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Carpal Hyperextension in Dogs and Cats

Carpal Hyperextension in Dogs and Cats

Herbal nutrition which may help address symptoms of carpal hyperextension and joint problems in dogs and cats.

The canine and feline musculoskeletal system has many interrelated components including bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, blood vessels and connective tissues. The overall health of the skeletal system is also connected to many organs in the animal body, including the liver, kidneys, and adrenal glands. Age, injury, genetics, wear and tear, adrenal fatigue and immune disruption can work to undermine your pet's skeletal system and connective tissues, causing stiff and aching joints, degenerative auto-immune diseases and inflammatory responses throughout the body.

Carpal hyperextension is the result of a severe injury or damage to the ligaments that support the wrist of a dog and cat. Carpal hyperextension results in damage that breaks down the ligaments that support the carpal joint of your pet's wrist, causing collapse and the inability for your pet to stand upright.  

Carpal hyperextension can cause a paw to give out and collapse to the ground during normal weight bearing activities, such as getting up or walking. It can cause acute pain for your dog and cat, as well as lameness. If left untreated, it can cause significant arthritis and permanent changes to the affected joints. 

Dogs and cats of any age, breed, or gender can experience a carpal hyperextension injury, but it most commonly occurs in large breed, performance, agility and working animals. It can also affect obese dogs and cats.

The injury is usually the result of landing on the front legs from a significant height, such as a second story window, or a repeated action which causes injury, or the damage can result from a single event, such as jumping off a high surface. 

Common symptoms of carpal hypertension include:

Sudden onset of non-weight bearing lameness

Paw(s) sinking to the ground

Swelling in the wrist joint

Change in gait and stance 

Helpful suggestions:

Feed your dog or cat a premium holistic diet that contains all essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients and avoid corn, wheat, soy, chemical additives, inferior protein sources and other questionable ingredients. Home cooked or raw diets may be preferred.

Manage your pet’s weight by controlling diet. If your pet is overweight, it puts additional strain on their joints and can worsen your pet's symptoms.

Your pet needs balanced exercise. Walking your dog three times and day or swimming are low impact exercises. Exercising your cat through play and interactive toys will all help your pet to maintain muscle strength and movement. If your pet is injured or has a degenerative condition, avoid strenuous activities that include running, jumping and fetching. 

Supplement your pet's diet with an immune boosting herb. Immune boosting herbs help limit inflammation and balance immune response. Inflammation is directly related to disease and auto immune mediated conditions such as carpal hyperextension.

If your pet has an injury, buy or build ramps so that your pet does not have to walk up stairs or jump to get to the places they love.  

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

Provide your pet with fresh, filtered water daily.

Provide a soft and comfortable place to sleep, like a fluffy bed or orthopedic foam bed for your pet.

Keep your dog and cat warm during cold weather when joint conditions and pain can worsen by adding more blankets to bedding and putting on a sweater and booties during walks, or keeping your dog and cat indoors and warm to help allay aches and pains. 

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. Hydrotherapy and acupuncture may also be good options to encourage blood flow, cleanse the bod and tissues and help mitigate pain.

Make sure your home environment promotes peace and wellness for your pet. If your pet is recovering form an injury, provide a secure and safe place to rest and sleep.

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

Herbal and marine treatments have been used effectively for millennia to help address degenerative joint disease and conditions, to help regenerate damaged cartilage, ligaments and connective tissue and help to stabilize connecting tissues, to help reduce symptoms of pain and inflammation; natural plant chemicals act as an anti-inflammatory and immune builder, supporting the joints, skeletal system and related organs toward balanced health, in the holistic treatment of degenerative joint diseases and auto-immune failure mediated conditions, to help strengthen and support healthy joints and to help 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.

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.

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.

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.

Conventional Remedies:

Your vet will perform a physical examination and orthopedic evaluation. Blood work and urinalysis may be obtained as part of a work up prior to a general anesthesia. Chest x-rays and stress radiographs may be taken. Under sedation or anesthesia, the carpus is overextended to highlight the level of the joint at which the instability has occurred.

Carpal hyperextension injuries may be treated surgically.  Your vet may prescribe injectable pain-killers during hospitalization and will oral medications to reduce pain and inflammation. Your dog will usually be in a splint or cast and the bandage must be kept clean and dry. The toe area should be checked regularly for swelling, pain or discomfort. Strict rest is important for the first six to eight weeks following surgery.

You may consider supplementing with a natural anti-inflammtory, such as I Feel Good! or Joint Ease, which helps to address inflammation, joint and cartilage damage and has repartive effects on the animal body. 

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