Authored by: Dr. Lindsey, DVM
Joint discomfort is so difficult for pet owners to watch their pets go through. There are many alternative treatments to help with joint discomfort such as acupuncture, laser therapy, underwater treadmill, massage, chiropractic, physical therapy, and joint supplements.
Frequently these modalities are used in combination with each other to help pets achieve as much comfort as possible. While most of these modalities are geared towards dogs, some can be beneficial for cats with joint discomfort as well. Your veterinarian knows your pet’s medical history and records the best, so always consult with your veterinarian prior to starting any treatment. The following is some brief information about these alternative treatments.
Acupuncture is a technique of placing very small needles into certain points on the body to stimulate nerves, muscles, and blood flow to help the body heal itself. Since the needles are so small, there is virtually no pain when it comes to having them get inserted. Many animals become relaxed during the treatment and may even fall asleep. The length and frequency of the treatments depends on the condition that is being treated.
Laser therapy is light at a specific wavelength that alters cell or tissue physiology and stimulates cells to heal or repair. Laser therapy is painless and relaxing for many animals. The number of sessions and frequency depends on the condition.
Physical therapy frequently incorporates massage, strengthening exercises, and can include underwater treadmills to help improve the mobility of our pets. Physical therapy can be very helpful in the rehabilitation of pets after surgery as well. As with the other modalities, the frequency of the sessions depends on the pet’s condition.
Pet Honesty has several joint supplements that can help slow the progression of joint discomfort and help promote mobility. They contain ingredients such as glucosamine which helps to lubricate the joints and turmeric, which can help support a normal inflammatory response. Green lipped mussels are also beneficial to enhance connective tissue health. Some pet owners are lucky and can see results in their dogs quickly, but it can take 4-6 weeks to see a positive effect. Some animals with worsening joint discomfort may need prescription medication along with the supplements. Ask your veterinarian if the Pet Honesty supplements may be right for your dog.
Dr. Lindsey graduated from Colorado State University in 2009 and works in general practice, shelter medicine, and more recently as a civilian contractor veterinarian for the Army. She is also certified in acupuncture and resides in Palm Springs, CA.