How can I help my arthritic dog?

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Our dog, Tara, a collie, is nine years old and has arthritis. In the summer we give her Sea Jerky (glucosamine chondroitin) which works quite well, but once the cold weather arrives it’s harder for her to maneuver around the house comfortably, especially going up and down the stairs. What kind of natural remedies can we use to keep her comfortable (and mobile)?
Also, any suggestions for bedding or anything else would be great.

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    4 Responses to “How can I help my arthritic dog?”

    1. John says:

      Apart from Glucosamine, Chondroitn and Green Lippled Mussel it’s not easy to find natural remedies.
      I managed to keep Angel, my last dog, running and happy for nearly 9 years until she died at 14 from kidney failure by using Meatcam or Meloxicam from the vet in an intelligent way. That involved only giving the full dose on the days she was in an acute phase of arthritis and cutting back to half dose the rest of the time. You can’t give it to them if they already have bad kidneys or liver but if you had your dog’s blood checked first you could try doing as I did. I reckon it maybe shortend her life by six months but without it she’d have needed to be PTS at 11 or 12; to me that was a success.
      http://www.pbase.com/johnfr/image/55122351/medium.jpg

    2. James D says:

      okay i know this will sound crazy and some people will say it is but people who know anything about it will agree if you put your dog on a raw diet also called B.A.R.F feeding this will help your dog tremendous difference and will provide everything your dog needs, also if you have a local heath foos store and you do not wanna raw feed that have many many supplements that will help a great deal , i have a 16 year old lab who had hip dysplacia and the raw has helped her soooo much and i also have one of those fluffy dog beds i place a heating pad on and put it on low for her she loves it!! you can buy puppy asprin too if you want!

    3. Jessie says:

      Does your Glucosamine supplement also contain MSM? And what dose are you using? MSM is a natural anti-inflammatory, which will help with the pain, and it is also a building block for cartilage. I use Glyco-Flex III with my dog , which contains equal amounts of glucosamine and MSM, perna mussels and several antioxidants. The cheapest place I’ve found to purchase it is at entirelypets.com. They run discounts on the weekend, so you may want to order on weekends! The dog should be on this supplement year round, not seasonally.

      A good quality fish oil supplement will also help somewhat. Fish oils supply Omega 3 fatty acids, most notably EPA and DHA, which control inflammation (again, this will help with pain). Omega 3s help with so many things-cardiovascular health, brain health, skin and coat, etc. You do want it to come from a wild cold water fish, for two reasons. Cold water fish because these have the highest amount of DHA and EPA. Dogs can’t convert the Omega 3s from plant based supplements into EPA and DHA, so you need a supplement that provides it in a usable form, which is cold water fish oil. You want Wild because those fish are eating microalgae, not grain(which is what farm raised fish eat), and therefore produce more of the Omega 3s.

      Like the glucosamine and MSM, it will take a month or so to see the benefits of the Fish Oil.

      If you can get the dog a raised bed that is several inches off the floor, many large breed arthritic dogs find it helpful. I’m sure you’ve noticed that your arthritic dog has trouble getting up from the floor. He may also do better with a raised stand for his food and water, and keep water near him so he doesn’t have to walk to it.

      A memory foam bed will be more supportive to his joints and also holds a bit of warmth, both of which will be helpful.

      Your vet may be able to show you some physical therapy that you can do at home with the dog to warm up his muscles and preserve range of motion in his joints.

      It may be time to add a prescription NSAID to his routine, like Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Metacam or Etogesic. All of these drugs do present some risk of GI bleeding, although it is far lower than the risk posed by aspirin. You’d also want to get blood work done every 6 months to ensure that the drugs are not producing liver or kidney damage. Most pets respond very well to these NSAIDs.

      Some people report good results from acupuncture for their arthritic dogs as well.

      And, if you haven’t done so yet, make sure your dog is not carrying any excess weight. Extra weight means much more stress on his painful joints.

    4. MSAD says:

      Dogs can take aspirin every day. Just make sure you give it to her when you feed her. Just like with people, aspirin on an empty stomach can tear it up. But if you give it to her when you feed her it should be fine. Here’s some info I found on that: http://www.school-for-champions.com/animalhealth/aspirin.htm

      Giving her a massage can help too. A nice rub down of those old joints will feel good and she’ll love getting the attention from you.

      I have also purchased Asorbine Liniment (from a tack store). It’s often used with horses but I’ve mixed it with water and put in on a dog with arthritis. It’s sort of like Icy Hot for horses. If your dog does not mind water… mix some in with warm water and pour it over the sore joints and rub it in. It will leave your hands tingly. http://www.statelinetack.com/item/absorbine-veterinary-liniment/SLT170400/

      Make sure your dog has a nice fluffy soft bed to sleep in. Those tired joints will prefer that to the hard floor.

      If your dog likes it….you can also purchase a heated dog bed. Petsmart has those. http://www.petsmart.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=2767065&f=Taxonomy%2FPET%2F2767065&fbc=1&fbn=Taxonomy%7CBeds

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