2 Jan


Exercise is great for pets – it keeps them healthy and trim. But it can also cause wear and tear on the joints, which over the years can lead to arthritis. Just like in people, arthritis causes pain, stiffness, swelling, lameness and a reluctance to walk or jump. It usually affects older dogs, but can occur in younger dogs as well, especially after a traumatic injury or poor nutrition during critical growth years.

Many holistic veterinarians recommend acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments and homeopathic remedies to help with arthritis pain and flare-ups.
Herbal remedies can help as well. The Ayurvedic herb Boswellia is a powerful anti-inflammatory that’s been shown to relieve pain and stiffness. It shrinks the inflamed tissue and improves blood flow. Another useful herb is Ashwaganda – it helps the musculoskeletal and nervous systems by bringing energy and vitality to the affected areas. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory and can help regenerate muscles that have atrophied around arthritic joints. For dogs up to 20 lbs., give 10 drops twice a day. For dogs up to 30 pounds, give a 500 mg. capsule twice daily, and for dogs up to 60 pounds, increase that to three times daily. Dogs up to 100 pounds can have a 1,000mg capsule twice daily. It’s best to give Ashwaganda after meals.

The homeopathic remedy Rhus Tox is excellent for severe stiffness and sore joints, for instance if a pet has a hard time standing up or climbing steps. I recommend giving 30c of Rhus Tox once a day for 2 weeks; you should notice a difference within that time. Another useful homeopathic remedy is Bryonia, which can help a pet whose joints tend to stiffen up during

I  use the NuJoint DS supplement for my older Great Dane that includes the ingredient MSM (methylsulfonylmethane). MSM supplies biologically active sulphur to the joints and helps reduce inflammation. The supplement also includes Glucosamine, which helps repair the damage caused by osteoarthritis; Chondroitin, which lubricates the joints; and Vitamin C, which promotes cartilage growth.  You can purchase this supplement online at

A. Greig Howie, DVM has developed a fantastic anti-arthritis diet.
2 cups organic brown rice
2 cups organic barley

1 cup organic lentils
2 cups carrots
1 cup celery
½ cup parsley
2 cups spinach
2 cups lamb or beef heart
2 garlic cloves
8 – 12 cups of water
Combine all the ingredients into a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 1 ½ hours. Once cooked and cooled, keep the mixture refrigerated. Feed your pet  every day for a month, or until you see significant improvement. You can also feed it as maintenance once improvement is seen. This diet is terrific for weight loss and increased energy, too.  I suggest adding a human-grade vitamin/mineral supplement, such as NuVet Plus and a digestive enzyme supplement, such as Dr. Mercola’s,  to any homemade diet.

Therapeutic grade essential oils are also beneficial for helping with inflammation and alleviating pain from arthritis.  Oils such as Frankincense, Rosemary, Marjoram, Aroma Siez and PanAway can all be applied either topically or diffused.  Just by rubbing a few drops of one of these oils into the affected area can help reduce swelling and joint pain.  PanAway also contains Helichrysum, a plant which is helpful for inflammation and arthritis.  Additionally, helichrysum is known to be able to grow back healthy tissue.

There are many other natural remedies that help with arthritis pain and inflammation.  For more information, or to schedule a wellness consult for your pet, please contact me at



By:  Brenda M. Tobin-Flood, Cert. C.N.






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