Degenerative Joint Disease: alternative therapies?
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Thread: Degenerative Joint Disease: alternative therapies?

  1. #1
    Gemma60538 is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultDegenerative Joint Disease: alternative therapies?

    Friends of mine have a lab who is around 8 or 9 who was just diagnosed with degenerative joint disease. They asked if I knew anyone who had used a chiropractor for dogs, and I also wondered if there were any alternative therapies other than pumping the dog full of pain meds and anti-inflammatories.

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    nicole's Avatar
    nicole is offline Senior Member
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    Of what joint?

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    DBO
    DBO is offline Junior Member
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    We have a 8.5 year old lab who's showing some small signs of arthritis and I've been researching various options. If he's already been diagnosed with joint disease then I would strongly lean towards the medications prescribed by the vet (which can often include supplements). In the scheme of things, dogs only have such short lives. Your friends dog is the equivalent of 57 human years - so he's a senior. I'm not sure where the fear for medication comes from. If anti-inflammatory or pain meds make his life more comfortable then go with what works instead of experimenting with things that could just enhance or prolong suffering. It's not like he has to deal with side effects that might develop decades from now.

    In my experience good chiropractors are difficult enough to find in the human realm, and I can only imagine what you could end up with for pets. That aside, if you have disease and inflammation of the joints, how on earth can heavy manipulation provide any benefit at all.

    Having a bad day? Stop to think of a wet nose and floppy ears like velvet - all will be better from therein!

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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    I completely understand the impossibility of finding a chiropractor that works on dogs but I also understand the reluctance to use anti-inflamatory meds. Some dogs have very bad reactions to them and there is a reason liver values are checked so frequently when these drugs are prescribed. I don't believe any animal should be allowed to suffer needlessly but there is nothing wrong with seeking alternative treatments.
    Tammy
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    javasmom is offline Senior Member
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    Java was diagnosed with DJD in both of her back legs when she was 13 months old. She also has ED in both elbows and had back to back ACL repairs.

    Java is now 4 1/2 years old.
    First off-I keep Java very, very lean-she is almost too lean at 60 lbs as opposed to the 76 lbs she was before her diagnosis.
    She is on all grain free food-grains *can* cause inflammation in the joints
    She is on a good regimen of supplements-Hylasport Canine (Gluc/Chond?HA/MSM & Vit. C), Grizzly Salmon Oil (Omega 3 & 6 are natural anti-inflammatories), Vit. E (helps with absorption of the salmon oil benefits), 1000 mg Vit. C per day (natural anti-inflammatory) 6000 mg megadose of MSM per day (a VERY good natural anti-inflammatory) and I give her an Adequan injection every 3-4 weeks.

    Java is 4 now and is extremely active and healthy. I do keep Rimadyl on hand if necessary, but she rarely needs to take one. She hikes, swims and runs for hours and wrestles with Moka and shows no signs of limping, lameness or stiffness.

    Activity is important also-too little activity is not good for DJD, and obviously too much activity is not good either. It's about finding a good balance. If you don't keep them moderately active those joints are going to stiffen and freeze up.

    DJD can be managed, it's just a matter of finding the right combo of food, weight, activity level and supplements, as well as pain meds, for the dog. Trial and error to see what works best.
    Last edited by javasmom; 08-29-2013 at 08:01 AM.

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    kassabella is offline Senior Member
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    Ernie has severe HD and as Gina has said keeping them lean and the injections has helped. Swimming had been great for Erns. I also make sure he is having at least 30 mins walk a day. Keeping his joints moving and not over doing it helps.

    We have tried acupuncture and various meds until we found the cocktail that works for him. Laser therapy is suppose to work.

    Kassa 25/11/01 - 09/02/05 O.S Jaw cancer forever in my heart.
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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    Laser therapy is a good idea to try. My vet has this available and in speaking to a few doggy parents while in the vet's office it sounds like a good thing to try. The info from javasmom is also invaluable. The first choice does not have to be the traditional anti-inflamatory medications.
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

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