|With the increased interest in complimentary veterinary medicine and more holistic treatment options for pets, one of the most rapidly growing areas in veterinary medicine are the use of supplements in augmenting management of many common canine and feline chronic health problems. One of the top growing areas is the use of such supplements in helping manage arthritis.|
In addition to some of the wonderful newer and safer prescription nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs on the market such as Rimadyl, Deramaxx and Previcox to name a few, herbal supplement use has grown as well. It is important, however, to always tell your veterinarian if you are using any over the counter arthritis supplements or herbal supplements on your animal, because there is the potential of drug interactions, as well as a thinning of the blood and/or more predisposition to bleeding if too many medications are used in combination.
For example, one of the more common natural remedies I will often suggest to my clients is the herb white willow bark, which is readily available from most health food stores. Often called “natural aspirin,” due to a similar chemical makeup, it can help decrease inflammation and pain. However, because of its chemical similarity to aspirin, white willow bark should never be used at the same time as aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti inflammatory treatment. Periodic monitoring should be done at the local veterinarian, even when using a natural derivative like white willow bark, because there is a small risk of digestive upset, bleeding and liver/kidney issues even with natural products.
Some of the other herbs I have found useful in arthritis management include the herb Yucca, readily available in useful supplement called Yucca Intensive. Others include Turmeric, Boswelia, and the ayurvedic herb ashwagandha. I will sometimes use combination products like Dog Gone Pain and Inflamatone in conjunction with omega 3 fatty acids such as Be Well or Super Pure Omega 3, and other antioxidants such as Proanthozone. And of course there are glucosamine/chondroitin supplements such as Super Joint Enhancer or Glyco-Flex I – III, depending upon the severity of the symptoms. As long as they are judiciously used, and under the guidance and supervision of your local veterinarian, herbal therapies can indeed play a significant role in helping pets with chronic arthritis and pain.
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