The Multimodal Approach For Canine Pain Relief
Owners should take a multimodal approach to managing their dog's arthritis pain and pain relief. The multimodal approach is exactly what it sounds to be; the use of more than one type of treatment to address health problems. Multimodal pain management strives to make a dog's body healthier and better able to navigate his environment so that smaller or less frequent doses of NSAIDs or other drugs are needed to maintain a comfortable quality of life.
Top Ways to Manage Canine Arthritis Naturally
Besides veterinary or human prescription medications, the multi-modal approach to dog arthritis pain management includes:
1. Joint supporting nutraceuticals
Nutraceuticals are food-derived substances havinga medicinal effect. Nutraceuticals geared to promote joint health are termed chondroprotectants (i.e. cartilage protectors). Chondroprotectant nutraceuticals commonly include glucosamine, MSM, vitamins (C, E, etc.), minerals (Calcium, Manganese, etc.), antioxidants (Selenium, Alpha Lipoic Acid, etc.), plant-derived anti-inflammatory substances (turmeric, omega fatty acids, etc.), and more. ActivPhy contains a novel blend of the above ingredients and a blue-green algae extract which has been scientifically proven to reduce normal inflammation and provide antioxidants which are two elements that will help support arthritis in dogs.
2. Cartilage rebuilding medications
Besides nutraceuticals, there are medications that are given by injection that benefit joint health and rebuild cartilage, including Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG, like Adequan) and Sodium Pentosyn Sulfate (Cartrophen). Since these products are given as an injection, they bypass the digestive tract and quickly travel in the bloodstream from the injection site to all joints. Such products are ideal for a dog having digestive tract problems caused by underlying disease (food intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease, etc.) or medications (NSAIDs, chemotherapy, etc.), or one refusing to consume an oral chondroprotectant nutraceutical.
3. Home environment and lifestyle modification
When dogs suffer from arthritis pain, it's crucial to modify their home environment and lifestyle
to put less stress on affected joints and reduce the potential for injury. This mean lowering the height of a bed or using a step or stairs next to the couch to provide safe passage on and off elevated surfaces. Carpeting, runner rugs, and yoga mats should cover slippery floors. Foot and nail covers (Pawz, ToeGrips, etc.) can also provide additional traction on slick surfaces. Gates installed at access points to stairs can prevent a dog from slipping, falling, and injuring himself while attempting to ascend or descend. Ramps can provide safer access to the backseat of hatchback of cars. Dogs engaging in high-impact activities (running, ball playing, etc.) must transition to low-impact exercise
, such as walking, hiking, swimming, or physical rehabilitation.
4. Weight management
In the United States, over 54% of cats and dogs and (approximately 98 million pets) are overweight or obese according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). Besides arthritis, heart and lung problems, glandular disorders (diabetes, etc.) digestive problems (constipation, etc.), cancer, and other ailments can be avoided or minimized if pets maintain a normal body condition score (BCS). Dogs in need of weight loss should have an examination by a veterinarian and any recommended diagnostic testing to determine if there's an underlying endocrine problem (hypothyroidism, hyperadrenocorticism, etc.) contributing to an elevated BCS and higher number on the scale. Veterinarians can calculate a dog's daily caloric needs and recommend the exact feeding volume of commercially-available or home-prepared diets to safely promote weight loss.
5. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
A variety of treatments for arthritis pain have emerged that are considered complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Yet, CAM is now becoming more mainstream and well-accepted as means of treating many canine ailments. Options include: