Posted : 9/21/2010 3:25:31 PM
I get bashed on this site for recommending natural remedies over vet visits, but I have seen them work, so I will keep passing them along.
Dawn, no one "bashes" you -- but it is important to get a real diagnosis first. Every single post in this thread is about natural or alternative helps -- NOT pharmaceuticals. Herbs most certainly can help -- and many many of us use them and promote them, but the trick is that you *MUST* know for sure what you're treating, and there have been a few times in the past when the herbs recommended were inappropriate for what the true diagnosis turned out to be. That can be harmful so most of us advocate that a person gets a **valid diagnosis** first. Then full speed ahead with whatever natural or alternative remedies help. It's just critical to do it safely.
I chose to do the glucosamine / chondroitin instead because I had had great success with my old rottie rescue
If you read, Dawn, she's already done that.
He is also taking Tramadol, omega 3, glucosamine and chondroitin + MSM
mOving swiftly on here -- glucosamine & chondroitin can really help but *only* if there is actually still cartilage left intact in the joint. g&c are "hydrators" -- that means they simply plump up the cartilagenous tissue that is in the joint to make it cushier so it does it's job better with less irritation to the inflamed bone ends.
I've had really good luck with plain old Knox NutraJoint -- in fact, I've historically just used the plain NutaJoint altho it IS available with glucosamine & chondroitin in it as well. (Just don't use one that contains artficial sweeteners ok? dogs can find some of them extremely toxic and they aren't needed - so be cautious there ok?)
NutraJoint put the basic building blocks (collagen/calcium and trace minerals) at the body's disposal so it can re-build cartilage. It literally helps re-build that joint.
As I said -- if you'll email me I can send you a ton of stuff on how to deal with arthritis and joint pain without using the nsaids.
But as Amanda and Meg have pointed out -- acupuncture truly rocks for this (sorry, that's such a "me" way of saying that) -- but it is true. Acupuncture is not painful at all (if you go to the videos section of the board you will see a video of my Billy getting acupuncture!!).
There are herbs that can help -- but even herbs (like willowbark) which are also natural nsaids ALSO can cause stomach bleeding and GI upset -- so you simply have to use an array of things -- less strong, but balanced overall so you don't get bad side effects but you DO get pain relief and healing.
To be blunt -- I'm 56 years old and I've had arthritis since I was a child. I've used alternative methods now for many years (cos I have the same sort of reactions to all the pharmaceutical nsaids that the dogs do ... sorry!) -- but they DO work. Particularly the acupuncture and the NutraJoint and the essential oils that I use topically (which also work on the dogs very well).
oh ... and another small hint -- get some yucca from the frozen foods section in the grocery store (spanish section usually) -- and cook it up. Literally cook it to GOO (just in water and let it simmer til it goes mushy). Add a couple of spoonsful to his food twice a day -- it's another natural anti-inflammatory that you can use while you are getting everything else under control. Don't use it long, long term -- but until you can get this under control for him it will provide a bit of good, healthy, easy relief.
The other thing you can do right now, is use chamomile tea --just plain old chamomile. Brew it on the strong side, let it cool totally (and just add the soggy herbs to the tea). Again, add it to his food -- half a cup twice a day. It's not bad tasting and it will give him some instant relief AND it will help the gut as well.