Arthritis In your dog?

Arthritis In your dog?

By Dr. Karen Becker

Just like older people, many dogs who are getting up in years develop arthritis, and while the condition is more often seen in large and giant breeds, it can affect dogs of any age, any size, and either sex.

The good news is that if your own dog is dealing with arthritis, there are many things you can do to help him remain comfortable and mobile in spite of his condition.

5 Critical Areas to Focus on If Your Dog Has Arthritis

In many cases, dogs with degenerative joint disease can be well managed with a natural, nontoxic protocol. The earlier supportive joint protocols are started, the better. In my experience, which is fortunately also a growing trend in the conventional veterinary community, a multimodal approach is best for slowing the progression of the disease and keeping arthritic dogs comfortable.

  1. Weight management — Keeping your four-legged family member at a lean, healthy weight is absolutely crucial in alleviating arthritis symptoms. An overweight dog with arthritis can have noticeable improvement in symptoms after losing just a small amount of body weight.
  2. Exercise — Dogs need to move their bodies more, not less, as they age. Although the intensity, duration and type of exercise will change, daily activity is still crucial to prevent musculoskeletal weakness. Muscles maintain your dog’s frame, so preserving muscle tone will also slow the amount of joint laxity (which causes arthritis) as well.

Daily, consistent, lifelong aerobic exercise is the very best long-term strategy to delay the onset of arthritis symptoms. Without it, dogs exhibit more profound symptoms much earlier in life.

  1. An anti-inflammatory diet — All dogs, and especially those with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, should be fed a moisture-rich, nutritionally optimal, species-appropriate diet that is naturally anti-inflammatory, consisting of real, whole foods, preferably raw, organic, and non-GMO. It should include:
High-quality, lean protein, including muscle meat, organs and bone (protein coming from animal sources should make up more than 80 percent of a cat’s diet)
Low to moderate levels of animal fat (depending on your pet’s activity level)
High levels of EPA and DHA (omega-3 essential fatty acids)
A few fresh cut, fibrous vegetables, pureed
No grains or starches
A whole food vitamin/mineral supplement that meets the additional E, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, iodine and vitamin D deficiencies often found in homemade diets OR enough of these hard-to-source foods in whole food forms, daily
Beneficial additions such as probiotics, digestive enzymes, and super green foods

There is one commercially available “veterinary recommended” raw, therapeutic diet on the market that takes the guess work out of creating a balanced, fresh food diet for arthritic dogs.

Along with a nutritionally balanced, species-appropriate diet, it’s important to practice portion control at every meal. For most pets, this means a carefully measured morning and evening meal. And don’t forget to factor in any calories from treats.

You also need to know exactly how many calories your dog or cat should be eating per day. Use these calorie calculators to determine how many calories your pet should take in to lose weight or maintain his or her current weight.

  1. Increasing comfort and mobility at home — Arthritic dogs should be provided with non-toxic, well-padded bedding located in a warm, dry area of the house. A carpet-covered ramp or steps to access the bed or couch can be very helpful, along with a gently sloped ramp to the outdoors. Slippery floors should be covered with throw rugs or runners.
  2. Physical therapy — Physical therapy is an absolute must for arthritic dogs and should be designed to maintain and increase joint strength, muscle tone, and range of motion. This can be accomplished with therapeutic exercises, swimming, and massage.

In addition to therapies such as laser treatments and the Assisi loop, I’ve found that incorporating maintenance chiropractic, underwater treadmill, massage, acupuncture, and daily stretching, along with an oral protocol (discussed below) to manage pain and inflammation yields the best results possible for an arthritic dog, and can dramatically delay the need for pharmaceutical interventions if instituted early on in the disease process.

Essential Beneficial Supplements for Arthritic Dogs

Chondroprotective agents (CPAs) that protect the joints (e.g., glucosamine sulfate, collagen, MSM, eggshell membrane, perna mussel aka green-lipped clam, Adequan and cetyl myristoleate) are essential for dogs with arthritis.

