Dog Arthritis Treatments

Dog Arthritis Treatments – Natural and Safe Remedies to Help

Arthritis in dogs is a degenerative disease of the joints. The combination of inflammation and degradation of the cartilage in the joints as the dog ages causes pain and disability along the way. Injured cartilage disrupts the elasticity and the ability of the joint capsule to nourish and heal itself, by releasing inflammation-causing enzymes.

Most dogs do not vocalize when they are in pain from arthritic joints. The common signs will be a dog that’s reluctant to go on long walks. They may circle endlessly before lying down or really struggle when getting up. They may avoid stairs, refuse to jump up or down from couches or beds, and may limp.

The most common joints affected are the hips, elbows and knees. Dysplasia is a developmental disease they acquire as puppies and usually appears when they are one or two years old. Once the damage of arthritis is done, it will not go away, although the severity of the symptoms can be reduced. Non-surgical management is a three step line of attack:

  • weight control
  • exercise
  • pain relief to increase the quality of life and slow down the progression

The elements of a normal joint are made up of a joint capsule, synovial fluid, articular cartilage and subchondral bone. The soundness of the joint capsule is very important for a smooth gliding function, for the production of hyaluronic acid and defense mechanisms. To provide proper metabolic waste removal from the cartilage in addition to supplying nutrients and lubrication, adequate synovial fluid production is needed.

Osteoarthritis is quite often referred to as the wear and tear joint disease. As OA progresses, the subchondral bone becomes thicker, which increases the load on the cartilage, causing further damage and pain in the joint. The low-grade inflammatory process and joint capsular thickening will cause a decrease in range of motion as well as reduced functioning.

Chondroprotectants and nutraceuticals are effective and popular for treating dogs with arthritis, commonly referred to as degenerative joint disease. A treatment plan for arthritis includes weight loss, exercise modification, physical rehabilitation, pain management, nutritional therapy and possibly surgery.

Weight loss reduces the forces placed upon the abnormal joint surfaces. For dogs with hip dysplasia, reducing their body weight has enormous benefits. The most perfect exercise for dogs with arthritis is swimming. This moves all of their joints through a good range of motion without placing the stress and impact of the weight upon them.

Omega-3 fatty acids help with dog arthritis pain. They prevent inflammation, degeneration of the joint, normalize the immune system, and prevent abnormal cell growth. Good sources of Omega-3 are found in green leafy vegetables, flax seeds/oil, green-lipped mussels and in cold water fish oils. The quality of oils will vary; look for organic cold pressed oils packaged in light resistant containers.

Nutraceuaticals such as chondroitin and glucosamine also have anti-inflammatory properties. They are effective in slowing the progression of arthritis and can be used with other products. It has been shown that they reduce the swelling and help with the pain. Glucosamine HCL is one of the best since it is easily absorbed into the joint.

There are herbal supplements such as Boswellia, which naturally fights joint inflammation and has been used by people in India for centuries. Devils Claw, Ginger and Tumeric are also effective in reducing inflammation and pain.

Acupuncture is another treatment modality for arthritis. Not only can it change the course of the disease, but it is powerful in alleviating the pain associated with it.

Homeopathy offers a few treatments to look into. Rhus Tox 30C is good for joints that are worse in cold, damp weather and stiff upon arising. Bryonia 30C is for when the arthritis is worse with exercise and warm weather. Causticum 30C is useful for the older dog that has less pain with heat.Download the Ultimate Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Guide for Dogs

Some simple modifications in the home can help with canine arthritis. Using ramps is very helpful for assisting with the dog getting up or down from places and instead of using stairs. Elevated food bowels minimize back and neck strain. Heated beds help with painful, stiff, achy joints. There are many options available for treating arthritis in dogs. Have surgery and drugs be a last resort, for the well-being of your dog.

About the Author
Helga Schmitt has been passionately studying and researching dog health, physiotherapy and rehabilitation hands on for the past 20 years. Her keen interest in health and healing motivated her to become a Chartered Herbalist and also obtain a degree in Nutrition and Advanced Holistic Nutrition. She furthered with a Certificate in Homeopathy and continues to study various healing modalities to this day. She is a Certified and Registered Canine Hydrotherapist. Her research, past and current studies and experience, have her striving to educate dog owners that there are numerous ways to achieving and maintaining optimum health for your pet. Read more on dog arthritis in her latest book, “The Ultimate Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Guide for Dogs.”

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