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Bone Health & Rheumatism

Bone Health & Rheumatism

Herbal remedies that may help promote bone health, help provide nutritional support and may help lubricate the joints, important in cases of joint disease in dogs and cats.

The complexity of the immune system requires a multidimensional approach of nutritional factors directed at supporting, normal, balanced function. The immune system is not meant to be suppressed nor stimulated. Rather, the immune system performs a multiplicity of roles, including to help support healthy immune response, to help enhance the growth of healthy cells and tissues in the body’s defense mechanism, to help protect healthy cellular response, to help provide a fortified defense against allergens, pathogens and microorganisms, most types of viral and bacterial diseases and diseases and for all types of inflammation and auto immune diseases.

Bone health and the nutrition it requires, is a critical component in your dog's and cats wellness, as well as mobility and comfort, throughout their lives. When age, injury, wear and tear, infection and genetics affect bone health, rheumatism can occur. 

Rheumatism is a very common condition in both cats and dogs, and is often seen in older animals. In degenerative joint conditions, the surrounding cartilage breaks down slowly and deteriorates as a result of wear and tear.

The cartilage actually erodes together with areas of bone. Rheumatism accumulates around the joints and bones as a result of inflammation. The most common areas of the body that are affected include the hip, spine knees, elbows and wrist joints. Rheumatism is usually a very painful, progressive disease that continues to worsen over your pet's lifetime.  

Large breed dogs and cats tend to be more susceptible to joint problems and symptoms of rheumatism, but competitive and sporting dogs and cats may also be at higher risk. In breed specific cases, large breeds such as Labrador-retriever, German shepherd, or Golden retrievers suffer more from joint and bone problems. A

Common symptoms and signs of degeneration in bone health include: 

Reduced activity

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

Stiff legs

Stiff gait

Sore jionts

Swollen joints

Lameness

Limping

Lagging behind on walks

Crying or whining when the joint is touched

Sensitivity to cold weather

Lethargy

Behavior changes can also occur which commonly include: 

Aggression

Nervousness

Depression

Withdrawal from family, other pets and common events

The exact cause of bone health degeneration has not yet been established. 

There are various secondary causes that may contribute to degenerative bone health: 

Excessive wear and tear on the joints

Excessive wear and tear on the cartilage

Trauma

Obesity

Congenital defects, i.e. hip or elbow dysplasia

Osteochondritis dissecans

Dislocation of the shoulder or kneecap

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

There’s no way to prevent arthritic changes whether they’re simply due to the ageing process or because of earlier trauma to the joint. Certainly prompt treatment of any suspected joint or bone injury is highly recommended and making sure that your pet doesn’t become overweight will minimize the chances of arthritis developing.

A few things that you as a pet owner can do at home is to ensure that your pet maintains a healthy weight, eats a well balanced, premium diet to boost the immune system and encourage gentle exercise such as walking and swimming.

Herbal Nutrition - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets - human grade meets/exceeds highest safety criteria for pets)

Herbal treatments have been studied for their safe yet effective support of the musculoskeletal system, to help build bone density and help protect connective tissue health, to help limit bone re-absorption, to help alleviate pain and inflammation as well as the overall health of your pet.

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.

Joint Ease Super Dog & Cat – (learn more) contains a synergistic blend of plant and marine extract adaptogens that help promote preventative and reparative support to rebuild tissue, joints, bones and muscles; supports balanced immunity and limits whole body inflammatory response while promoting systemic healing and balanced immunity; 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. 

Joint Support Meal Topper – (learn more) contains natural glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, vitamins, minerals, essential Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids including ETA (Eicosatetraenoic acids), EPA  (Eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and GLA (Gamma-liolenic acid); amino acids, antioxidants, super foods, adaptogens and digestive enzymes, which may nutritionally and synergistically combine to help support joint problems related to degenerative tissue decline and bone loss; may help support the cartilage matrix; may help promote smooth, unrestricted joint movement and flexibility in the skeletal system; may help address sore, aching joints and help limit inflammation related to all symptoms of arthritis; loss of synovial tissue and reduced collage production; may help promote healthy, strong muscles, joints and bones; may stimulate synovial fluid and promote cellular repair; nutritionally content may help promote balanced immune health; safe for all life stages of dogs and cats.

Body Bliss – (learn more) is used holistically as a plant based, full spectrum Omega 3; for its anti-inflammatory, auto-immune, antioxidant and free radical scavenging (disease preventive) actions; for its heart and brain healthy effects; as a potential heart and blood vessel disease preventive; for its essential fatty acid content which may help to prevent blood clots (thrombus) and may provide critical neuro support for brain health; to help address myocardial infraction and cerebral apoplexy; for its effects to lubricate mucous membranes found throughout the body; may help address symptoms of Crohn’s disease, disseminated sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, for its nutritive content which may help to nourish the body and strengthen and revitalize skin; for its nutritional value to help protect and promote bone, eye, teeth, joint, ligaments and connective tissue health while keeping your pet's coat healthy and glowing, from the inside out.

Alternative treatments such as physical therapy, hydrotherapy and massage may also be beneficial in increasing range of motion.

Conventional Remedies:

The diagnosis of degenerative joint disease is based on the symptoms, a thorough orthopedic exam and review of the pet’s history. Certain tests such as x-rays, contrast studies, a force plate or aspiration of joint fluid may performed to determine the diagnosis of degenerative joint disorders.

Depending on the cause, severity of degenerative joint disease and your pet’s overall health, there are various treatment options available to alleviate symptoms. Your vet may prescribe anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications which include acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, meloxicam, carprofen, phenylbutazone and corticosteroids to control pain and reduce joint swelling.

Medications act by blocking certain pathways in the pain response but long-term use must be carefully considered as adverse effects include gastro-intestinal problems such as poor appetite, vomiting and gastro-intestinal ulcers. Certain NSAIDs can also cause damage to the kidneys. Great care must be used when treating cats with NSAIDs.

Treatment for arthritis 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.

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. Surgical options include joint fusion, joint replacement such as hip replacement, joint excision and amputation.

Manage your pet’s weight by controlling his diet – if your pet is overweight, it puts more strain on their joints and exacerbates symptoms

Make sure that your pet receives adequate but gentle exercise – walking your dog three times per day and swimming will help to maintain muscle strength and movement. Steer clear of strenuous activities that involves lots of running such as playing fetch or throwing a Frisbee

Feed your dog or cat a healthy, high quality or all natural diet that contains all the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients

Build ramps so that your pet does not have to walk up stairs

Elevate food and water bowls to make eating and drinking easier for pets

Provide a soft and comfortable sleeping environment (like an old mattress) or invest in an orthopedic foam bed for your pet

Keep your dog warm during cold weather when joint conditions usually worsen – make sure you add more blankets to his bed, slip a pet sweater on him and keep your home heated

Apply a hot water bottle, heating pads or warm, soaked towels on the affected areas to relieve pain and stiffness

Massage your pet or ask your vet to perform physical therapy on the affected area to soothe and promote range of movement

Ensure that your pet has sufficient rest, especially during the recovery period

 

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