Managing Pet Arthritis
Learn how to keep your pet's joints in tip top shape!
Whether it's summer or winter, maintaining healthy joints is important in pets. In the winter, the chill can be especially painful for arthritic bones. In the summer, your pet will want to be exploring the outdoors but arthritis can prevent him or her from doing so.
Thankfully, there are a number of natural remedies and other treatments to battle arthritis.
Holistic Treatments for Arthritis
Acupuncture, laser therapy and massage stimulate acupressure points on animals. These points result in healing, calming and pain relief through the activation of blood flow and nerve fibers and the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain reliever.
Physical therapy and hydrotherapy are also good alternative treatments. Frequent walks for short periods of time as well as non-weight-bearing swimming help prevent muscle atrophy when a pet begins favoring a limb due to arthritis.
Supplements for Arthritis
Joint health can be treated with supplements in oral, topical and injectable form. For arthritis, look for products with fish oils, MSM, magnesium, glucosamine and chondroitin. These can act as lubricants or building blocks between bones.
Pronutra fish oils, Omega QD and 1-TDC are packed with Omega-3's to support healthy joints. Ancient Minerals Magnesium Spray can be squirted directly onto joints and areas of the body that have increased blood flow.
Adequan injections are common for canines but can also be an arthritic treatment option in cats. The liquid is made up of amino acid chains that form a sugar, similar to chondroitin. Treatment can be done at home if the owner is comfortable giving subcutaneous or intramuscular injections after a short tutorial by a veterinary professional. The dose is calculated by weight and the dosage is determined by the degree of the disease.
Dasuquin is an oral alternative to Adequan. Other oral supplements that act as natural NSAIDs--anti-inflmammatories--include ginger, turmeric and T-Relief tablets.
Obesity and Arthritis: The Importance of Nutrition
Overweight pets have added pressure on their joints that they must carry around with them daily. Obesity also increases inflammation. This can rapidly degenerate joints. But a proper diet administered in appropriate moderation can keep a pet's weight and internal balance in check, thereby maintaining strong joints.
Talk to your veterinarian about finding a diet that works best for your pet. Anti-oxidants and minerals along with Omega-3's and fatty acids are especially beneficial for correcting degenerative joints. Blueberries, fresh veggies, raw meat and fish are examples of foods that are helpful for arthritic pets.
Products to Ease Joint Stress
Body harnesses, such as the Help 'Em Up Harness, can relieve joint pressure. Halter collars also lessen stress on the neck and spine during walks.
Booties and toe grips, like Dr. Buzby's brand, support a pet's gait and traction as he or she walks or goes from sitting to standing.
Ramps can also decrease joint stress by limiting the amount of jumping a pet has to do. Homemade or store-bought ramps for cars, beds, or sofas and in place of stairs are easy ways to keep your pet feeling young and great.