CPAs slow the rate of cartilage degeneration, which is critical. The form, dose and type of CPA your veterinarian prescribes should be based on a careful assessment of your dog’s individual needs. CPAs should be blended with pain control options as necessary.

There are many natural remedies for arthritis that can reduce or eliminate the need for painkillers in the early stages, including:

High-quality omega-3 supplement (krill oil) Devil’s Claw
Ubiquinol Supergreen foods (spirulina, astaxanthin)
Turmeric (curcumin) Natural anti-inflammatory formulas (e.g., proteolytic enzymes and SOD)
Traditional Chinese Herbs Homeopathic remedies such as Rhus tox, Bryonia, and Arnica
Boswellia serrata Esterified Fatty Acid Complex (EFAC)
Corydalis CBD oil

There are also ayurvedic herbs and nutraceuticals that can be very beneficial for dogs with arthritis, depending on their individual symptoms.

Why It’s so Important to Continually Monitor Your Dog’s Condition

It’s important to monitor your pet’s symptoms on an ongoing basis, since arthritis is a progressive disease. Your dog’s body is constantly changing, and her treatment protocol will need to evolve as well, which is why partnering with an integrative veterinarian is so important toward your goal of maintaining your furry BFF’s quality of life for as long as possible without drugs.

In the vast majority of mild to moderate joint pain cases, if CPAs and natural pain control options are initiated early, the need for intermittent NSAID therapy can be minimized to those occasional bad days when the weather or activities temporarily exacerbate the dog’s discomfort.

Moderate to severe joint pain cases (requiring consistent NSAID drug administration to maintain quality of life) can rely on lower drug doses by using an integrative protocol that is instituted early on and evolves with a patient’s age.

I definitely recommend finding an integrative or proactive, functional medicine veterinarian to work with you to customize a comprehensive protocol for your pet. Practitioners who’ve gone beyond their traditional veterinary school training of simply prescribing nonsteroidal pain medication, to learn and incorporate complimentary therapies into their practice, will have many more options to offer your dog over the course of her lifetime.

Some newer regenerative medicine options reaching small animal medicine include stem cell therapy and PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections, as well as Prolo therapy. The safety and efficacy of these treatments depends on the condition and technique used, which is another reason to partner with a functional medicine or integrative veterinarian who is well-versed in these promising, emerging procedures.

I also recommend bringing your dog for a wellness checkup with your proactive veterinarian at least twice a year to review the status of her health, and to check the range of motion in her joints, the muscle mass she’s either gaining or losing, and to make adjustments to her protocol as necessary to ensure her quality of life is optimal.

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7 ways to beat dog arthritis

By  Sherman O. Canapp Jr., DVM, MS, CCRT and Lisa M. Fair, VT, CCRA, CMT and comments by diane weinmann

With early intervention and a multi-faceted treatment plan, you can help get the better of the common condition of arthritis.

If your dog has arthritis, he has lots of company. It’s the most common joint disease in canines. One in every five dogs older than a year is affected, and by the time a dog is ten or older, that incidence has increased to one in two.

Managing osteoarthritis (OA) often involves the palliative treatment of well-established disease using just a few therapies. But early intervention, coupled with a multimodal treatment regime, could do a lot more to reduce the effects of this prevalent disease.

  1. Diet and supplements

Nutrition plays a role in developmental skeletal disease. An excess of specific nutrients can exacerbate musculoskeletal disorders, and fast-growing, large breed puppies are at particular risk. For these dogs, controlled growth, optimum levels of calcium, phosphorus and essential fatty acids, and specific nutrients to enhance development are all essential to reduce the risk of developmental skeletal disease. In all dogs, providing proper nutrition during growth, and maintaining a healthy weight through life, can help minimize OA.

