Arthritis in dogs is a debilitating disease which attacks the cartilage in the joints. This happens when there is no longer enough cartilage covering the bone, exposing the nerve endings that are found beneath the cartilage.
The pain can be so severe that it can immobilize the arthritic animal, significantly diminishing the animal’s quality of life.
This very painful condition is called “bone to bone” contact.
Unfortunately, there is still no cure. Your plan should be to provide relief from pain and inflammation—so that the animal can live a normal life as possible even with the disease. Physical therapy for your dog should also be included.
However for the effective management of these symptoms, prescription meds such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are often used. NSAIDs are potent and can provide instant relief; nonetheless, these drugs are known to cause the development of ulcers, blood thinning, kidney failure, and even death.
Because of the many dangers that come with the use of NSAIDs (or even other prescription meds), more vets are now advocating for the importance of early diagnosis. When the disease is still in its early stages, the symptoms are not yet severe and therefore can be addressed without the use of dangerous prescription meds.
The Holistic Approach on Dog Arthritis Treatment
The holistic approach on health has become quite popular as more and more people are becoming wary of what they put inside their bodies. Those who practice the holistic approach believe that medicine should not be focusing only on managing the symptoms of the disease; rather, healing the body should encompass a person’s overall well-being.
The holistic approach does not rely on drugs or invasive procedures such as surgery. The approach is more preventive and is more concerned with healthy changes in lifestyle. Thus, the holistic approach espouses the concept that a healthy body and a sound mind are the best tools a person can have in fighting a disease.
In veterinary medicine, the approach is slowing catching up. This is especially apparent in the treatment of dog arthritis. Vets are now teaching their clients the importance of taking a pro-active role in their dog’s health.
In a holistic dog arthritis treatment, vets emphasize the importance of weight management, proper nutrition, and exercise. Dietary supplements, which contain natural ingredients, are favored over drugs containing synthetic substances.
A Simple Three-Step Program towards Holistic Health
- Talk to your vet. Everything and anything that could have a significant effect on your dog’s health should start with a conversation with your vet. Going holistic means changes in your dog’s diet and lifestyle, your vet can help you make sure that these changes are safe and properly done. Your vet can also refer you to experts in pet holistic health.
- Choose pet products carefully. The holistic approach prefers natural and organic products. This means doing some research on pet products and reading labels thoroughly.
- Keep your pet happy. The holistic approach is not only concerned with your dog’s physical health, a dog’s mental and emotional needs should also be met. Food should never be equated with affection, and exercise does not have to be a chore. One way of keeping your dog happy is to approach physical activities with your dog as opportunities for you to bond and have fun with your pet.
You can find more helpful tips for relieving your dog’s pain here.
The above article was written and shared by Dr. Christopher Durin, Veterinarian who actively works with arthritic pets. Besides being a skilled surgeon, Dr. Durin strives to use a healthy blend of treatments that provide comfort for pets from this painful disease.