Arthritis may attack dogs in their shoulder, elbow/knee, ankle, paws, and frequently in their hips. One in five dogs are diagnosed with arthritis during their lifetime.
Osteoarthritis is an issue involving the breakdown of joint cartilage that protects the bone like a shock absorber, leading to irritation and inflammation. It may be the result of genetic predisposition, constitutional factors (such as age), or biomechanical (working/sport animals, muscle weakness, misalignment, etc).
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. Genetic predisposition, infection, or tissue injury may cause Rheumatoid arthritis in dogs.
Symptoms of arthritis may include:
- Lethargic or less alert
- Limping, lameness or favoring a limb
- Stiffness – Difficulty sitting or standing
- Reluctant to exercise, play, or perform routine tasks, such as climbing the stairs.
- Weight gain
- Behavioral changes (such as aggression when touched)
Symptoms persisting for more than a couple of weeks require a trip to the veterinarian for an arthritis evaluation.
Arthritis in dogs can cause a lot of damage before symptoms are present because the articular cartilage lacks nerves. Therefore, nurturing healthy cartilage and the entire joint support system is an important part of the prevention of osteoarthritis. A healthy diet, natural supplements and nutraceuticals can protect, rebuild and repair cartilage. Exercise develops a strong, supportive muscular structure and contributes to a healthy weight.
Holistic nutrition allows for the broken down cartilage cells and fluids to be synthesized efficiently and adequately. Vitamins and minerals (preferably obtained from whole foods) that are recommended for the treatment and prevention of arthritic conditions in dogs include Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Beta-carotene, Selenium, Zinc, and Magnesium. Feeding a variety of anti-inflammatory foods on a routine basis can tackle inflammation before it reaches a critical level.
Herbs and Supplements to Prevent or Treat Arthritis in Dogs
Notes of Caution:
- Before adding natural supplements to your dog’s diet, it’s important to discuss it with your veterinarian to avoid interactions or contraindications.
- Not all of these herbs and supplements are safe for all species of pets. Feed sparingly. Research and consultation with a veterinarian are required.
- Never administer human medication to pets unless your veterinarian approves it.
- Glucosomine Sulfate and Glucosomine hydrochloride
- Chondroitin – obtained from animal cartilage, such as bovine or shark.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
- S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) – Derived from methionine. May stimulate the production of cartilage components called proteoglycans.
- Calcium Montmorillonite Clay – Tested for NASA for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in astronauts and animals with astounding success.
- Sea Cucumber
- Perna canaliculus (Green-lipped Mussel)
- Gamma-linoleic acid
- Tanacetum parthenium (Feverfew) – For rheumatoid arthritis in dogs.
- German chamomile
- Turmeric (curcumin)
- Devil’s claw
- Gotu Kola
- Echinacea – For rheumatoid arthritis in dogs.
- White Willow Bark
- Green Tea
- Omega 3
It’s important to use high quality herbs for the best results. We rely on Starwest Botanicals therapeutic-quality herbs.
If you prefer the convenience of a prepared natural supplement, you’ll find several options that holistic vet’s recommend are available from Pet Wellbeing. Manufactured natural joint supplements for dogs can be found at Only Natural Pet Store.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Setty AR, Sigal LH. Herbal medications commonly used in the practice of rheumatology: mechanisms of action, efficacy, and side effects.
American College of Rheumatology
Messonnier, Shawn DVM. The Arthritis Solution for Dogs: Natural and Conventional Therapies to Ease Pain and Enhance Your Dog’s Quality of Life. 2005.
Messonnier, Shawn DVM. The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Arthritis in Dogs and Cats. 2011.
Messonnier, Shawn DVM. Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats: Your A-Z Guide to Over 200 Conditions, Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements. 2001.
Knishinsky, Ran The Clay Cure : Natural Healing from the Earth
Halpern, Georges M. The Inflammation Revolution: A Natural Solution for Arthritis, Asthma, & Other Inflammatory Disorders
Frondoza, C.G., R. Grzanna, L. Lindmark. 2005. Ginger — an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions.
You may also be interested in reading:
Dog Treat Recipe – Homemade Joint & Arthritis Supplements
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