The treatments available for people suffering from arthritis are also available for dogs. The main focus of the treatment is to control a dog’s pain level and increase its movement and joint function. We should also try to slow down the degeneration of the joint and enhance the cartilage repair process.
Classic Drugs Used for Dogs
There are many medications your vet might suggest, including pain relievers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS. They reduce inflammation in the joint, resulting in less pain.
Cortisone or steroids can also be used to combat inflammation. Another medication is chondroprotectants, these drugs inhibit the enzymes that contribute to cartilage breakdown, protecting the cartilage as it tries to repair itself.
Side Effects of Classic Drugs
However, NSAIDS can have severe side effects that can affect the liver and kidneys, so it’s important that the vet does a blood test to check that these organs aren’t compromised before starting the prescription.
Cortisone or steroids used for long-term can lead to serious side effects. It’s important to note that many drugs meant for humans can be toxic to dogs, so never treat your pet with medication without first consulting your veterinarian. Surgery is another option for dogs in serious pain or with severe joint damage.
GLME the New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel (GLM), a shellfish found off the coast of New Zealand seems to contain the therapeutic agents needed to treat one of the most debilitating diseases of our time. GLME contains anti-inflammatory agents, immune modulators and many essential building blocks – proteins, minerals, glycosaminoglycans and marine long chain fatty acids – all naturally occurring substantial therapeutic agents known to maintain joint mobility & well-being and needed to rebuild collagen, proteoglycans and synovial fluid found in the joints, ligaments and tendons.
Other options for arthritic dogs include dietary supplements, such as glucosamine, chondroitin and omega-3 fatty acids. These supplements help support the joints but do not give permanent relief from arthritis. These supplements are to be given life long and should be used with a vet’s approval.
How to Help Our Dogs with Pain Management?
- An important treatment for all arthritic dogs is appropriate exercise and weight management.
- Excess pounds put more stress on joints, so keeping your dog at a healthy weight will aid in mobility and pain management, as well as minimize further damage.
- Products like ramps, stairs or a lift harness can also help.
- Proper exercise keeps the joints supple and the muscles around the joint in good condition.
- A vast choice of dog food that can impact on your arthritic dog’s quality of life.
- Look for joint health or senior formulas with additives such asGLM, glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acid, eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA, and antioxidants. These may help reduce inflammation in your dog’s joints, minimize damage to cartilage, and ease symptoms of arthritis.
However, as with any supplement or alternative therapy, look for treatments backed by scientific research and consult your veterinarian before starting something new.