Are you concerned that your dog is showing signs of joint pain and perhaps worries he may be developing symptoms of arthritis?
Arthritic dogs tend to be older and heavier but this is not always the case so don’t rule it out if your dog is younger. Bone and joint problems can seriously impact quality of life and need to be addressed. Below you will find natural treatments for dogs with arthritis.
Why does my dog have joint problems?
Some of the reasons for joint pain and are thought to cause arthritis or arthritic like symptoms include:
- Thinning lubricating joint fluid
- Reduction of joint fluid lubricant
- Decrease in the cartilage
- Increases bone contact, friction and irritation.
- Genetic factors such as poor hip
- Previous fracture, injuries
- Diet and hormones
First signs of arthritis in your dog
The first sign of arthritis in dogs is a reluctance to move, run or play for long periods. They stop running up stairs and are slow to get up in the morning. Your dog may be stiff and start limping particularly after period of rest or on cold days.
Arthritis diagnosis in your dog
If your vet is experienced, they will be a good judge of the subtle signs tell us that our dogs are in pain. Your dog may withdraw their leg, growl or snap as your vet moves and flexes your dog’s joints. You vet observe your dog’s gait and motion to observe stiffness and limping.
Your dog should then order x-rays to get a better look at your dog’s joints. Once determined, a good vet will tell you about both traditional and natural treatments for dogs with arthritis.
Your dog's lifestyle
There are several treatment for joint and arthritic pain in your dog. However we first need to look holistically at our dog’s lifestyle rather than just start your dog on prescription medication.
If your dog is over weight and suffering from joint pain it is essential that you reduce your dogs weight. This can be done through both exercise and diet.
When increasing your dog’s activity levels, be careful not to hurt your dog. Start with gentle walks on soft ground or at the beach. If your dog is in too much pain, try swimming as a non weight bearing activity.
Depending on your dog swimming abilities you may wan to use a doggy life jacket to help you dog with floatation as he may have restricted movement in his legs to keep him afloat.
Look at your dog’s diet, both the quality and the quantity. Try switching to a health raw diet or high quality dog food. Find a food that does not contain carbohydrates, fillers and grains that are found in most commercial pet food. Feed him the amount recommended and not too many snacks.
Some foods can worsen inflammation and even harm joint function. Do not feed your dog sugars, milk products, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants as these will worsen the arthritis .
Alternatively, adding celery, ginger, alfalfa, blueberries, tropical fruits such as mango and papaya, and cartilage are all good to add to the diet of a dog with arthritis.
Natural supplements are substances that are given to your dog along with their normal diet. They are safer than prescribed drugs as they can be considered a food or nutrient. They are rarely toxic if used in reasonable amounts therefore have little side effects.
Glucosamine as described by PetMD works to produce joint lubricants required to maintain healthy joint function. Glucosamine sulfate is also one of the building blocks of articular cartilage and aids in the rebuilding of damaged cartilage.
Glucosamine sulfate is also beneficial to nails, tendons, skin, eyes, synovial fluid, bone, ligaments, heart valves, and in mucous secretions of the digestive, respiratory, and urinary tracts.
Glucosamine as a nutritional supplement is extracted from crab, lobster, or shrimp shells. There are three forms of glucosamine however the sulfate form is absorbed the best.
Chondroitin sulfate may be beneficial in preventing stress injuries to joints as well as aiding in the repair of damaged connective tissue. Chondroitin sulfate may repair damaged cartilage and help restore joint integrity. It may also protect existing cartilage and keep cartilage tissue hydrated.
Chondroitin sulfate is often combined with glucosamine to treat arthritic pain.
Relieves joint pain and improves mobility
Contain: Glucosamine, Chonndroitin, Vitamin A & E, Hyaluronic Acid, Omega 3 and Omega 6.
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Other Joint supplements for your dog
Other supplements that assist to decrease inflammation, improve the body's ability to repair and strengthen tissue and reduce joint discomfort includes:
- Knox gelatin added to your dogs’ food
- Bone broth see the recipe here: Bone Broth.
- Nutriflex and Megaflex fr
- Trixsyn ,
- Trace Animinerals
- Antiox which is a grape seed extract
- Omega fatty acids
- MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)
- GlycoFlex has been Clinically Proven to increase hind leg strength in dogs by up to 41% in 4 weeks.
- GlycoFlex 3, our 3rd stage of joint support, is recommended for working dog breeds, very active dogs and senior dogs showing signs of joint health problems
- bite sized soft chews are naturally flavored with real chicken
Other natural treatments for arthritis and joint pain
Acupuncture and chiropractic care
Acupuncture and chiropractic care has proven to be beneficial and can help your dog in the following ways:
- Stimulates the release of the body’s own pain relieving and anti-inflammatory substances
- Relax muscles
- Improve blood flow andoxygenation
- Remove toxins
Physical Therapy (PT) is helpful to maintain full function and reduce arthritic changes. The PT will assess your dog’s joint mobility and design a treatment plan that includes stretching and exercises.
Orthopaedic bed and heating pads
An orthopaedic dog bed give your arthritic dog superior support and comfort. They are the best bed for older, ailing, and post-operative dogs, or those with arthritis.will make your dog more comfortable.
Heating pads can provide your dog with comfort and to prevent stiffness from joint pain on cold night
Gentle massage is inexpensive, easy to learn and very effective at relieving arthritic discomfort. A regular massage for your arthritic dog can:
- Slow down the degeneration of joints.
- Reduces muscular tension which helps relieve some of the aches and pains associated with arthritis.
- Stimulates circulation and helps drainage.
- Helps remove toxins.
- Provides some gentle quality time to bond with your ageing or sick doggy
Drugs may be prescribed to reduce inflammation therefore reducing pain and will make your dog more comfortable. There are two types of drug treatment:
Corticosteroids will markedly reduce swelling and inflammation to affected joints. But there is a downside to the long termuse of steroids as they can can actually contribute to additional joint damage and breakdown.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can have noticeable beneficial effects on the arthritis patient. However, these medications can also have a downside in some patients and must be very carefully regulated to avoid bleeding disorders, gastric ulcers, and liver and kidney dysfunction.
Take action if your dog has joint pain
If you dog is suffering from joint pain and possible arthritis, get him to the vet for an assessment.
Now that you know more about the possible treatments for joint pain and ways to make your dog more comfortable you can make an informed choice about the care that you wish to give your dog.
Here's a great video that show some gorgeous doggy at hydrotherapy class....