Osteoarthritis is an inflammation of the joints caused by the wearing away of cartilage within those joints. It is quite common in older pets and can cause notable joint pain and stiffness. Over the years, the way veterinarians manage the symptoms of arthritis in older dogs and cats has really improved. These days, many vets recommend one or more of the following natural or alternative remedies for pets struggling with arthritis.
Acupuncture or Acupressure
Acupuncture involves inserting needles at specific points along the body in order to change the flow of energy, or the transmission of nerve impulses, along those pathways. It can be really helpful for pain relief purposes. Acupressure is a similar treatment, but instead of using needles, it only involves the application of pressure to those target areas.
If your pet will tolerate true acupuncture, a once-a-week session can be really helpful in managing their arthritis pain. If not, acupressure is a suitable alternative. Your vet may even show you how to apply pressure to specific acupressure points so you can give your pet more continual relief at home.
Turmeric or Curcumin
Turmeric is becoming quite popular as a natural, herbal pain relief remedy. It contains an active compound called curcumin, which helps relieve both pain and swelling in the joints. Your vet may prescribe your pet either a curcumin supplement or a turmeric supplement. Usually, these are just soft chew treats that you give your pet once or twice per day. They're generally safe to use in conjunction with acupuncture, massage, or both.
Massage does not directly treat the swollen tissues inside the joints. However, it can go a long way toward keeping the muscles associated with those joints looser so they do not pull on the joints and cause pain.
Your vet may or may not offer massage, but they can refer you to a practitioner who does. Some massage therapists will even come to your home to work on your dog or cat, which can be less stressful for your pet. You can expect an improvement after one massage, but the benefits often become more pronounced with regular massages.
If your dog or cat seems like they're struggling with stiff and sore joints, make an appointment with your vet. If your vet thinks arthritis is to blame for their symptoms, then they can recommend one or more of the natural and alternative remedies described here.
Contact a local vet to learn more.