If your pet suffers from arthritis, prescription medication isn’t the only solution. Holistic options such as acupuncture, chiropractic medicine and rehabilitative therapy can reduce the need for medication, while significantly improving your pet’s quality of life. Veterinarians Evelyn Orenbuch and Susan Wynn offer information about greener treatment options for arthritic pets.
"Just getting the joints to move, a lot of time, decreases the pain and increases joint fluid," says Orenbuch, a veterinarian certified in chiropractic and canine rehabilitative therapy. At Georgia Veterinary Rehab
, her state-of-the-art facility, four-legged patients get laser therapy and massages or undergo low-impact rehab sessions on an underwater treadmill. Treatment options focus on increasing flexibility and strength while decreasing pain.
When pets struggle with arthritis, Orenbuch frequently recommends a solution that begins at home: Keep pets active and monitor their weight. It's no secret that extra pounds add pressure to joints, but fat cells also carry other hidden dangers.
"The more fat you have, the more inflammation you have," says Orenbuch, president of the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians. "If you've got a joint that's inflamed, even more of the inflammation and inflammatory factors tend to find their way there."
Interactive toys, extended playtime and healthy treats can help your pet drop excess pounds and relieve achy joints. If helping your pet lose weight is on your to-do list, here are some helpful tips
. It's an important and inexpensive first step in treating arthritis.
Flickr image courtesy of Spatial Mongrel