Today’s article is about pain, specifically what you can do for it at home.
One of the more common causes is arthritis- especially in middle aged to older dogs.
Some effective and safe nutraceuticals for this include: glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, Essential Fatty Acids.
Symptoms of pain
Our dogs have signs and symptoms of pain much in the way that people do, but often this pain is unrecognized, not diagnosed, and hence not treated.
Some dogs may just be reluctant to move, to jump up, or have difficulty rising after lying down.
They may tremble, eat or drink less, be generally depressed, or be panting more.
More obvious signs of pain are obvious lameness, pain on palpation of a specific area of their body, increased heart rate and breathing, and vocalization.
Some dogs have strictly behavioral changes, such as being more aggressive, or not really reacting to being petted and groomed.
So if you suspect that your dog is in pain, what can you do?
Clearly a diagnosis of the cause of the pain is best, and this means you performing a basic exam of your dog, or visiting your veterinarian.
If your dog has a more chronic condition, such as arthritis, then I would suggest some of the safer home remedies, before using the potent, conventional veterinary drugs.
Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM
Glucosamine hydrochloride is the most important supplement to add to your dog’s diet. The dose is 100 mg once daily per 10 lbs of body weight. It helps to rebuild the cartilage and delay further cartilage breakdown, appearing to have some anti-inflammatory properties.
It can come in a variety of combinations, with the most effective combinations including chondroitin and MSM.
You should look for the chondroitin dose to be at least 50% of the glucosamine level. For example, a 50lb dog should be dosed at 500mg of glucosamine, and 250mg of chondroitin.
Homeopathic remedies can be surprisingly effective for pain relief in your dog, and even more importantly come with no side effects.
Arnica is used for trauma, sudden pain, including back pain, such as prolapsing discs and spondylosis. The dose being 1 30C capsule per 20lbs every 1-2 hours.
Arnica is also available as a gel, and in combination with other homepathics, such as Traumeel; the topical cream is very beneficial for locally painful areas, such as a painful knee.
Essential Fatty Acids
The use of NSAID medications ( Meloxicam, Rimadyl) is a well-established therapy for both acute and chronic nonspecific pain, but complications, including gastric ulcers, bleeding, and even deaths, are associated with their use.
An alternative treatment with fewer side effects that also reduces the inflammatory response and thereby reduces pain is the omega 3 EFAs ( essential fatty acids) found in flax oil and fish oil.
Standard anti-inflammatory dose being 250-1000mg per 10lbs daily
P.S. You should now have a good understanding of dog pain, including how to check if your dog is in pain, with the most common symptoms, such as depression, behavioral changes, and panting.
Arthritis is the most common cause of dog pain- and you should be looking at some of the holistic options before only using the conventional anti-inflammatories.
4 key ingredients for natural pain control include: glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM and essential fatty acids.