Folks want natural solutions for their pets as much as they do for themselves – we frequently field questions like the following from regular reader and correspondent Ann who writes:
Am wondering if you could suggest something for my dog. She is around 12 years old and getting very stiff. She does have the cardio and regular vitamins. Some of the stiffness is arthritis and occasional limping. especially from an old truck accident before she came to live with me. I have tried Metacam and that worked for awhile. The next step is Remadyl (?sp) and I am hesitant to use that.
Thank you, Ann
We are NOT vets, and cannot legally offer veterinary advice – but we do have animals – dogs, cats, chickens, – and we love our pets and give them the best care possible.
As you know, we are not veterinarians – so we cannot offer professional veterinary advice. Having said that, here are my personal thoughts on the matter as a person who belongs to 3 dogs and 3 cats. (certainly they are all quite sure where “ownership” resides…) This is my personal, non-professional opinion only, of course…
The Pet Cardio and Dog Vities that we have on our website are a great start – we have them there because we keep them for our own animals.
Much of the troubles that our animals have can be traced back to their high-carbohydrate diets – our pets (dogs and cats) are primarily carnivores – they eat mainly meat – and that is what they are genetically designed for. A return to a high-protein, high-fat diet will likely help. Ask your butcher for “cutting scraps” – fat, gristle, and non-people-grade meat bits – and cut these up into cubes and try feeding that to your dog – I’m betting she’ll love it! The increased protein will give her the raw materials her body needs for healing, and the increased fat intake will provide the raw materials that her body will use to naturally produce such things as steroid hormones. Beware of feeding “trans-fats” to your animals the same as you would beware of eating them yourself – they are poison in our opinion as they so adversely affect cellular structure.
Next, when it comes to joint care, many of the same supplements that we would suggest for us humans will be helpful for your dog. Glucosamine Sulfate, (be sure you get the “real deal” – the fully reacted molecule as found in products containing “Glucosapure” – a patented form of glucosamine), MSM, flax oil, and fish oil are all very beneficial for the joints. Nutritional brewers yeast is also reported to be very good.
Rimadyl is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that seems to have some serious concerns surrounding it – some people have had excellent experiences with it, while many others have had less happy outcomes with the drug – some even attributing the death of their pet to the use of the drug. All the NSAIDs (and Metacam is also a NSAID and shares the same possible side effects) have the potential to produce some very serious side effects including G.I bleeding, nausea, loss of appetite, blood clotting problems, liver or kidney problems, and others. The FDA has issued an informational brochure discussing NSAID use in animals – find it here: http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2006/506_nsaid.html
Personally, I would avoid the use of NSAIDs in any animal of mine. I would be more likely to use Bromelain for our animals if they needed an anti-inflammatory, and it also has the happy side-benefit of aiding digestion. Better yet would be the product Nutri-Joint For Pets.
Though 12 years old is certainly going on being “senior” for many dogs, there is no reason that you cannot improve her health and stiffness with some careful diet changes and supplementation. As her stiffness improves she will be more willing to play and exercise, which will strengthen her muscles and improve her health and mobility even more.
Let me know how she does!
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