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Joint Pain and Arthritis in Dogs and Cats

Joint Pain and Joint Arthritis in Dogs and Cats

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

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

The immune system is a complex array of cells that are found throughout your pet’s body. Immune cells are designed to function in conjunction with one another to provide a fortified defense against unwanted invaders. It is an intricate system that keeps your pet healthy and protects them against all sorts of invaders including allergens, viruses, bacteria, microbes, parasites and toxins.

The immune system is also directed at facilitating normal function and is not intended to be suppressed or stimulated. In cases of dysfunction, an animal’s body requires whole body systemic support. If your pet’s immune system is weakened, every body system is at risk.

Degenerative joint disease, also referred to as osteoarthritis, is a very common condition in both cats and dogs, and is often seen in older animals. 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. The most common areas of the body that are affected include the hip, spine knees, elbows and wrist joints. This is an extremely painful, progressive disease that will continue to worsen. Diet, filtered water and toxin avoidance in your pet's diet can go a long way to act as preventatives for joint related pain and arthritis by limiting the damage done to immune health and overall body system wellness.

Dogs tend to be more susceptible to degenerative joint disease than cats but certain breeds, especially large breeds such as Labradors, German shepherd, or Golden retrievers are predisposed to suffer more from joint and bone problems. If you notice any signs that your dog or cat has difficulty walking, consult your vet. Degenerative joint disease is manageable and your dog or cat can enjoy quality of life if treated early.

The common symptoms and signs of degenerative joint disease include:

Reduced level of activity

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

Stiff-legged gait

Sore joints

Swollen joints

Stiffness

Lameness

Limping

Falling behind on walks

Cries or whines in pain when the affected joint is touched

Sensitive to cold weather

Lethargy

Behavioral changes can also occur including irritability, aggression, nervousness, depression or withdrawal may also be present. The exact cause of degenerative joint disease has not yet been established.

There are various causes that may contribute to secondary degenerative joint disease and these include:

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

Helpful suggestions:

Manage your pet’s weight by controlling 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. Avoid strenuous activities that involves lengthy walks, lots of running such as playing fetch or throwing a Frisbee

Feed your dog or cat a healthy, high quality 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 pet warm during cold weather when joint conditions usually worsen. Add blankets, a pet sweater 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

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

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

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.

I Feel Good –  (learn more) contains plant based adaptogens, which helps nutritionally tone the animal body, helps boost or balance immunity as needed, including soothing an over-stimulated immune system or boosting an under- performing immune system, helps to reduce all forms of system-wise metabolic and oxidative stress that undermine immunity; helps support water regulation and fluid balance in the body; helps reduce all types of inflammation, provides dermal support and growth of healthy cells and tissues in the body’s defense mechanism, reduces the histamine trigger for contact allergies, seasonal and chronic allergens, pathogens, skin rashes, infections, hot spots, inflammation, swelling, hair loss, itching and geriatria (dull coat, lethargy) and fever; for all types of arthritis, including Degenerative Joint Disease, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and symptoms associated with rheumatism, including pain, strains, injuries, muscle pain, swelling and lack of mobilityreduces all types of inflammation, particularly from the heart to brain; as a gastrotonic to support stomach health; contains prebiotics and probiotics useful in balancing digestive health and function plus much more. Recognized as one of the most important medicinal plants in the world, particularly related to supporting balanced immunity and limiting inflammation and inflammatory conditions.

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.

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.

Help for Degenerative Joint Disease

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, NSAIDS, and corticosteroids to control pain and reduce joint swelling.

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.

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

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.

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 may also be beneficial in increasing range of motion.

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.

 

 

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