As our dogs and cats age, they can slow down as much as some humans do. An old battle wound may act up, or arthritis may set in. Some common causes of animal aches and pains include osteoarthritis, a degeneration of joint cartilage and bone caused by poor nutrition, disease or hereditary factors; hip dysplasia, a hereditary condition that causes lameness and pain in the hind legs; and elbow dysplasia, which often occurs as the result of a poorly healed fracture or other injury.
Although these conditions are irreversible and a veterinarian will need to diagnose the problem, you can help relieve your pet’s pain by applying a compress made of a washcloth or hand towel moistened with warm water to the affected area.
Another effective treatment is a cream containing capsaicin, the compound in hot peppers that’s responsible for their pungency. Capsaicin blocks a protein called substance P from relaying pain messages from nerve endings to the brain. Repeated applications of a capsaicin cream to the painful area may lead to desensitization, pain relief and reduction of inflammation. Apply the cream with gentle circular motions, massaging it through the fur onto the skin. Start with just a little bit and check the site after four hours for an adverse reaction, such as skin irritation.
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Herbal Remedies for Pets.