As a dog begins to age or suffers constant stiffness or has a disability, watching their arthritic decline is heart wrenching. This disease progresses at a slow pace, beginning with a discomfort that is hard to pinpoint. The worst cases turn into an animal not being able to stand, walk about, or even eat their meals.
There are many forms that arthritis comes in with different underlying causes. This leads to many health questions. When it comes to cats and dogs, arthritis can strike any breed or age. While humans seem to commonly experience arthritis through autoimmune rheumatism, dogs too suffer from this condition. Lyme disease and primary cartilage degeneration in young dogs are common causes, joined by one of the most striking - degenerative osteoarthritis. As animals get older, their bony joints don't move as smoothly, causing bony spurs to emerge, which work towards alleviating affected joints. It is the unstable joints and bony proliferations that cause pain in an animal as they attempt to move.
When arthritis attacks, your pet is usually unable to express this pain. Older dogs and cats do not moan and groan about achy joints. Sometimes, displaying difficulty getting up and down is a sign. If they have problems climbing stairs, jumping onto furniture, getting into the car, or seem sore after exercise, you may suspect arthritis. Your pet may even become grumpy, which is why a yearly checkup for older dogs and cats is a must. With some types of arthritis (like OCD, hip dysplasia, and rheumatoid arthritis), treatments that involve surgery and medicine work well. However, degenerative osteoarthritis has no cure.
An affected animal has no choice but to live the rest of their life on anti-inflammatory drugs that include aspirin, phenylbutazone, Feldene, and when it becomes worse - cortisone-like options. Yet, some owners have found benefits in turning towards natural therapeutic treatments, which have proven to ease pain, slow down disease progression, delay the need for drugs, and reduce the medications that may cause serious side effects.
A common initial approach is to change all food to a rather high quality of natural diet selections, while the best dog food is made in the home using recipes illustrated in books by Pitcairn and Volhard. Most dogs that suffer pain undergo a great change after switching their diet to one with high in vitamines and nutrients. The next step is to administer glucosamine supplements, which work to fortify the cartilage associated with damaged or disease-ridden joints.
A veterinarian can point you in the right direction - usually suggesting brands like Cosequin and Glycoflex. To treat pathologic inflammation, antioxidant vitamins are also good, especially when used in combination of homeopathic treatments. When it comes to arthritis, the subject of herbal treatments often arises. Pet owners ask about this approach, yet numerous holistic veterinarians believe herbs are not as useful as nutritional changes and working on the body. If you are thinking about herbal treatments, check with a professional veterinarian who is well versed in Eastern herbal prescription choices.
A majority of animals that are suffering from arthritis, or other musculoskeletal conditions, attempt to relieve their constant pain by twisting about their spines. Occasional chiropractic attention is something in which these such animals will certainly appreciate. Acupuncture treatment is something else which many animals have responded well too when suffering with moderate to severe pain.
Arthritis is not a death sentence. It can be contained with a blend of natural and conventional approaches. It is essential to slow down the advancements of the dog Illness, dog disease by introducing a healthy diet with good dog food nutrition along with the administration of glucosamine supplements during the early stages of the disease. If your pet shows signs of being stiff, then ensure that you speak with a veterinarian immediately.
David Lee is owner and designer of several pet sites. For more information on cats see, cat furniture , or for dogs check out our dog ramps .