Diets that include or are supplemented with these nutrients may reduce inflammation, slow degradation, enhance cartilage repair and provide relief from discomfort:

  • EPA and DHA, two components of Omega-3 fatty acids, reduce inflammation and reduce pain associated with OA. EPA suppresses the enzymes associated with cartilage destruction.
  • Glucosamine is a precursor for glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), a primary component of joint cartilage. It may influence cartilage structure and restore synovial fluid. GAGs may aid in the prevention of OA.
  • Chondrotin sulfate is an important structural component of cartilage and helps it resist compression. It may reduce inflammation, stimulate synthesis of proteoglycans and hyaluronic acid, and decrease catabolic activity.
  • ASUs (avocado/soybean unsaponifiables) help protect cartilage from degradation. Studies have shown a synergy when glucosamine hydrochloride, chondrotin sulfate and AUS are combined. They help inhibit the expression of agents involved in cartilage breakdown.
  • MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) may have anti-inflammatory effects. Research suggests there may be increased benefits when MSM is combined with glucosamine and chondrotin.
  • SAM-e (S-Adenosyl methionine) can reduce discomfort associated with OA. Some studies even found it to be as effective for relieving pain as NSAIDs.
  • Vitamin E is an antioxidant. Oxidative damage caused by free radicals can contribute to degenerative joint disease. Vitamin E inhibits oxidation, but the levels must be higher than minimal requirements to achieve these benefits.
  • Vitamin C is well known for its antioxidant activity. Although dogs can synthesize enough to meet minimal requirements, supplementation may improve antioxidant performance. It is important to note that vitamin C supplementation can contribute to calcium oxalate crystal formation in susceptible dogs.
  • DLPA (DL-phenylalanine) is a natural amino acid used to treat chronic pain. It inhibits several enzymes responsible for the destruction of endorphins, pain-killing hormones. DLPA can be used as an alternative to NSAIDs.
  • Traumeel is a homeopathic formulation of 12 botanical substances and one mineral substance. It is purported to have anti-inflammatory, anti-edematous and anti-exudative properties. Traumeel is often used as an alternative to NSAIDs.
  • GLM (green-lipped mussel) contains anti-inflammatory components that may benefit joint health. Clinical studies of GLM powder added to diets showed it to be effective in reducing symptoms.
  • Several herbs have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, including boswellia, yucca root, turmeric, hawthorn, nettle leaf, licorice, meadowsweet and willow bark. Consult with a veterinarian experienced in using herbs.
  • Hyaluronic acid (HA) has been shown to slow the progression of osteoarthritis and decrease inflammation within the joint. Specifically, it increases joint fluid viscosity, increases cartilage (GAG) formation, and decreases degrading enzymes and cytokines. Over 70% of dogs have been reported to respond well to HA and improvement can be noted for over six months following administration. My clinical impression is that HA used alone is useful for synovitis and mild to moderate OA.
  1. Weight management and exercise

Obesity is a known risk factor for OA. Dogs with excess weight should be placed on a diet management program, which may include food and treat restriction, a change of diet, exercise and behavior modification. Weight management alone may result in significant clinical improvement.

Light to moderate low impact exercise is recommended to reduce stiffness and maintain joint mobility. Specific exercise requirements vary based on the individual dog, but short walks (15 to 20 minutes) two to three times daily are typically recommended. Swimming is an excellent low impact activity that can improve muscle mass and joint range of motion. Consistency is critical – exercise should be performed on a routine basis. Excessive and/ or high impact exercise should be avoided.

  1. Acupuncture and chiropractic

Dogs have approximately 360 acupuncture points throughout their bodies. Response varies, with some dogs showing significant improvements in discomfort and mobility. Some experience no obvious benefits and a few do not tolerate needling. Consulting a veterinarian trained in TCVM provides the best chance of successful treatment. TCVM can help with weight management as well as joint issues.

Chiropractic can improve comfort and mobility in dogs with OA. These dogs often develop improper spinal biomechanics secondary to gait changes. Adjustments can restore proper bony relationships and re-set receptors responsible for maintaining correct posture, balance and mobility.

