Ann N. Martin
As our pets age, they often experience the aches and pains associated with degenerative joint disease, also known as arthritis.</P> <P align=left>Their pace of running and walking slows. Climbing stairs and jumping becomes painful and owners look for ways to make their pets more comfortable..
As our pets age, they often experience the aches and pains associated with degenerative joint disease, also known as arthritis.
Their pace of running and walking slows. Climbing stairs and jumping becomes painful and owners look for ways to make their pets more comfortable.
There are several steps that can be taken to relieve many arthritic symptoms, but the best advice is to use preventive measures when the pet is young. Avoiding commercial foods and feeding a natural, wholesome diet is the best and only real preventive treatment, advises Richard Pitcairn, DVM, in Natural Health for Dogs and Cats (Prion Books Ltd., 1989). He also advises that vitamin C will minimize or prevent the debilitating effects of arthritis. The amount of vitamin C depends on the size and age of the animal. A small puppy needs 250 mg, while a large puppy needs 500 mg. As the pet matures the dose can be increased. Prevention is very important in arthritic conditions; because once the joints are distorted, the damage has been done.
Symptom Relief Strategies
Discontinue strenuous exercise and take your dog swimming instead, to increase muscle strength while being easy on the joints.
Keep the joints warm in cold, damp weather. Put a sweater on your dog when taking him for a walk and keep the house a little warmer. When one of my old dogs had arthritis, I put a heating pad, turned on low, under the blanket in his bed at night. It worked wonders and he didn't have trouble walking in the morning.
Acupuncture has been shown to have very good results in the treatment of arthritis. In his book The Nature of Animal Healing (Ballantine, 1999), Martin Goldstein, DVM, finds that a particular form of acupuncture and supplements works extremely well for the animals he treats with this condition. Dr. Goldstein uses what he describes as "aquapuncture." "I inject a cocktail of B12 and adrenal cortex, and also homeopathic Zeel and Traumeel, at the acupuncture points relevant to the patient's condition. In minutes, a pet's pain can ease, and the effects can last several weeks." Both Zeel and Traumeel are classified as homeopathic combination remedies.
Recipe for Arthritis Symptoms
2 cups brown rice
2 cups barley (pearls)
1 cup lentils
2 cups carrots
1 cup celery
1/2 cup parsley
2 cups spinach
2 cups lamb or beef heart
2 cloves of garlic
8 to 12 cups water.
Combine ingredients in a large covered pot. Bring to boil and simmer 1 1/4 hours. Stir often and add water if needed. Feed daily for a month or until significant improvement. Later, you can vary ingredients, such as changing meats and vegetables.