As your dog ages, they will develop some of the same ailments that people do, like degenerative joint disease (DJD), also known as arthritis.
Arthritis, which means joint inflammation, will typically affect larger breed dogs more, but it can occur in any dog and even in cats. A dog with arthritis will be slow to get up, move around less, and be more stiff and sore. When the dog moves around less, they will lose muscle mass. Diagnosis of DJD can be made by X-rays and a recall of symptoms.
The X-ray will show changes in bone density around the joint, irregular joint spaces, and signs of degeneration of the joint, such as bone spurs. Conventional treatment of DJD is done using conventional medicine and complementary and alternative medicine.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as meloxicam (Metacam) or carprofen (Rimadyl) are most commonly prescribed for DJD. The veterinarian may also give the dog a steroid, like prednisone, to help reduce the inflammation. The first goal of drug therapy is to control the pain. The main objective in treating DJD is improving the joint environment.
When you protect the cartilage in the joint, joint degeneration will slow down. Nutrition can also help reduce and control inflammation. A diet of fresh, whole foods and supplements like antioxidants, fish oil, Boswellia, and curcumin can help control the pain and inflammation. Arthritis is something that you may have to deal with yourself when you get older; it is a complex process that is best treated with a combination of natural and Western medicine.
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