  1. Rehabilitation therapy

This may be used in conjunction with other therapies. In some cases of mild to moderate OA, it may actually eliminate the need for additional medical therapies. The goals of rehabilitation therapy for dogs with OA include pain relief, maintaining or building muscle strength, flexibility, and joint range of motion, core strengthening and overall conditioning.

  • Cold therapy causes vasoconstriction to reduce inflammation, muscle spasms and pain. It benefits dogs with acute exacerbation of chronic arthritis.
  • Heat therapy causes vasodilation. It reduces muscle tension and spasm, improves flexibility of joint capsules and surrounding tendons and ligaments, and provides pain relief.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) reduces pain. It stimulates large cutaneous nerve fibers that transmit sensory impulses faster than pain fibers. TENS also increases the release of endorphins, which block pain perception.
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) involves the stimulation of muscle fibers for strengthening. Dogs with OA typically lose muscle mass due to weakness and disuse. NMES may help minimize atrophy, and provide proprioceptive, kinesthetic and sensory input directly to the muscle as well as give pain relief.
  • Therapeutic ultrasound (TUS) uses sound energy to affect biological tissues. It provides deep heating of tissues and can increase blood flow, collagen extensibility, metabolic rate and pain thresholds. It can also decrease muscle spasm.
  • Low level laser therapy (LLLT) may have positive effects on injured cartilage and may also reduce pain.
  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) uses sound waves characterized by a rapid and steep rise in pressure followed by a period of negative pressure. Mechanical and chemical effects on a cellular level may stimulate healing and modulate pain signals.
  • Manual modalities:

Stretching – Most dogs with arthritis have some inflexibility due to shortened muscles and joint restriction. Performing gentle passive range of motion therapy and stretching can increase overall range of motion. Heat therapy applied prior to these therapies enables collagen fibers to be maximally stretched.

Joint mobilization – May help improve joint range of motion and decrease pain in dogs with mild to moderate OA. It involves low-velocity movements within or at the limit of the dog’s range of motion.

Massage – Decreases myofascial pain, adhesion formation and muscle tension, and increases vascular and lymphatic circulation. Can help reduce edema, improve blood flow, decrease muscle stiffness and improve muscle flexibility and joint mobility.

  • Therapeutic exercises can be of significant benefit. Most dogs with OA have moderate to severe muscle atrophy and loss of motion within affected joints. Therapeutic exercises maintain and rebuild muscle mass, strengthen muscle force, maintain and improve joint range of motion and overall function and conditioning.
  • Hydrotherapy includes underwater treadmill and swim therapy. It encourages range of motion, and improves muscle tone and mass with reduced stress to joints and tissues. Hydrotherapy can help relieve pain, swelling and stiffness, improve muscle mass and tone, increase joint range of motion, and improve circulation.
  1. Regenerative medicine therapy
  2. a) Stem cell therapy

Published literature supports the use of stem cell therapy (SCT) to treat OA in dogs. Most veterinary research has focused on adult stem cells, specifically mesenchymal stem cells. MSCs decrease pro-inflammatory and increase anti-inflammatory mediators.

  1. b) Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)

The concentrated platelets found in PRP contain bioactive proteins and growth factors. These work by binding to cell surface receptors and activating intra-cellular signaling cascades. They promote cell proliferation, cell migration and differentiation, and work as antiinflammatory factors counteracting the inflammatory cytokines at work in arthritis.

SCT and PRP are often administered together.

6. Assistive devices

These provide assistance with mobility. Booties can provide traction for slippery surfaces. Orthotics provide support to joints and can improve comfort. Slings and harnesses can be used to assist dogs when rising, walking, climbing stairs and during elimination. Carts provide independent mobility for dogs that have difficulty walking.

7. Conventional medications – NSAIDs and corticosteroids

NSAIDs have been the conventional foundation for treating symptoms of arthritis. They have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic properties. However, serious adverse effects can occur, especially with chronic use. These most commonly include gastrointestinal, renal, hepatic and coagulation disorders. The goal is to use the minimal effective dose when other treatments are not successful.

