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Arthritis

Signs of Osteoarthritis include:

  • “Cold lameness”: stiff in the morning or after having been sedentary for some time.
  • The pet is worse in cold or damp weather.
  • Your pet is now having trouble with stairs, trouble or hesitancy jumping on or off the couch or bed, trouble getting in and out of the car, getting up or down slowly,
  • And while usually a cold lameness  improves as movement progresses, arthritic lameness may also be worse after strenuous activity or injuries.

What can be done?

  • Nutritional supplements
  • Weight management to decrease weight-bearing stress to joints.
  • Environmental adjustments.
  • And anti-inflammatory/pain medications as needed.

The frequency and amount of pain medication can be greatly reduced in many cases when long-term supplements are utilized, and obesity prevented.
Natural nutritional supplements for arthritis are considered OTC items and do not require a prescription.
Anti-inflammatory and pain medications (NSAIDs and stronger pain medications) require a prescription and a current doctor-patient relationship with a veterinarian.
Laboratory workup with a blood test and urinalysis is usually recommended prior to beginning these medications and at routine follow-up intervals.
Happy Dog
Image by Caroline Attwood

The Power of
Omegas

  • OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are natural anti-inflammatory with beneficial effects for the joints, skin, coat, heart, kidneys, retina, brain: learning and memory, glucose metabolism and the immune system. Omega 3 fatty acid formulations are free form, triglycerides or esters.

  • 3VFreeForm Liquid or 3VHP Capsules: free form fatty acids are the most bioavailable form of omega 3 fatty acids, sometimes 60-90% usable (but some find the strong fishy odor objectionable)

  • Welactin Liquid and Welactin or OmegaMintSoftgels (mint flavored)  **my preferred supplement has been Welactin liquid which contains 1440mg EPA and DHA/6cc**

  • Missing Link: a powdered form of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids

  • Many OTC supplements are available; calculate your needed dose based on the EPA and DHA concentration.   In general a minimum dose is considered 80mg/kg BW EPA and DHA per day.