Treat Arthritis Naturally
Help slow the progress of osteoarthritis with alternative therapies.
Kathleen M. Mangan |
Posted: Mon Sep 23 00:00:00 PDT 2002
Page 1 of 2
Brought to you by
When it comes to osteoarthritis in dogs, natural and alternative therapies are safer and can be just as effective as commonly prescribed drugs, according to Allen M. Schoen, DVM, adjunct professor at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in North Grafton, Mass., and author of Kindred Spirits (Broadway Books, 2002, $14).
Drugs may relieve pain, but they also can cause further degeneration of your dog's joints and health, Schoen explains. Non-steroidal drugs, such as Rimadyl, can damage the liver, while steroids may cause muscle atrophy, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney disease, and Cushing's disease. My goal is to maintain joint health and overall health, in addition to relieving pain and inflammation, he says, adding that a combination of natural and alternative therapies yields the best results.
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate: Daily glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate help protect and lubricate joints, says Schoen. It may take four to six weeks before you see results. Injections of Adequan, a liquid form of glycosaminoglycans, can produce improvement more quickly.
Other Supplements: Daily doses of vitamin A, E, and Ester-C, as well as MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), help the arthritic dog. The mineral selenium acts as an antioxidant.
An essential fatty acid supplement from fish oil or flaxseed oil works as an anti-inflammatory. Cetyl myristoleate is an up-and-coming joint lubricant and anti-inflammatory.