Dog Arthritis Treatments

New arthritis treatments help aching dogs get back on their feet.

By | Posted: Tue Jan 30 00:00:00 PST 2001

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Veterinarians administer polysulfated glycosaminoglycan by injection twice weekly for four weeks. Beneficial effects reportedly have lasted six months or longer. Adverse reactions, such as injection-site pain, diarrhea and abnormal bleeding, have been rare, mild and transient.

Holistic treatments, including acupuncture, chiropractic care, homeopathy, Chinese traditional medicine and nutritional and herbal supplements, also may help control inflammation and pain, and stimulate the body's healing processes.

Some popular supplements include:

  • Shark cartilage tablets. Shark cartilage is believed to strengthen bones and increase joint mobility in two to four weeks when taken as a regular dietary supplement.

  • Glucosamine hydrochloride. Produced naturally in the body, gluocosamine is thought to help relieve arthritis symptoms by rebuilding the synovial fluid and offering protection from protease enzymes that degrade cartilage. Glucosamine is often matched with other ingredients such as anti-inflammatory botanicals and chondroitin sulfate.

  • Anti-inflammatory botanicals. These include bosellian extract, turmeric, bromelain, yucca and granular greens, such as wheat sprouts.

  • Essential fatty acids, including omega-6 and omega-3, believed to be effective anti-inflammatories.
  • Chondroitin sulfate and mucopolysaccharides, natural substances (such as shark cartilage) found in connective tissue of animals, thought to enhance joint lubrication and rebuild cartilage.

Although holistic remedies typically have few side effects, manufacturers recommend veterinary consultation to avoid conflicts with traditional medications or chronic conditions.

Research indicates diet may also help arthritis. A new commercial diet from Iams containing glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate, and optimal levels of vitamins and minerals to promote the body's natural production of synovial fluid and cartilage offers a preventive approach. Reduced fat levels help maintain an optimal weight and minimize stress on susceptible joints. Balanced fatty acids support the natural healing process.

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