dog arthritis

Dog Arthritis: Top Treatments 2020

 

Panic can overwhelm pet owners upon hearing their fur friend has chronic arthritis. You may be surprised to learn, however, that claims that arthritis is a debilitating, life-threatening condition are exaggerated. 

 

We blame the veterinary pharmaceutical industry for their dramatic advertisements depicting swollen and crooked joints and frightening pronouncements. They are out to make a profit, of course.  

 

If your dog has received a new arthritis diagnosis, rest assured many sophisticated medical and holistic treatments exist to get his or her inflammation under control. An active, long life still lies ahead. 

 

Arthritis is a natural signaling mechanism carried out by all mammal bodies. It typically remains mild and often ends up healing itself without intervention. Still, you want to know all available options so you can get your beloved pet running and jumping again. The first step is understanding the condition you are dealing with. 

Understand the Inflammation Mechanism to Choose the Appropriate Dog Arthritis Treatment

Arthritis or joint inflammation is not only a negative actor. The immune system inflames the joint area to indicate tissue damage. With the tissues inflamed, the dog (or person) eases up on using that joint, giving it a better chance of healing.  Should healing occur, the inflammation subsides naturally. 

 

Inflammation only becomes a problem when the healing system cannot overcome the immune system’s response and the inflammation becomes chronic. In these situations, the body may need some back-up to get the joint back on the path to healing. This support can come from veterinary intervention and the use of medications or more holistic treatments. 

 

The Veterinary Medicine Approach to Dog Arthritis in 2020

When a dog’s limp doesn’t go away after a few days, it’s best to take him or her into the veterinary clinic. The veterinarian will take a radiograph to confirm the extent of the inflammation and rule out tears or sprains to the ligaments and tendons.

 

If a pet owner indicates they prefer beginning with gentle solutions, the veterinarian will prescribe canine nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. While they have much of the same ingredients as Advil for humans, it’s best to use those formulated specifically for dogs. These inflammation and pain reducers include Novox, Rimadyl, Previcox, and Metacam. 

 

The veterinarian may even help the healing process along with a shot of cortisone or a steroid like prednisone into the joint. Because robust studies have proven that physiotherapy, chiropractic, and massage therapy all reduce pain and improve mobility, your veterinarian will make sure to mention these services. 

 

Non-Veterinary Treatments for Canine Osteoarthritis

Holistic veterinarians and other alternative pet health professionals will quickly remind you that NSAIDs and other drugs for canine osteoarthritis simply mask the pain. The inflammation can still be present. In fact, with the dog numbed to the pain, he or she could use the joint too much, exacerbating the issue. 

 

The holistic practitioner will ask about repetitive movements, recent trauma, or potential toxicity.  He or she will then work with you to eliminate these stressors. 

 

Checking vitamin and nutrient levels is another way to approach the battle against inflammation. The use of steroids and biologics can impede the immune system response so that the inflamed area never heals. 

 

Holistic and alternative practitioners will recommend careful exercise, a more natural diet, and even all-natural supplements. 

 

Cornell University Researches CBD Oil Tinctures and Treats for Canine Osteoarthritis

CBD or cannabidiol treats are getting more and more attention for their use to ease allergies, evoke a sense of calm, and yes, promote joint mobility. The abundance of anecdotal cases about these hemp-derived substances caught the attention of the researchers at the best veterinary school in the United States. 

 

Determined to dive in, the scientists at Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine divided dozens of osteoarthritic dogs into two groups: those receiving doses of CBD-infused oil and the “control” group. Scientists administered CBD oil to the dogs twice each day at a rate of 2 mg per kg of dog weight. (A typical 15-lb French Bulldog would be 6.8kg and therefore receive about 14 mg of CBD oil in each dose.)  Depending on their group, the dogs got their oil or placebo for four weeks. 

 

Conclusions? Researchers worked with owners and both reported “a decrease in pain” accompanied by an increase in activity in osteoarthritic dogs taking the CBD oil

 

The scientists weren’t surprised. After all, researchers stated in their study, “The endocannabinoid receptor system is known to play a role in pain modulation and attenuation of inflammation.” The endocannabinoid receptor system (really only recently discovered in the 1980s marijuana studies) is a complex cell-signaling system that helps to regulate: sleep, mood, appetite, pain, memory, and fertility. As we cover on our CBD page, of the 80 identified cannabinoids found in cannabis, only tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is psychoactive. The other 79 cannabinoids, including cannabidiol, remain free from any mind-altering substances. 

 

Even better,  a 2017 World Health Organization report relates that cannabidiol in its pure state is safe and well-tolerated by animals.

 

How the Proactive Pet Owner Treats their Dog’s Arthritis

It used to be that the doctor and veterinarian’s word was golden. Patients and pet owners had medical professionals on a pedestal that precluded any challenge from their lay knowledge.

 

With the proliferation of the internet and an avalanche of medical knowledge available to all, today consumers can research options for treating all kinds of medical conditions. 

 

If you want to start out with less toxic, less invasive treatments consider behavioral changes, nutritional supplements, and hemp-derived, CBD oils and treats. We’ve answered some of the most common questions here, but we’re also happy to take your questions on our contact page. We look forward to hearing about your dog’s journey through arthritis.  

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