Arthritis is caused due to the breakage of cartilages, which ends up with inflammation of joints, resulting in severe pain. Most people are aware that it occurs in humans, mostly of advanced years, but it can also have a brutal effect on older dogs and affect as many as 1 in 5 canines. If you own a dog, you know that they rapidly become part of the family. Older dogs that suffer from arthritis are likely to have been with you for a long time and seeing them in pain due to joint degeneration can be heartbreaking. So, what can we do to ease the suffering of a dog with arthritis? Well, the first step is to be better informed and the second, to understand what remedies are available.
What are the symptoms?
There are several indicators of canine arthritis. The predominant symptom is severe stiffness in limbs and joints, particularly following long periods of immobility, like first thing in the morning or when the dog wakes up after a nap. Affected dogs can experience difficulty walking, as one of the characteristics of the disease is increased bone growth around the tendons in a joint. This makes moving the joints excessively painful. Dogs often show signs of being unhappy, irritable and depressed due to the constant and chronic nature of the pain.
How can it be treated naturally?
If you believe your dog may be suffering with arthritis, there are several courses of action to pursue. It is always advisable to ensure that your dog sleeps in a warm and dry environment, as damp and cold conditions can further worsen the symptoms. Another possible method of treatment is the use of acupuncture. Tests have shown that acupuncture therapy can achieve good results with arthritic dogs, especially when combined with the use of prescribed pain killers. It can be tempting to ease your dog's pain by keeping them still, but this can be more harmful. Forms of physical therapy involving moderate exercise are very beneficial in the treatment of canine arthritis. Swimming is a particularly helpful activity, as it offers gentle manipulation of the joints with no undue stress placed upon them.
Are there any natural medicines to treat it?
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for arthritis itself. The symptoms can be treated with various drugs, many of which have unpleasant and severe side-effects for your dog. However, there are some natural remedies; for example, glucosamine, a supplement that encourages the growth of cartilage. This is quite desirable in dogs with arthritis, as it is the lack of cartilage that causes much of the joint pain. If more cartilage grows in joints, the better protected and less painful they will be. An additional supplement that works in tandem with glucosamine is Chondroitin, which is a building block of cartilage. If you own a dog with arthritis, providing with daily doses of these two substances can greatly reduce their pain and enhance their quality of life.