Sosyolobi.com – This time we will discuss about natural remedies for symptoms dog arthritis. Veterinary acupuncture therapy is yet another holistic option to investigate for your pet when a dog doesn’t respond to other options such as glucosamine or even steroids and other anti-inflammatory medications. This type of holistic therapy for dogs with arthritis or dysplasia is exactly the same therapy that works for humans.
When a dog or any being experiences disturbances or obstructions to the energy flows in the acupuncture meridians that traverse its body, it’s quite common for the animal to feel pain. Acupuncturists are trained to insert needles at certain special points along these meridians in order to clear these energy blocks and obstructions.
Canine Acupuncture for Dog Arthritis
Western science doesn’t understand the exact process as to why acupuncture works, yet its effectiveness is not disputed and it has been used in Asia for centuries. Traditional Chinese medical theory basically claims that it works by helping to balance the body’s energy system, which has been misaligned by disease or trauma.
Whatever the reason, veterinarians and pet owners appreciate the results of acupuncture therapy, which can tremendously improve the symptoms of arthritis and dysplasia.
Basically, if a dog has a problem with a certain area of their body, the acupuncture point connected to that problem area is treated to help relieve the problem. Therefore, acupuncture is commonly used in cases of:
- spinal disorders
- hip dysplasia
We’re not dogs, but acupuncturists and veterinarians report that dogs love acupuncture treatments and their sensations, and are often excited to be receiving their next treatments.
The big benefit is that acupuncture not only rebalances the energy system in a dog’s body to not only help correct the dog’s problem, but the dog seems more energetic and happy after a treatment.
Like most holistic remedies (such as canine chiropractic procedures), acupuncture treatment is a gradual process that is not a quick fix, and yet veterinarians have seen cases where in just a few treatments animals can leap off tables without pain or yelping.
Generally, acupuncture therapy takes several treatments to be effective but if your dog doesn’t experience any improvements within 3-5 treatments, you should be looking for other options. When acupuncture does seem to reduce the pain of arthritis, you can usually reduce the visits to “tune up” treatments over the future.
The only way to know if it can help your pet is to take them in for a treatment with a qualified practitioner, who can be found by contacting any of the organizations provided below.
Canine Symptoms of Dog Arthritis
Dog Arthritis Veterinary Treatments
When your pet has hip dysplasia or canine arthritis, there are quite a few options for treatment. The treatments can generally be divided into two categories:
(1) Standard veterinary treatments that use prescription medications (or surgery), and
(2) Holistic, complementary or natural therapies.
We’re not against using prescription medications because they can indeed play a role in a holistic approach to treatment under certain conditions.
However, if your deeper goal is to help your dog to actually become healthier and not just “cover up” their symptoms … then you want a therapy that can eliminate or slow down the progression of the arthritis and actually help the joints to heal, if possible.
That’s what most of the holistic, naturopathic approaches are designed to do.
Many pet owners ask about the best naturopathic approaches to help their pets, and that’s what this manual will focus on, such as natural anti-inflammatory agents. Please note, however, that there is no one “best” treatment for every dog since every dog, every case, is different.
Sometimes you have to experiment among several holistic options to find the treatment that will best help your animal and it often comes down to trial and error, trying one option after another just as we do in selecting our own human complementary treatments.
Furthermore, another factor often comes into play when selecting treatment options. As mentioned previously, every dog owner also has different capabilities as to what they can do for their pet because of budgetary constraints.
When money is not a factor, you can try quite a few different therapies to see which ones work best for your dog. If you have a limited budget, that can work against you in limiting your options.
We feel that the best veterinarians will look at all the options available, and then help you choose what has the highest likelihood of working best, given your constraints, while producing the fewest side effects and best results for the animal.
For instance, the traditional approaches to dog arthritis or hip dysplasia sometimes include surgery when radiographs indicate joint malformations and management approaches have proved ineffective. A good example would be hip replacement therapy for severe hip dysplasia.
When surgery is not indicated, advisable, or affordable, which is not an uncommon occurrence, a dog can experience relief from pain and inflammation by taking painkillers such as corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications.
Canine Chiropractic for Canine Arthritis
Chiropractic Care for Dogs With Arthritis
In many cases of canine arthritis or hip dysplasia, there is also an underlying misalignment of the animal’s spine that can be treated through chiropractic adjustments.
When the spinal vertebrae in a dog are slightly misaligned, perhaps due to a traumatic event or dysplasia, naturally a dog will feel pain. They will also try to torque their body to shift the weight off the painful area.
For instance, in hip dysplasia you can expect a pet to shift its weight off his or her hip joints to their front legs, neck and shoulders in order to avoid the painful hind region.
However which way a dog may shift, the shifting will lead to an unnatural load on other joints as well as a rotation of spinal vertebrae, which can produce muscle spasms.
The overburdened joints will then begin to attract calcium ions because of the extra work load and necessary bone remodeling. The calcium may then begin to lay down on these surfaces as tiny rough plaques and calcium spurs.
