Top Vet Recommended Natural Remedies for Arthritis in Dogs

Arthritis is a sadly common fact of life as our pet dogs begin to get older, developing hip, back and joint problems. Almost every senior pet will suffer from some degree of osteoarthritis as they age, some more than others and especially the larger breeds. In cases not predisposed by previous injury or sickness, arthritis is simply joint pain caused by inflammation from the wearing down of cartilage padding on the bones within the joint. Dog arthritis can occur in any breed and at any age, though smaller breeds tend to have onset much later in life. In any case though, arthritis in dogs causes discomfort at the least and debilitating pain at its worst, sometimes to the point where a dog is unable to even get up. Though it is impossible to completely prevent arthritis in a dog that is predestined to develop this condition, there are many, many things that pet owners can do to alleviate symptoms, helping even arthritic dogs to continue living happy, healthy lives.

Many Causes of Arthritis in Dogs

The biggest reason why dogs will end up with severe arthritis is because of conformational defects such as hip dysplasia, bad knees, weak backs and other physical, genetic weaknesses that have cropped up more and more over the years due to poor breeding practices. Besides genetic causes, dogs can develop arthritis as after-effects of some illnesses like Lyme disease or as lasting effects after a broken bone. Additionally, arthritis and degeneration of the cartilage can happen secondary to autoimmune disease. The result in most cases is the same, however; poor quality or insufficient cartilage in the joints allows bones to actually make contact and rub on each other during movement. This creates inflammation in the joint, as well as pain.

Symptoms of Dog Arthritis

The usual, main symptom in otherwise healthy canines is an eventual slowness in getting up – especially in the lifting of the hind end – and then stiffness upon first moving off. These symptoms usually dissipate as a dog “warms out of it”, though over time the severity of the stiffness and how long it takes a dog to walk it off usually increases. In old dogs especially, reluctance to rise because of pain can attribute to obesity and lack of muscle tone that, let go will make arthritic symptoms worse. Dogs who have been sick or injured in the past generally suffer from the same symptoms involving the affected bones and joints, usually because the body has been unable to produce cartilage sufficient to keep bones from rubbing together. After a while, the condition can become increasingly worse, too.

Treatment of Arthritis in Dogs

There are many ways in which dog owners can alleviate their dog’s pain from arthritis. Conventionally, most veterinarians will prescribe one of a number of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to control inflammation and pain. While these drugs can work quite well for most dogs, they also have frequent side effects that can range from mild to somewhat serious and even life threatening. Main issues with NSAIDs given to dogs over a period of time to control pain associated with arthritis is that these drugs can damage the liver after repeated use, so expensive blood work needs to be monitored, sometimes as often as every 4 to 6 months. Many dogs are unable to use these medications for this reason and must therefore rely on other methods such as steroid. Steroids, when used long-term, can cause its own problems, Cushing’s Disease being one of them. So, while these medications are good for relieving pain, they can be very harmful to other things.

Treating arthritis naturally is an excellent way to obtain relief for any dog, and without the dangerous side effects associated with NSAIDs. Herbal ingredients such as Guggul, ginger and cayenne and many others all have strong anti-inflammatory properties which, when used in formulas to reduce inflammation associated with arthritis, can have similar results as more harmful drugs. Pain is a symptom of inflammation, so by quieting inflammation, pain is reduced as well. A couple of effective products for reducing inflammation and pain associated with dog arthritis are Old Timer, an herbal tonic offered by PetWellbeing and Vet-IonX’s Arthro-IonX, an herbal tonic that also utilizes trace minerals and enzymes to achieve the best pain relieving results.

As with any holistic preparation, best results are obtained when dogs are kept healthy with good diet and immune support. Exercise and weight control are especially important when treating dog arthritis, too. Never give aspirin or any other human painkiller to dogs, as these can be harmful, too. For further questions about arthritis in dogs it is recommended to see your veterinarian to discuss whether these products are right for you.

Filed under: Conditions

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