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Common Joint Problems in Dogs and Cats

Common Joint Problems in Dogs and Cats

Herbal remedies to help address joint problems and symptoms of joint problems in dogs and cats. 

Common Joint Problems in Dogs and Cats

The canine and feline musculoskeletal system has many components which includes bones, blood vessels, joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, and organs such as the liver, kidneys, and adrenal glands. Age, injuries, breed, genetics, illness and wear and tear can all undermine your pet’s joints and connective tissue, causing stiff and aching joints, degenerative disease and inflammatory responses throughout the body.

The immune system is a complex army of cells found through out your pet’s body that provides a fortified defense against unwanted invaders. It is an intricate system that keeps your pet healthy and protects them against allergens, viruses, bacteria, microbes, parasites, toxins, foreign fells and cellular mutations (healthy cells which have mutated into irregular cells). The immune system is tasked with protecting EVERY cell in the animal body. With so many pet parents wondering why and how to best support immunity in their dogs and cats, this article will highlight its role and provide practical suggestions. 

A healthy immune system is resilient and powerful and up to the task of supporting normal, balanced function. The immune system is not intended to be suppressed or stimulated.  But even an animal with a highly developed immune system can experience dysfunction or failure. In cases of dysfunction, an animal body requires whole body systemic support. If your pet’s immune system is weakened, every bodily system is at risk for disease. 

Joint problems include degenerative conditions, such as degenerative joint disease, also known as osteoarthritis. It is a common condition in both older dogs and cats. In degenerative joint disease, the cartilage surrounding the joint changes, breaks down slowly and deteriorates as a result of wear and tear.

The cartilage actually erodes together with areas of bone, mainly affecting the hip, spine knees, elbows and wrist joints. Osteoarthritis is an extremely painful, progressive disease that will continue to worsen over time.

Dogs tend to be more susceptible to degenerative joint disease than cats and specific breeds, especially large breeds such as Labrador-retriever, German shepherd, or Golden retrievers are more prone to experience joint and bone problems. As soon as you notice any signs that may indicate that your dog or cat has difficulty walking, consult your vet. Degenerative joint disease is manageable and animals can enjoy quality of life if treated early.

Common symptoms and signs of joint problems include:

Reduced level of activity

Difficulty getting up and down, running, jumping, climbing stairs or grooming

Stiff-legged gait

Sore or swollen joints

Stiffness

Lameness

Limping

Lagging behind on walks

Cries or whines in pain when the affected joint is touched

May snarl or bite if the affected joint is touched

Sensitive to cold weather

Lethargy

In addition, behavioral changes such as irritability, aggression, nervousness, depression or withdrawal may be displayed. While the exact cause of degenerative joint disease has not yet been established, various causes may be related to joint disease, including:

Excessive wear and tear on the joints and cartilage

Trauma

Obesity

Congenital defects from birth, for example hip or elbow dysplasia

Osteochondritis dissecans

Dislocation of the shoulder or kneecap

Underlying disorders such as diabetes, hyperlaxity or the overuse of steroid medication

Organic Remedies - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets for this disease or condition - human grade meets highest safety criteria for pets)

Herbal and marine treatments have been used effectively for millennia to treat degenerative joint disease and conditions, to help to regenerate lost cartilage and connective tissues, to reduce symptoms of pain and inflammation; acts as an anti-inflammatory and immune builder, supporting the joints and skeletal system as well as overall health, in the treatment of degenerative joint diseases, to strengthen and support healthy joints and alleviate pain and inflammation.

Joint Ease Super Dog & Cat – (learn more) contains a synergistic blend of plant and marine extracts that help promote preventative and reparative support to rebuild the tissue, joints, bones and muscles matrix; supports balanced immunity and limits whole body inflammatory response while promoting systemic healing; as a holistic, natural treatment for rheumatism; for arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatism, Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), Intervertebral Disk Disease (IDD), Degenerative Myelopathy, arthrosis and related inflammation and pain; for muscle pains, strains, injuries and other degenerative joint related diseases; as a pain reliever for swelling and lack of mobility; for overall optimal health and function and as a natural alternative for tumors and cysts. Contains herbs and marine extracts recognized by the World Health Organization as some of the most important ingredients in the natural treatment of all forms of arthritis.

