Now let's discuss what we can do for our pets with Arthritis!
AVMA's Podcast on Caring for Arthritic Pets at Home
What Can I Do About My Pet's Arthritis
Arthritic Dog Products
Weight Loss Help Maintaining an ideal body weigh has huge benefits for the management of arthritis!!
Physical Therapy for Arthritis Patients Life with a dog with mobility issues is a challenge; it would be wonderful if there was a magic pill that could make a stiff older dog as supple as a youngster. Unfortunately, despite advances in arthritis medications for dogs, there is more to therapy than giving pills. The more advanced the mobility problems are, the more important physical therapy becomes in maintaining function. Click this link to learn more!
Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Medicine is a hot new field in Veterinary Medicine and much needed! Rehab specialists often offer the latest in non-traditional therapies for muscle, joint and neurological diseases. Unfortunately rehab centers are not located in NW Indiana at this time but there are several in the Chicago area and one in the south suburbs. To learn more about veterinary rehab and the latest therapies available, check out the links to the Veterinary Rehab and Physical Therapy facilities listed below.
Chicago Animal REhab C.A.R.E. in Chicago Ridge and in the south suburbs!
TOPS Veterinary Rehab in Grayslake, IL
University of Illinois Veterinary Rehab in Urbana, IL
C.P.R. Rehab Center in North Aurora, IL
Help Me Up Dog Harness Click the link to learn about a great dog lifting mobility harness to add dogs with severe arthritis and hip dysplasia and other motility problems.
Hill's Prescription Diet j/d for Joint Mobililty What's in a diet? How can a dog or cat food help arthritits? The formulation in Hill's Prescription diet j/d for dogs and cats delivers high levels of omega 3 fatty acids in the proper ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids. Achieving these high levels and ratios of fatty acids by simple over the counter supplments is nearly impossible to achieve. Hill's has done all the hard work for you! This diet has published and peer reviewed scientific studies that show its true benefits. Dietary therapy is a great addition to multi-modal therapy for arthritis and may be able to help lessen the need for other medications!
Omega 3 Fish Oils can also be supplemented without using a special veterianry joint diet but can be difficult to do with simple over the counter supplements made for humans. It is important to achieve the proper ratio of Fish Oils and this ratio is affected by different diets. Lower fat diets are usually needed to maintain proper ratios. Most over the counter supplements do not contain EPA and DHA fish oil dosages that work well for pets. There is however mounting evidence that fish oils can have anti-inflammatory benefits in arthritis. Here is a link that describes the Benefits of Omega 3 Fish Oil for Joints in humans. For more educational information about the use of quality and high potency fish oil click this link from Nordic Naturals. Ask your veterinarian if Omega 3 supplementation would benefit your pet.
ARTHRITIS MEDICATIONS Click on this link for an article that focuses on the various types of medications use for arthritis in pets. Then read below for more details.
Degenerative joint disease is the number one cause of chronic pain in dogs and cats. The condition is the result of long-term stresses on a joint, either resulting from an old injury or from natural development of a poorly conformed joint. While surgery may be able to help in some situations, most of the time the degeneration of the joint cannot be reversed and treatment focuses on preventing progression of damage. Numerous products are available; some are best combined with others and some cannot be combined. What we do know is that arthritis pain is best addressed by what is called a multi-modal approach, meaning that several approaches combined yield better results than any single therapy. There are two basic catagories of medictions, slow acting medications that support joint repair and Anti-inflammatory/Pain medications.
1. SLOW ACTING & JOINT PROTECTIVE SUPPLEMENTS/MEDICATIONS for arthritis ultimately improve joint function and help with pain relief, but they require a time frame of weeks to months to exert their effect. They may have disease-modifying properties such that their benefit continues even after their use has been curtailed. These products are typically what are called nutraceuticals, meaning that they are nutritional supplements that have medicinal properties. Most arthritis patients can benefit from their use and they are considered a basic starting level for joint care.
Recommended examples from this class include oral Dasuquin and Adequan injections.
Dasuquin is our best recommendation for an oral joint supplement containing Glucosamine/Chondroitin Sulfate. It is the new and improved form of a product called Cosequin. Dasuquin had two new ingredients that work synergistically with the glucosamine and chondrotin for enhanced benefit. We want to inform our clients that not all Glucosamine/Chondroitin Sulfate containing products are created equally. It is important to realize that joint supplements are considered nutraceuticals not drugs; therefore they are not regulated by the FDA and quality and content of products is extremely variable.
Along with many Board Certified Veterinary Orthopedic Specialists, we recommend Dasuquin because it has been scientifically formulated to support and maintain the health of joints. Dasuquin has extremely high quality Glucosamine and Chondroitin. Excellent published clinical studies have shown that the specific combination of ingredients in Dasuquin work together to maintain the structure of the cartilage in the joints, while inhibiting the enzymes that break down the cartilage, and this helps the body repair joint damage. Early action is always the best advice. Joint problems generally get worse with time. With Dasuquin, the sooner it is started, the more opportunity your pet will have to respond and return to normal activity.
Dasuquin For Dogs
Dasuquin for Cats for cats is available as a flavored sprinkle cap that you can mix into food.
Adequan Injections (Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan) Adequan has helped many of our canine arthritis patients. Also only FDA approved for use in the dog, Adequan has been used for many years in cats. It has been found to be well tolerated and effective in feline patients too!
Novartis Adequan Website
2. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY & PAIN MEDICATIONS THAT ARE FAST ACTING
NON-STEROIDAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS or NSAIDs are some of the most effective and comonly used medications for the treatment of arthritis in dogs. The most commonly used NSAIDs are Deramaxx, Rimadyl, and Previcox. Some patients will do better on a certain NSAID than other, just as some people will find a certain pain reliever works best for their headaches versus others. The best NSAID for a particular patient may take some trial and error to find the most effective and well tolerated one for that patient. Unfortunately due to differences in metabolism, NSAID therapy in cats carries significant risks and are not ideal for long term use in this species.
Pain Drugs for Dogs: Be An Informed Owner Although Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDS have brought great relief to millions of dogs, and can be used safely with proper dosing and monitoring, owners who give their dogs NSAIDs need to know the side effects to watch for that indicate their pet needs medical attention. This article will help inform you.
Treating Pain in Your Dog Keeping your best friend safe, active, and pain free. Click this link to learn more about NSAID Arthritis Medications. Learn how to use them safely, learn the side effects, how to spot them, and what to do.
3. Although NSAIDs are the mainstay of arthritis therapy there are some other pain drugs that are sometimes used or added to NSAIDS. Reasons for use of the drugs below may include health contraindications for NSAID use (such as kidney or liver disease) and intolerance or unacceptable side effects with NSAIDs. They may also be added on to NSAIDs when NSAIDs alone are not adequately controlling pain. Since our feline patients do not tolerate NSAIDs well, these drugs are often used for feline arthritis.