Arthritis in Dogs and Cats and how CBD Oils can help

What Is Arthritis in Dogs/Cats?

Did you know that arthritis isn’t only prevalent in humans? Arthritis is a form of joint inflammation in the body. This results in progressive degeneration of joints, cartilage, joint capsule, and synovial fluid. (Willows, n.d.)

Different Types of Arthritis

For dogs and cats, arthritis can be classified into three types. These are the following:

Osteoarthritis

Known as the most common form of arthritis, Osteoarthritis is the progressive degeneration of the cartilage between the joint bones.

Osteoarthritis can be traced back to four causes – wear and tear, injury, fracture, and/or dislocation. These can result in friction-induced pain between the bones.

Septic Arthritis

Also known as inflammatory joint disease, Septic Arthritis is the inflammation of the cartilage between one or multiple joints. This results in a build-up of fluid around the joint.

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There are three possible causes of septic arthritis – an inherited immune system defect, infection, or injury.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Commonly caused by an underlying condition, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your pet’s immune system attacks its joints and tissues. This results in a damaged joint lining and cartilage. (Bow Wow Meow, 2018)

Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs/Cats

Unlike other common diseases, subtle symptoms of arthritis are seen in dogs and cats. These include slow movements and difficulty in performing other physical activities.

Over time, you’ll witness more severe symptoms. These include the following:

  1. Aggressiveness and irritability when touched
  2. Altered gaits like bunny hopping and stiff legs
  3. Decreased activity levels
  4. Difficulty jumping and/or climbing stairs
  5. Limping
  6. Muscle loss
  7. Pain
  8. Swollen joints (Banfield Pet Hospital, n.d.)

 

How to Prevent Arthritis in Dogs/Cats

As a general rule, prevention is better than cure. Since animals are good at hiding signs of illnesses, it is ideal for your pet to lead a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Start a nutritionally healthy diet

By watching what and how much your pet eats in a day, you can prevent their bones from carrying more weight than they can handle.

  1. Ask your vet about joint supplements

For a slower process of cartilage loss, it’s ideal for your pet to take joint supplements with chondroitin and glucosamine. Antioxidants like Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are also recommended.

By taking joint supplements, your pet will be less likely to store free radicals, toxins, and inflammations in the body.

  1. Regularly take your dog to the vet

Aside from regular visits, it’s also essential for your pet to undergo comprehensive health examinations twice a year. By doing so, you can easily detect early symptoms of any disease.

  1. Exercise your dog the right way

While it’s a known fact that dogs and cats are extremely active animals, letting them run on hard surfaces for prolonged periods can trigger improper bone growth.

If your pets are still young, exposing them to water-based exercises like swimming can yield powerful effects. Swimming is also ideal for senior dogs and/or cats showing early symptoms of arthritis. (Fitzsimmons, n.d.)

Dogs and Cats Arthritis Natural Home Remedies

While commercial medications are commonly used to treat arthritis, what if your pet is allergic to one of their main ingredients? Save your pet the trouble and try these natural remedies for treating arthritis:

  1. Acupuncture

By inserting thin and sterile needles into the body, acupuncture incites energetic changes that release pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, calming, and stimulating hormones.

 

  1. Herbs

For treating arthritis with herbs, it is ideal to use either Chinese herbs or those with anti-inflammatory properties. These include Boswellia, Curcuma, and turmeric. (King, 2017)

 

  1. Homeopathy

With the belief that the body can treat itself, homeopathy uses small doses of natural substances like plants and minerals to stimulate your pet’s natural healing process. (Web MD, n.d.)

 

  1. Targeted Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy

Did you know that low levels of electromagnetic energy can stimulate your pet’s healing mechanisms? Such therapy can result in pain and swelling relief. Since it’s also a form of non-invasive therapy, it works well with sensitive pets.

  1. Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil

Due to its natural anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties, CBD oil is gaining fame in the veterinary industry. Derived from the hemp plant, CBD oil is free from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which can be toxic for animals. This will prevent your pet from getting “high” compared to the usual medical marijuana. (Sit Stay, n.d.)

CBD oil works by entering the body’s endocannabinoid system. This is responsible for controlling anxiety, nausea, and physical pain. By entering the system, CBD oil alleviates your pet’s response to arthritis-driven pain and inflammation.

Aside from providing physical effects, CBD oil can also ease your pet’s anxiety due to pain. Slowly, this allows them to get up and move around.

Although CBD oil can alleviate even the most severe symptoms of arthritis, it’s important to know that canine and/or feline arthritis are lifetime diseases. While CBD oil won’t eliminate the disease, this will allow your pet to live a normal, comfortable life. (Sit Stay, n.d.)

 

How Much CBD Should I Give my Dogs and Cats with Arthritis

For dogs and cats, a basic dosage rule is 1-5 mg of CBD oil for every 10 pounds of body weight. To control pain, CBD oil must be given every 8 hours or as prescribed.

Ready to give your pet the wellness it deserves? Take our pet quiz to start your pet’s journey towards wellness!

References

Banfield Pet Hospital. (n.d.). Early Arthritis Detection to Protect Your Dog or Cat. Retrieved from Banfield Pet Hospital: https://www.banfield.com/pet-healthcare/additional-resources/article-library/conditions-illnesses/cats-dogs-get-arthritis

Bow Wow Meow. (2018, October 29). Arthritis in Dogs and Cats. Retrieved from https://bowwowinsurance.com.au/pet-care/diseases-conditions/arthritis-in-dogs-and-cats/

Fitzsimmons, P. (n.d.). 5 Ways to Prevent Dog Arthritis. Retrieved from Pet MD: https://www.petmd.com/5-ways-prevent-dog-arthritis

King, I. (2017, November 6). Natural remedies for arthritic cats. Retrieved from Animal Wellness: https://animalwellnessmagazine.com/natural-remedies-arthritic-cats/

Lundgren, B. (2019, January 4). Arthritis in Dogs and Cats: What Can be Done. Retrieved from Veterinary Partner: https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=8896028

Sit Stay. (n.d.). Sit Stay. Retrieved from Dog Joint Pain: Can CBD Oil Help?: https://sitstay.com/blogs/good-dog-blog/cbd-oil-for-dog-joint-pain

Web MD. (n.d.). What Is Homeopathy? Retrieved from Web MD: https://www.webmd.com/balance/what-is-homeopathy#1

Willows. (n.d.). Osteoarthritis. Retrieved from Willows: https://www.willows.uk.net/specialist-services/pet-health-information/orthopaedics/osteoarthritis

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