May is National Arthritis Awareness Month!
We asked primary care veterinarian, Dr. Amanda McMurphy, what the top 5 non-pharmaceutical options for treating arthritis were. This is what she recommends:
5) Transitioning to a Prescription Joint-Friendly Diet
Joint-friendly diets contain natural anti-inflammatory agents and ingredients that serve as building blocks for cartilage development. Some joint-friendly diets are:
- Hill’s J/D (canned/dry/small bites)
- Royal Canin Mobility Support JS (dry)
- Royal Canin Mobility Support JS large breed (dry)
- Iam’s Joint/Canine (dry)
- Purina JM Joint Mobility (canned/dry)
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine in which thin needles are inserted into specific points on the body to achieve a therapeutic (often pain-relieving) effect.
3) Rehab Therapy
Rehabilitation and conditioning exercises, such as swim and treadmill therapy; and range of motion, can help to strengthen muscles and improve range of motion reducing the signs of arthritis.
2) Joint Supplements
There is significant evidence to support the use of joint supplements, such as oral omega-3 fatty acid supplements, oral glucosamine/chrondroitin supplements, and injectable polysulfated glycosaminoglycans. These products are generally very well-tolerated and are available over-the-counter.
1) Weight Management
The MOST important component to managing a pet’s arthritis is keeping them at a healthy weight. Excess weight can increase stress on joints, worsening inflammation and speeding the destruction of cartilage. Your veterinarian can help you to outline a plan for calorie modification.
Dr. McMurphy graduated from Tufts University in 2004 and completed her internship at Friendship in 2005; and has been a staff doctor ever since. In addition to primary care, Dr. McMurphy is one of our dental surgeons.
* Featured image courtesy of Bothell Pet Hospital.