We are here to help you understand what options and treatment approaches are available for our furry friends. Management of osteoarthritis and other degenerative joint diseases in small animals can range greatly from medications and supplements to acupuncture and physical therapy. Often times, the most effective strategies involves the inclusion of more than just one approach.
Accessing dietary needs and nutritional benefits has proven to be a critical role for some animals. Overweight animals tend to have increased strain and stress on their joints which can develop into or worsen already existing joint disorders. Maintaining a healthy weight and proper diet may be the first step towards healing.
Routine exercise and mobility training is another important aspect towards improving health outcomes in our pets. Similar to humans, attempting to run a marathon after taking an extended break from training will most likely end in some sort of injury. The key point being that consistent levels of moderate activity tend to have the best outcomes. At this point, fitness plans can be catered towards your pets’ needs through a multitude of activities such as swimming or underwater treadmills.
Pain management medications can sometimes be a tricky category for pets. Typically oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as meloxicam or carprofen, are prescribed to help relieve the pain. However, other analgesic medications exist, like gabapentin and tramadol, and some can even be compounded into different delivery routes!
Common supplements in human use for osteoarthritis are also finding their way into treatment plans for cats and dogs. Omega-3 fatty acids and a combination of glucosamine with chondroitin are often recommended to help improve joint mobility. However, it is worth noting that supplements are not regulated in the same way as pharmaceutically manufactured drugs. Thus we recommend slight caution when choosing the right brand and supplement in order to reach your pets’ goals.
Alternatives to pharmaceuticals and supplements available on the market today can also be found in the form of homeopathic preparations. Products, such as Canine Activ, are touted to promote natural recovery and increased motility for dogs of all sizes. Canine Activ is often a great first choice in managing osteoarthritis in your pet as it has less toxicities than NSAIDs and supplements. Canine Activ and more can be purchased on our online supplement store or by calling EPC at 402-408-0015 ext 3.
Lastly, the shift for more non-pharmaceutical pain relief options has led some pet owners to seek alternative therapies. Animal acupuncture, physical therapy, cryotherapy, and specialized laser therapy have their place as potential routes for you to choose.