How is osteoarthritis treated in dogs?
Osteoarthritis is one of the two most common forms of arthritis. Arthritis is usually used to refer to general conditions that affect joint health. Osteoarthritis starts with biological processes that lead to the deterioration of the cartilage in the joint. Cartilage is like a cushion that helps joints function freely. The processes can be ignited by overuse of the joints, injury, weight problems or other factors like genetic traits.
Currently, there are very few ways that concentrate on the regeneration of the affected tissue. The most common osteoarthritis treatment in dogs is by managing symptoms and not cause factors. This is because science only recently has started to look into ways that could actually help with the root cause.
Recent studies have found regenerative medicine to be one of the most promising new age therapy. It has the potential to replace and regenerate damaged tissue instead of fighting the symptoms. For instance, one of the most renowned therapies that fall under the regenerative medicine branch is Stem Cell Therapy. Animal Stem Cell Therapy not only manages the symptoms but also creates a response to the proteins that are being released in the joint creating chronic inflammation. The injected Stem Cells move to the inflamed or damaged tissue, suppress the inflammation, relieve pain and cause new tissue to grow.
Symptom management is usually done by taking pain killers and supplements that contribute to cartilage overall health. Taking painkillers can have negative side effects like decreased heart functionality and increased risk of organ failure. One of the most common drugs prescribed is from NSAIDs group – non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. They interfere with the inflammatory process in the joint by pathways that are important for many other body functions. Continuous NSAIDs use can lead to various issues in other parts of the body.
There are alternative therapies to osteoarthritis treatment in dogs such as taking supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin, astaxanthin. Research shows that they can help reduce swelling and protect the remaining cartilage. Glucosamine is the most widespread supplement given for osteoarthritis.
There are many other factors in a daily routine that can improve the quality of your dog’s life. For instance regular exercise, balanced diet, massages and improved quality of bedding. Weight loss is also recommended if your dog is overweight. Losing that extra weight can relieve some of the pressure on the joints.