Natural Treatments for Dog Arthritis
People who suffer from arthritis know the debilitating effect
it can have on their quality of life. Arthritis sufferers have difficulty going
up stairs, they have joint pain, they don't enjoy walks as much as
they used to. The same is true for cats and dogs with arthritis.
Arthritis, the general term used to describe a host of illnesses
with similar symptoms, affects more than 25% of dogs. It is a condition where there is a loss of viscosity and
lubricative affect of the joint fluid.
Canine Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, is a chronic
condition caused by the deterioration of the cartilage that surrounds
the joint. As the cartilage wears away, the body lays down calcium
deposits on the ends of the bones, causing dog joint pain, discomfort and
limiting the range of motion of the joints.
Dog Arthritis Pain Relief
Most arthritis drugs work primarily to ease the dog joint pain caused by inflammation.
Ideally, your dog should start receiving joint support in their
middle years -- to help nourish and maintain the cartilage.
A holistic approach to treating cats and dogs with arthritis is to ease joint pain by reducing the inflammation
and provide the nutrients needed to improve the cartilage and soft
connective tissue of the joints.
Dog Arthritis Symptoms
Dog arthritis usually develops slowly over time and may not be noticeable
until there is severe damage to the cartilage. The reason for this
is that the articular cartilage (the cartilage covering the end
of each bone) lacks blood vessels and nerves, acting really as a
shock absorber between two bones. The dog continues to run and
play as the cartilage is wearing away.
When the cartilage eventually breaks down, the bones rub together,
and the dog begins to display some of the symptons of arthritis in dogs:
- Joint pain, swelling and stiffness
- Pain or slowness in getting up
- Muscle atrophy
- Slowness of movement
During your pet's regular checkup, your veterinarian will examine
the dog's joints by palpation, or feeling the joint area. For
osteoarthritis, a radiograph or ultrasound examination will show
the mineral deposits on the bones.
Help for Dog Arthritis
To help improve the cartilage, reduce inflammation and provide dog joint pain relief, many
holistic veterinarians recommend nutritional supplements containing glucosamine, chondroitin, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and perna mussels. Here's how they can help:
- Glucosamine sulfate is one of the safest and most widely-used
remedies for arthritis. It helps rehabilitate damaged cartilage
by stimulating the production of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and
chondroitin sulfate, the essential component of cartilage. Glucosamine
has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory activity, which
helps to relieve some of the joint pain the dog may be suffering.
- Chondroitin sulfate is another natural medicine found in the body and it works
to prevent enzymes from degrading the building blocks of joint
cartilage. Chondroitin sulfate is often used in combination
with glucosamine, however, when used alone, glucosamine sulfate
helps the body to manufacture its own chondroitin.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is often recommended by veterinarians for animals with joint conditions. The sulfur in MSM can be utilized by the body in the formation of compounds such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, as well as the amino acids methionine and cysteine. Arthritic joints often have low levels of both sulfur and cysteine. Animal studies have found MSM helps to maintain normal articular cartilage.
- Green-Lipped Mussel, or Perna canaliculus, contains protein, minerals, glucosamine and Eicosatetraenoic acids (ETAs). ETAs are a type of Omega-3 fatty acids and provide an anti-inflammatory effect which helps reduce joint pain. Research in both humans and animals have shown that perna mussels have been effective in managing degenerative joint disease and arthritis. Human patients receiving perna mussels reported less pain, joint stiffness and improved mobility.
Other natural ingredients to look for include:
- Bromelain - Inhibits inflammatory compounds
and reduces pain.
- Boswellia - An anti-inflammatory which
allows for increased blood supply to he joints to help stimulate
- Vitamin C - Important in the production
of collagen which is needed for soft-tissue support for joints.
- Zinc, selenium and manganese - Helps
the body utilize antioxidants.
Educational Video on Dog Arthritis:
Dog Arthritis: An Integrative Approach
Nutritional Supplements for Dog Arthritis:
New! Arthrix Plus from Kala Health
Glyco-Flex II for Dogs
Glyco-Flex II for Cats
Glyco-Flex III for Dogs
Glyco-Flex III Minis for Small Dogs
Glyco-Flex III tablets
ArthriSoothe Gold Liquid
ArthriSoothe Gold Tablets
Senior Hip & Joint
Hip Action Treats from Zukes
Using Glucosamine to Fight Dog Arthritis