Heal Pet Arthritis with Herbs

Discover how to heal pet arthritis with herbs, includes diagnosing pet arthritis, how to prevent pet arthritis, pet nutrition tips and herbs you can use safety to treat arthritis in your pets.

| November/December 2003

A vet explains how you can heal pet arthritis with herbs.

A vet explains how you can heal pet arthritis with herbs.

Photo By Fotolia/Carola Schubbel

Learn how to heal pet arthritis with herbs using these vet created guidelines.

One reward of holistic medicine in general and herbal medicines in particular is that the methods are safe and effective for treating a wide variety of disease processes. They’re especially beneficial for treating chronic diseases such as arthritis—ailments that typically escape Western medicine’s applications. I’ve found that the complex of disease processes lumped under the all-inclusive term “arthritis” is a perfect example of a category of diseases that responds to holistic medicines much better than anything I used in my previous lifetime as a “normal” veterinarian.

Arthritis: It Isn’t One Disease

Arthritis (and its cousin, rheumatism) are catch-all terms that encompass several dozen disease states of the joints and surrounding tissues such as tendons, ligaments, cartilage, joint sac (or bursa), muscles and connecting tissues.

The typical arthritis patient is a mid- to old-aged (5-plus years old) dog. Lower back and hips are the most commonly affected areas, but I think I’ve seen arthritis in every possible joint. Studies show that cats can also develop arthritis as they age, and I have treated several severely arthritic cats in my practice. But, with cats’ propensity to be couch potatoes for 23 hours per day, I suspect most owners aren’t aware when cats have a problem.

Most of the dogs I see have some form of structural abnormality, and due to the way they’re put together, they constantly put abnormal pressures on their joint surfaces, resulting in excess wear and tear and an increased production of harmful free radicals. Eventually, the joint cartilage erodes and loses its cushioning effects. Without the cushioning cartilage, a dog feels pain. As the cartilage continues to erode, bony growths may form, causing even more pain whenever the dog moves the joint.

Typically, a dog has been slowly getting worse and is now having a difficult time negotiating stairs or jumping onto Mom’s bed. The dog prefers to lie around in the warm sun and may groan whenever he gets up or lies down. There may be enough pain and inflammation in his joints that we can detect a noticeable limp when he walks, and sometimes the joints are actually swollen. X-rays may or may not show noticeable changes in joints and/or bony surfaces, but chiropractic evaluation often reveals joints that are less flexible than normal.

6/15/2016 2:03:34 PM

All these herbs ... But how, exactly do I administer those to my cat who has been diagnosed with arthritis? Thank you, Hearthstone.

5/24/2016 11:39:49 AM

Natural supplements are an effective way of treating arthritis in dogs. I give my dog tumeric supplements (which I even take myself sometimes for inflammation, if I have a headache for example!) and I keep her weight in a lean range and make sure that she gets enough moderate exercise to keep her joints moving without putting them under excess, unnecessary stress. Besides the supplements, another natural treatment alternative for arthritis is the use of dog braces to help protect the joints in the affected area. My boxer has arthritic knees and we got the Ortocanis dog knee brace (one for each leg) and I've noticed a significant improvement in her (and my) quality of life. The brace is flexible enough to allow for movement, but helps protect the joints by keep them stabilized. The best thing of all was that she doesn't seem bothered by it at all. It was literally, put the braces on and on the same day she was moving around like normal. Here's where I found them, if anyone's interested - http://www.ortocanis.com/en/technical-helps-for-dogs/90-knee-brace.html

7/31/2014 8:40:56 AM

Thank you for a great article! I prefer the more natural approach and have seen much better results then when the vet had him on Rimadyl! Nutrition and Supplements have taken my baby on a journey from not even wanting to go outside and completely stopping using the stairs to coming up with me at night again and even getting in the bed sometimes!! I use the omega 3 and 6 and also coconut oil. Give him massages each night. Plus this great antioxidant treat http://nzymespetproducts.com/dog-arthritis/ you can find here. The best results came a week after starting these. And he loves them! Thinks it's a "special treat" just for him! every night we have doggy time where he lays in my lap and I massage the haunches and down his back. He is a very happy boy now!

3/31/2014 2:29:52 AM

The spinal chord is divided in to four parts, pain occurs in the trunk region, which bears maximum weight. Whenever there is pressure or stiffness in the spinal chord, there is possibility of disk prolapse. This will affect the nerves, which control our movements and connect brain. The stiffness in the nerves is responsible for back pain.

elderberry, echinacea, bee hive


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