Why Did My Pet Become Arthritic?
Arthritis is a chronic degenerative disease of bones and joints. Three major changes occur:
- Loss of cartilage: i.e., the shiny substance at the ends of bones.
- Thinning of the joint fluid which results in less lubrication, and
- Deposits of minerals around the joint.
There are natural options available to address all of these.
What are the causes of arthritis? There are many.
Improper nutrition is the first on the list. Pet foods contain inexpensive, difficult to absorb minerals. Mineral disturbances can result in deposition of calcium in abnormal locations, such as around joints. Lack of vitamin C results in the weakening of soft tissues such as the such as the collagen found in ligaments that support joints. Improper amino acid balance – e.g., a deficiency in carnitine (which has been documented) – can lead to a loss of muscle mass. Without proper ligament and muscle support, joints become unstable and inflamed.
I believe that many cases of arthritis are a result of immune system dysfunction. Conventional medicine uses drugs to block inflammation and pain in the joints. However, there is little done to rebuild cartilage, thicken joint fluid or remove bony deposits. Many anti-inflammatory drugs damage joints, resulting in further degeneration.
What options are available? Here are a few suggestions. A natural home prepared diet contained whole grains, raw meat, raw vegetables, bone meal and digestive enzymes is the best place to start. The nutrients provided by this type of diet are vastly superior to any commercial product. There are excellent books available on this subject. “Feed” the joint tissues. Unflavored beef gelatin works well for some animals at a rate of two packets daily in food for a large dog.
Much data show the benefits in humans from gelatin made of bovine tracheal cartilage, and it is much cheaper and more palatable than shark cartilage. It appears to have a chelating ability which removes calcium deposits. Gelatin enzymes stimulate cartilage cells and improve the cartilage structure as well as the consistency of the fluid in joints.. Provide the building blocks for joint fluid and cartilagenous regeneration with glycosaminoglycans and glucosamine.
Those are only a few possibilities. Others. such as trace mineral supplementation, herbs (western and Chinese), homeopathy , acupuncture and chiropractic are also available. If your pet has arthritis, consult with a holistic veterinarian as soon as possible.
Please note: The information provided here is intended to supplement the recommendations of your veterinarian. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment based on information on this site. Nothing can replace a complete history and physical examination performed by your veterinarian. -Dr. Jeff
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