Arthritis in Dogs --Top 10
Treatments and Natural Remedies

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April 23, 2010, last updated June 9, 2013
By Louise Carr, Contributing Columnist and Susan M. Callahan,
Health Editor



Just as arthritis can strike any person, particularly as they get
older, it can also affect man’s best friend. Like its human form,
canine arthritis can be a real problem for dogs as it causes pain
and stiffness in the joints and can get worse over time.

The Arthritis Foundation says arthritis affects one in five adult
dogs in America and is one of the most common forms of
chronic pain.

Your dog may have arthritis if he seems less bouncy or alert
than usual, has difficulty sitting or standing, a hesitancy to run
or jump or you see him limping or favoring a limb.

Arthritis can be hard to diagnose, often being mistaken for old
age or a little laziness, but you should get a correct diagnosis
as soon as possible so your canine friend can get the treatment
she needs.

Drawn from veterinarian studies, here are the Top treatments
and natural remedies for arthritis in dogs:




























1.
Help Your Dog to  Lose Weight. It’s important for dogs, like
humans, to shed excess weight that can be harmful to health.
It is particularly important as dogs get older.

Losing weight will help the symptoms of canine arthritis by
relieving heavy pressure on the joints. Make sure your pooch is
as active as possible.

Pay attention to how much your dog eats and when, cutting
portion sizes if necessary. Don’t be tempted to sneak in some
extra snacks, no matter how much she pleads, as this will spoil
the diet and damage your attempts to treat your dog’s arthritis.

2.
Use the Right Medications to Help Your Dog's Arthritis.
Dogs with arthritis can be treated with a type of medication
called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).

NSAIDS provide relief from aches and soreness and reduce
inflammation in the joints. Examples of NSAIDS are Deramaxx
(deracoxib) and Rimadyl (carprofen). These are prescription
drugs and can only be administered by veterinarians.

Deramaxx is prescribed in chewable tablets and Rimadyl comes
in chewable, injectable and caplet forms.

Joint Fluid Modifiers are newer drugs that act over the long-
term, changing the fluids in the joints to provide relief from
arthritis. This treatment doesn’t give immediate pain relief so it
is often prescribed alongside NSAIDS. Even if you suffer from
arthritis you shouldn’t give your medication to your dog.
Certain medications can be toxic to animals and, even if they
are safe, only a professional can define the correct dose for
your pet.

3.
Try  Over-the-Counter Treatments for Your Dog.
Dogs with signs of arthritis can benefit greatly by consuming
products containing glucosamine. Glucosamine is a natural
substance, derived from shellfish, that helps build healthy joint
tissue.

A 2001 study led by Professor Kenneth A Johnson of  The Ohio
State University Department Veterinary Clinical Sciences
confirmed that a mixture of glucosamime hydochloride,
chondroitin sulfate, and manganese ascorbate  worked to
improve the synovial fluids around the joints of arthritic dogs.

You can buy a variety of glucosamine-enriched dog chews and
tablets at your local store.

Another joint-builder is omega 3 fatty acids, which help your
dog become more supple and mobile. A doggy omega 3
supplement can provide relief for the inflammation caused by
arthritis.  You may, if you wish, feed your dog unseasoned
grilled salmon, which is one of the foods highest in omega 3
fatty acids. Leave on the skin, as it contains a concentration of
the fatty acids.

If you find that omega-3 helps your dog's stiff joints, you may
also want to consider "krill oil", because new research has
found that this oil from small shrimp-like crustaceans actually
improves joint stiffness in humans even better than fish oil. As
always, check with your dog's veterinarian before using krill oil.
(Read more about
krill oil's health benefits.)


Several other supplements have shown great promise in
treating arthritis in dogs. A 2004 study from Ruprecht-Karls-
University  in Germany examined the effectiveness of an herbal
treatment made up of "Boswellian serrata resin".  29 dogs
were given daily doses of 400mg of this plant-based herb for 6
weeks. After just 2 weeks of treatment, 71% of the dogs
showed significant reductions of lameness, local pain and
stiffness.

4.
Get Your Dog a Copper Collar.
Many human arthritis sufferers swear by the power of copper
and these aids are also manufactured for dogs. Copper collars
contain strands of copper inside a fabric collar that fastens
round your dog’s neck in the usual way.

Copper collars can help your dog's arthritis. The theory behind
copper treatment is that copper deposits are absorbed into the
blood where they work their magic as anti-inflammatories.
Although many dog owners use the collars, copper’s benefits
have not been proven and you should discuss this option with
your vet if you are concerned.

5.
Grab the Leash and Get Some Exercise.
It may seem like the last thing you should do if your dog has
trouble moving and doesn’t seem to enjoy his runs, but
exercise is a positive step to take when treating arthritis.

Exercise strengthens the muscles around the joints in order to
cut down direct stress on the joint. It also releases a
lubricating fluid that greatly improves smooth joint movement.
You should increase your dog’s exercise routine slowly,
monitoring your pet’s fitness and how much he can manage.

Swimming is also great for your dog's arthritis. Look for special
sessions at dog clinics or centers, or take your pooch to the
lake for some free water therapy.

6.  
Massage Your Pet. Dogs, particularly those in the more
advanced stages of arthritis, will love the soothing effects of a
massage. Try rubbing your dog’s legs with scented oils, or use
store-cupboard sunflower or olive oil if special products are not
available.

Massaging your pet before they get up in the mornings can
improve blood flow and prevent stiffness in the joints
throughout the day. If you’re not confident you could book
your dog in for a massage and learn the techniques through
watching a professional at work.

7.
Warm Up Your Dog. Dogs with arthritis can greatly benefit
from the extra warmth a heated pad or bed provides. Warm
beds, and also warm baths, provide relief from aches and pains
and help promote better sleep. Healthy sleep and rest will allow
your dog cope with the symptoms of arthritis and speed up
renewal in the joints. You can buy bite-resistant discs to attach
to the body, fleecy electric blankets, scented warm pillows and
infrared heat beds among other products.

8.
Equipment to Help Your Dog. Give your dog a helping hand
to relax in the places he may struggle to reach. Help your dog
get in and out of your car with a special dog car ramp which
will relieve pressure on their joints and minimise the pain of
making big jumps or steps. Dog ramps and steps are also
available for getting onto the bed or couch. They are moulded,
carpeted and many fold up to save space.

9.  
Food That Can Benefit Your Dog’s Arthritis.
In addition to making sure your dog doesn’t eat too much, you
can also provide relief from arthritis by adding some extra
ingredients to his diet.

Vegetables are essential for a healthy dog, full of vitamins and
minerals that can help arthritis sufferers. Try feeding your dog
small pieces of broccoli, carrot and spinach mixed in with her
regular food.

Alfalfa herbs can help soothe inflammation and may be
prepared in a tea, cooled down for your dog to drink. Yucca,
another herb, is thought to ease pain through its natural
steroids.

Devil’s Claw is believed to ease stiffness. Stinging nettles and
comfrey, which your dog may eat naturally on her walks, can
help cleanse the body and ease pain. The chemicals in some
seafood are thought to restore damaged tissues, particularly
greenlip mussels. You can buy shellfish extracts if the real thing
is too expensive or hard to find.  


10 .
As a Last Resort -Consider Surgery For Your Dog.
If you have exhausted other treatments for arthritis, surgery
may be an option for your pet. It is expensive, though, and can
be a strain for your dog. In most cases you should be able to
provide relief from arthritis through medication and alternative
treatments without needing to try surgery.



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Treating your dog to a warm tub can
help ease painful arthritis joints.