don’t know how long any of our senior animals will choose to stay with us, but we do know that until that day we will lavish them with affection and attention and show them that they are loved by us!
Written by Ellie Laks
Founder, The Gentle Barn