Because a dog will shift its weight unnaturally, any abnormal weight strains on the newly preferred joints will also start to cause an abnormal wear and tear on those joints, resulting in yet more muscle spasms and calcium buildup in that area, as well.
Eventually, this overall combination of factors will cause the leg joints to break down, and a dog will have great difficulties in getting up and exercising.
Veterinary chiropractors, just like human chiropractors, explain that the dog’s vertebrae can not only become misaligned, but through this sequence of events can become coated with various calcium deposits that may interfere with the function of the spinal nerves (that are located between the spinal vertebrae) that stretch out to the animal’s muscles and organs.
Chiropractic therapy, however, is aimed at mechanically adjusting the spinal and other joints through physical manipulation to help with many of these problems. A veterinary chiropractor will greet an animal and evaluate the mobility of joints in the spine and elsewhere while searching to locate and adjust any areas that may be contributing to muscle or postural problems, such as the bones of the spine or legs.
The whole purpose behind chiropractic adjustments is to eliminate any restrictions or misadjustments so as to restore the full functioning of the nervous system as well as healthy movement to the joints.
You cannot tell, unless an animal is evaluated, whether chiropractic manipulations will help an animal unless it is taken in for evaluation. Chronic (long-standing) conditions may require a series of treatments.
Most chiropractic veterinarians also know how to arrange a holistic diet for a dog and how to prescribe glucosamine supplementation or DGP, and you can find a practitioner through the following association:
American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA)
How Much Exercise for Dogs with Arthritis?
The Right Amount of Exercise for an Arthritic Dog
Regular exercise is extremely beneficial for your dog when they have arthritis or degenerative joint disease. The key is determining what type of exercise is right for your pet, and how much is enough … rather than too little or too much.
For instance, if you are going to give your dog a variety of nutritional supplements to help heal arthritic joints, a standard rule of nutritional practice is that you have to maintain good blood supply to the joints in order for these substances to reach their destination.
You can only maintain a good blood supply if the joints are exercised, so the problem comes down to striking a balance between enough exercise to help keep muscles, tendons and ligaments mobile, strong and maintain their range of motion, while not over-exercising so that your dog hurts its joints.
A good general rule of thumb is to provide your dog with a reasonable amount of controlled exercise. You want your dog to get enough exercise that he or she enjoys it without becoming stiff and aching afterwards. Shorter walks and play time, or swimming throughout the day, are better than marathon walks, marches and play sessions.
Arthritic dogs tend to “loosen up” with exercise. That is why dogs are in more discomfort earlier in the day than late in the afternoon – the opportunity to move around has eliminated some of the stiffness and discomfort following a period of inactivity. This can also be a potential problem however, as a dog may feel well enough to exercise too vigorously, further damaging the joints.
Here is what I advise most of my clients to do – let your dog walk or run or fetch within reason. It can chase Frisbees. It can also swim, which is a particularly good exercise. What it can’t do … and so what you want to avoid … is encouraging your dog to jump up to catch things because of the weight placed on the hips.
You also don’t want to play tug-of-war, again because of the excessive strain placed on the joints. In all these forms of exercise, even the “safer” ones, the key word is moderation. And remember, you can massage your dog, too.
The Alternative Treatments for Canine Arthritis
Dog Arthritis Can Be Helped With Alternative Joint Treatments
The field of alternative therapy for animals is expanding exponentially. There is acupressure, therapeutic touch, animal communication, healing touch, hydrotherapy, magnet therapy, Reiki, veterinary orthopedic manipulation and Traditional Chinese Medicine for dogs.
We cannot go into all of these therapies, but if you want to pursue them further you’re advised to contact the International Alliance for Animal Therapy and Healing, which brings together complementary and alternative animal healers.
They can be reached through:
International Alliance for Animal Therapy and Healing – – IAATH brings together complementary and alternative animal healers and promotes the concept of concurrent care, where traditional and complementary practitioners cooperate in providing comprehensive care for animals.
If any of these other directories failed, in general you can find many skilled veterinarians of all types through the directory at the American Holistic Veterinary Association, which covers North American and Canadian practitioners.
The general contact information for the organization is the following:
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association – Organization of skilled veterinarians who practice holistic, complementary and alternative veterinary medicine and natural healing for pets and animals, including chiropractic, homeopathy, acupuncture and nutritional therapy.
Our final advice is that you should do your utmost to find a skilled holistic veterinarian to help you with your pets. A good holistic veterinarian can be “worth their weight in gold.” Once you find one, together you can work out various treatment options for your dog’s problems and can try various approaches to see which one works best.
Helping your dog when they have arthritis or dysplasia is not that difficult when you have all these holistic options. Remember to help your dog lose weight, give them the right amount of exercise, and massage the affected joints with therapeutic touch.
You can also try a number of supplements such as glucosamine/chondroitin, DGP and other natural sources of GAGs or anti-inflammatories to see which produce the most beneficial effect for your pet. If that isn’t enough, you also have the options of homeopathy, chiropractic and even acupuncture to find something helpful.
Most of all, you have to TRY to find something that will work for your dog as every case is different. You’ve taken the first step in buying this book, and now it’s up to you to take the next steps that will truly benefit your animal.