I get questions in my inbox on a daily basis from pet owners looking for natural treatments for painful arthritic pets. Arthritis is extremely common in dogs and cats, partly because over 50% of pets are overweight or obese. The added strain of the extra weight on the joints contributes to degenerative joint disease. Couple that with stressed immune systems from over-vaccination and overuse of chemicals, poor diets filled with pro-inflammatory ingredients, the sedentary lifestyle most pets live, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Pets that have radiographic evidence of degenerative joint disease can lead active lifestyles. We own three dogs that are fifteen and one 16-year-old. Even though their x-rays are ugly, they remain active and love to romp around the yard. There is no reason to allow your pet to suffer with untreated pain. For many pets, this may require a multi-modal approach, meaning you may need to keep adding therapies until you achieve the desired effect.
Treatment options to consider:
- Acupuncture - decreases pain and inflammation
- Cold Laser Therapy -decreases pain and inflammation
- Massage - increases circulation to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the joints
- Chiropractic - increases nerve and blood flow to the joints
- Physical therapy - cavaletti, stretching, passive range of motion, underwater treadmill, swimming
- Prolotherapy - stabilizes unstable joints
- Stem cell therapy - provides healing through new cell growth
- Platelet-rich Plasma therapy - provides nutrients and growth of new cells
- Adequan injections - increase the quantity and quality of joint fluid when given intramuscularly
- Herbal therapy - my favorites are DGP and Voltrex. They can help to decrease pain and inflammation.
- Golden Paste - made with turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, and coconut oil, decreases pain and inflammation
- Bone Broth - natural collagens support joints and cartilage
- Homeopathic therapy - Arnica works well for many pets; there are also combination products
- Joint supplements including glucosamine, chondroitin, green lipped mussel, deer antler velvet, and colostrum (all natural anti-inflammatories that help restore joint health by providing nutrients for cell repair)
- Omega 3 fatty acids are natural anti-inflammatories
- Lauric acid is a natural anti-inflammatory. It is found in high quality coconut oil.
- CBD oil and CBD treats are new to the market and provide relief from pain and inflammation for many pets.
- PEA - a natural fatty acid molecule that disrupts inflammation and pain.
- Duralactin - a nutraceutical that supports mobility.
- Jump for JOYnts - Supports healthy joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscle. Jump for JOYnts can support issues such as acl injuries, arthritis, and bone and muscle injuries.
Many of these products can be combined with traditional pain relief therapies, which may include NSAIDs, tramadol, amantidine, gabapentin, steroids, and many other drugs.
Provide a high quality, species-appropriate diet. This will help maintain an ideal weight and decrease inflammation in the body. Weight management is the most important aspect of controlling arthritis pain.
Consistent, low-impact exercise is essential. These pets will deteriorate and be more painful if they are completely sedentary.
Ask your veterinarian for help treating your arthritic pet. Don't allow your pets to suffer needlessly.