In the treatment of severe arthritis, an intra-articular corticosteroid may be beneficial.

It can provide pain relief for end-stage osteoarthritis. Response to treatment is typically seen within a week and benefits may last a year or more.

Once established, canine osteoarthritis is incurable. But if joint problems are diagnosed early on, and managed with a range of integrative therapies, you can help stave off the debilitating effects of arthritis, and that means greater longevity and quality of life.

As an animal communicator and holistic healer for pets, Diane Weinmann recommends NuJoint Plus and NuJoint DS (double stuff) for a dog who has arthritis.   Here is some information regarding the product below:

NuJoint Plus® K-9 Wafers

Hip and Joint Support

 

MSM supplies biologically active sulfur to animals’ joints. Use of MSM has been shown to reduce the rigidity of cells in the soft tissues of the body. By reducing this rigidity, fluids are able to pass more freely from the cell and this helps to reduce cell pressure.

Glucosamine provides the joints with the building blocks needed to for good health.. Acting as a catalyst, Glucosamine helps animals synthesize new cartilage caused by wear and tear. Hip and joint discomfort can happen when normal wear and tear break down cartilage.

Chondroitin attracts and holds fluid within cartilage tissue helping to lubricate joints and increase mobility. Chondroitin neutralizes the destructive enzymes that are known to damage and destroy cartilage. Chondroitin aids the entry of Glucosamine which is the building block of healthy joints.

Vitamin C plays a vital role by supporting immune function, helping white blood cells function normally, and it also promotes cartilage growth and tissue repair. Aging dogs may especially benefit as they become less proficient at producing their own supply of vitamin C.

Ingredients

Glucosamine Sulfate 250 mg
Chondroitin Sulfate 125 mg
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) 125 mg
50 mg Vitamin C (Ester-C®) 50 mg

Flavored with Real Chicken Liver

 

Recommended Daily Dosage

 

 Daily Dosage

Pets Weight
1/2 to 1 wafer under 10 lbs
1 wafer 10-24 lbs
2 wafers 25-49 lbs
3 wafers 50-100 lbs
4 wafers over 100 lbs

To jump-start your pet’s immune health and provide maximum support, please contact our Customer Service department for additional dosage recommendations.

 

NuJoint DS® K-9 Wafers

Hip and Joint Support

MSM supplies biologically active sulfur to animals’ joints. Use of MSM has been shown to reduce the rigidity of cells in the soft tissues of the body. By reducing this rigidity, fluids are able to pass more freely from the cell and this helps to reduce cell pressure.

Glucosamine provides the joints with the building blocks needed to for good health. Acting as a catalyst, Glucosamine helps animals synthesize new cartilage caused by wear and tear. Hip and joint issues can happen when normal wear and tear break down cartilage.

Chondroitin attracts and holds fluid within cartilage tissue helping to lubricate joints and increase mobility. Chondroitin neutralizes the destructive enzymes that are known to damage and destroy cartilage. Chondroitin aids the entry of Glucosamine which is the building block of healthy joints.

Vitamin C plays a vital role by supporting immune function, helping white blood cells function normally, and it also promotes cartilage growth and tissue repair. Aging dogs may especially benefit as they become less proficient at producing their own supply of vitamin C.

Ingredients

Glucosamine Sulfate 500 mg
Chondroitin Sulfate 250 mg
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) 250 mg
50 mg Vitamin C (Ester-C®) 50 mg

Flavored with Real Chicken Liver

 

Recommended Daily Dosage

Daily Dosage Pets Weight
1/2 to 1 wafer under 10 lbs
1 wafer 10-24 lbs
2 wafers 25-49 lbs
3 wafers 50-100 lbs
4 wafers over 100 lbs

To jump-start your pet’s immune health and provide maximum support, please contact our Customer Service department for additional dosage recommendations.

CALL NOW TO ORDER

800-474-7044

Order Code: 82416

or click here

https://www.nuvetlabs.com/order_new2/nujoint.asp