What Can I Do for My Dog’s Joint Pain?
What Can I Do for My Dog’s Joint Pain?
Proven Dog Arthritis Treatments At Home
Like humans, dogs are starting to live longer. Better diets and improved pet owner awareness about exercise, emotional well-being, and preventative medicine keep hearts healthy and their systems running smoothly.
When our dogs live past 13 to 15, however, they have a higher chance of contracting arthritis. There’s no escaping the wear and tear on joints that come with age. As we discussed in our previous post, veterinarians are no longer the only wellness practitioners treating arthritis successfully. Today, it’s up to pet owners to research and evaluate arthritis treatments they, too, can administer.
Behavior Changes at Home
Evaluate Repetitive Play and Work Strain
Inflammation in the joints most often arises from the strain that comes from repetitive use. We all know some dogs who will return a ball to the owner hundreds of times. Working dogs, too, engage in repetitive movements in their daily tasks. If your dog is limping and you haven’t taken him or her to the veterinarian yet for a scan, try to change up the play or work routine. Give those overused joints a chance to get the healing process started. If the dog improves, you’ll know that inflammation may have been behind the issue.
Address Weight Issues
Arthritis is simply inflammation that gets out of control. The immune system is attacking joints rather than healing them, swelling the tissues. Making lifestyle changes can change this dynamic so that healing can take place. Even a small change, like the dog’s loss of 10 pounds or more, relieves the pressure on the joint. With less weight to carry around, too, the dog will become more active, building muscle. Strong muscles around the joint support it, reducing the chances that inflammation will develop.
Consider Supplements and Nutraceuticals
Your pet-owning friends and dog park buddies will be happy to weigh in on the over-the-counter treatments they have tried to alleviate their dog’s joint pain. Glucosamine Chondroitin formulated for dogs has become very popular for treating joint pain, and some studies conclude it can make a difference for some dogs. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements also sell well to pet owners looking for more holistic, less harsh, solutions. Good canine formulations have been proven safe for dogs.
Consider CBD Oil and Treats
While research is new, promising studies, including one from Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine, found that arthritic dogs ingesting THC-free CBD (cannabidiol) oil twice a day for a period of four weeks showed a “decrease in pain and increase in activity”.
As the Cornell researchers explain, 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. You may be surprised to learn that all mammals have an “ endocannabinoid receptor system” a network of cell receptors that researchers relatively recently discovered. The last 30 years of research revealed that this cell-signaling system helps to regulate sleep, mood, pain, appetite, and memory. CBD oil can be used to boost this system, leading to calmer behavior and more comfort throughout the body.
When a Veterinary Appointment Becomes Critical
The treatments above can go a long way in easing your dog’s joint pain. Keep in mind, however, that many dogs are “stoics.” They only exhibit that they are in pain after it has become very severe. At that point, issues only a veterinary can treat may be at work. Calcium deposits, scar tissue, torn cartilage, and changes to the joint bones cannot be treated at home. Only surgery can rectify joint damage. Therefore, if the strategies you’re using are not merter escort easing the dog’s pain, it’s time to take him or her into the doctor for scans and X-rays.
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