Bionic Body – (learn more) is used holistically for its adaptogenic (read, repair and restore functions) for its immune boosting and anti-inflammatory support; as an antioxidant and for its free radical scavenging (disease preventing) actions; for its nutritive content which may help to nourish the body and strengthen and revitalize bones, eye, teeth, skin and coat; works to stimulate collagen production, a primary building material of bones; may help prevent dental disease; for its plant actions to help strengthen bones, cartilage, joints, muscles, connective tissues & blood vessels & helps to reduce joint inflammation, while activating a cartilage-protective biochemical, potentially helping to preserve healthy cartilage in aging joint; for its anti-allergen natural plant chemicals which may help to fight off allergies and infections; for its prebiotic and probiotic content to help support native gut flora and healthy digestion.

The Daily Paws  (learn more) is used as a multi-vitamin, multi-mineral, multi-system nutritive for daily maintenance of all body systems, with emphasis on a healthy endocrine system, promotes healthy skin and shiny, glossy coats due to its high mineral and vitamin content, and is used to maintain body temperature, (important in immuno-compromised animals), to help soothe the stomach and balance digestion; for a multiplicity of conditions and diseases including for allergies, arthritis, cognitive disorder and cancer, for urinary disorders to alkalinize (higher Ph) acidic urine and for blood purification; for its secondary support of a healthy bladder and strong connective tissue, important in cases of incontinence.

That’s A Nice Looking Bone – (learn more) used holistically to help address all types of Heart Disease (Cardiomyopathy, Valvular Heart Disease, Congestive Heart Disease), for all types of arthritis, osteoporosis, Degenerative Joint Disease and Intervertebral Disk Disease; for its genistein and daidzein isoflavone content which has a stimulatory effect on osteoblastic bone formation and an inhibitory effect on osteoclastic bone resorption; for its plant actions to help support bone mineral density, potentially increasing bone mass; for its ability to help restore lost cartilage and bone deterioration and to provide nutritional support for joints, muscles and tissue; for its nutritive content to address mineral deficiency; to help support veins and arteries and to help increase vascular elasticity; for its oestradiol compounds which may help address urinary incontinence.

Conventional Remedies:

Diagnosis of joint problems is based on the symptoms, as well as your vet conducting a complete orthopedic exam and review your pet's health history. X-rays, contrast studies, and aspiration of joint fluid may also performed to determine the diagnosis of degenerative joint disorders.

Your vet may prescribe anti-inflammatory and pain releiving medications which include acetaminophen, NSAIDS, and corticosteroids to control pain and reduce joint swelling.

Treatment may be medical or surgical. Nonsurgical therapies include weight reduction (never underestimate the importance of this), controlled exercise on soft surfaces and/or hydrotherapy, and applying warm compresses, such as hot water bottles to those aching, stiff joints. Surgical options include joint fusion, joint replacement such as hip replacement, joint excision and amputation.

Conventional medicine also makes use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, meloxicam, carprofen, phenylbutazone and corticosteroids. These act by blocking certain pathways in the pain response but long-term use must be considered as adverse effects include gastro-intestinal problems such as poor appetite, vomiting and ulcers. Some NSAIDs can damage the kidneys. Great care must be used when treating cats with NSAIDs. 

More serious cases of arthritis or osteoarthritis may require surgery such as joint replacement or removal as well as reconstructive procedures to repair or rebuild joint cartilages. Alternative treatments such as physical therapy, hydrotherapy and massage therapy may be beneficial in increasing range of motion and helping to limit pain and potentially progression.

 

 

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