As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure! But once your dog has developed arthritis, it's necessary to think about
The quick fix is to attack the symptoms. This usually involves the use of non steroidal anti-
inflammatories. These may be deemed necessary on humanitarian grounds, to reduce the suffering
from the gnawing pain of chronic or acute arthritis.
The aim should be to use these drugs for as short a time as possible. At the same time it is wise to start making lifestyle changes to remove the causes of the arthritis and stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanisms.
There are several less invasive treatments available and many veterinarians trained in using them effectively. These have no negative side effects, unlike drugs prescribed following the pharmaceutical route.
Remember, there is no drug without a side effect! More natural treatments include homoeopathy, acupuncture, herbalism, chiropractic, osteopathy and various healing techniques. I would suggest you investigate these and find a professional practitioner you can access.
Septic, infective arthritis must be treated quickly by a veterinarian. The microbial infection must be treated at the same time as making the supportive changes appropriate for all types of arthritis. The medical treatment usually involves the short-term use of antimicrobial agents such as antibiotics to treat the infection. After this, drugs are rarely necessary.
Surgery may be required to remove the source of the infection and drain the pus from the infected joint. Autoimmune arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis also need rapid professional attention. These usually require steroidal anti-inflammatories to stop the dog's own errant immune system from doing more damage to the joints and the rest of the body.
The lifestyle changes suggested for all forms of arthritis are equally essential in autoimmune arthritis. It is usually possible to gradually reduce the medical treatment over time once the lifestyle changes have had time to take effect and the immune system has stopped over-reacting to the various irritants in its environment.
These range from chemicals in the air, water, food, bedding, household cleaners, vaccines, anthelmintics, flea treatments and medications to the more invisible but equally drastic effects of EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies).
Degenerative joint disease is the most common form of arthritis and is the result of years of improper use of the joints alongside the body's inability to repair the damage. Treatment may involve the use of non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (nsaids) in an attempt to slow down the degenerative process and to relieve the pain resulting from the inflammation occurring in and around the joints.
At that point it is up to you to provide your dog with a health-giving supportive environment in which to heal.
Make the dog’s bed thick, comfortable and easily accessible so he has somewhere truly delightful to rest his weary bones! Ensure it is peaceful and quiet, away from EMFs and crazy noises, but not isolated. The exact requirements will vary according to your dog’s personality and your circumstances.
Switch off all EMF generating devices except when they are actually in use. These include the WiFi router, modem, mobile phones, cordless phones, computers, TVs and all electrical appliances, which must be switched off at the wall as their cables even emit EMFs!
If you live in an area with polluted air, like any city or town, it is wise to invest in air filters to reduce the toxic load in your entire indoor environment.
Water must be filtered, chemical-free and refreshed at least once every day. It is essential that the water bowl is always full so your dog can stay hydrated. This helps the body produce more joint fluid to nourish, protect, detoxify and lubricate the joints.
All the circulating fluids of the body, namely the blood and lymph, will flow more readily and reach all parts of the body of a properly hydrated dog.
Feed a species appropriate raw food diet with liquidized green leafy vegetables to provide the body with the raw materials it requires to repair the damaged tissues effectively. Give vegan omega 3 rich foods, like chia, flax, hemp and walnut. Avoid animal sources such as cod liver oil or fish oil as they are unnecessary and too polluted these days.