If your beloved dog is experiencing pain, chances are your vet will recommend a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to alleviate the discomfort. NSAIDS are also used after surgery and to treat chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
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As with most medications, the cure often comes with potentially problematic side effects. In the case of NSAID’s these can include liver damage, digestive tract upset, and joint damage.
If you’d like to explore alternative treatment options for your dog pain relief, you might want to consider using herbal therapy. Following is a list of some of the herbs used to manage canine joint pain.
Many of us know ginger is a great way to ease digestive tract issues, but it’s also useful in treating arthritic pain. Ginger works to reduce inflammation, and it may increase circulation for dogs with mobility issues.
Besides its nutritional value, alfalfa is a safe supplement for arthritis inflammation and can be given daily without fear of stomach upset.
Turmeric has been in the news lately as a “miracle” herb, but its effectiveness in reducing pain is long-documented. Beware that the orange root (from the ginger family) is highly staining, so avoid using it where it may leave accidental dye stains.
Cayenne is another herb that has gotten lots of positive press lately; it contains an element (capsaicin) that has been shown to block pain signals. And, like ginger, it also improves circulation making it a useful choice for older dogs.
Because of its ability to heal connective tissue and bone injuries, horsetail is particularly helpful as a post-surgical treatment. Horsetail’s healing reputation stems from the presence of bioactive silicon, a necessary ingredient for healthy cartilage, bone, and connective tissue.
When tested on animals, the yucca root has been found to provide multiple health benefits. It contains steroidal saponins, which can reduce arthritic inflammation and joint pain. Unlike alfalfa however, yucca root can disrupt the digestive tract, so daily use is not recommended.
Before using any herbal remedy, be sure to consult with your vet as some herbs can interfere with other medications your dog may be using.