October 8, 2019

Arthritis is a collective term for acute or chronic inflammation of joints, and is a common condition in dogs and a rare condition in cats. Arthritis technically means “inflammation of the joint”. Inflammation is characterised by swelling, stiffness, and pain; therapy is designed to counteract these effects of inflammation.

Causes include:

  • Osteoarthritis ​1​ (degenerative joint disease – age-related ‘wear and tear’)
  • Obesity
  • Inflammation
    • post-operative, panosteitis (see: Bone Inflammation (Panosteitis) in Dogs (PetMD)), osteomyelitis (see: Bone Infection in Dogs (PetMD));
    • chronic inflammatory or infectious diseases – e.g. systemic lupus erythematosus ​2​ , chronic ulcerative colitis ​3​
  • Trauma – including dislocation, fracture, cruciate ligament injury
  • Septic ​4​ arthritis, discospondylitis (see: Verterbral Disc Inflammation in Dogs (PetMD));
  • Immune-mediated ​5​ arthritis;
  • Genetic diseases
    • achondroplasia (see: Bone Deformity and Dwarfism in Dogs (PetMD));
    • hypertrophic ​6​ osteodystrophy
    • polyarthritis ​7​
    • juvenile cranial hyperostosis
    • elbow ​8​ dysplasia
    • hip ​9​ dysplasia
    • Legg-Calve-Perthes (see: Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease in Dogs (PetMD)) disease;
  • Neoplasia ​1​
    • Osteosarcoma;
    • Synovial cell sarcoma Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease – age-related ‘wear and tear’)

The primary clinical manifestation is joint pain, restricted joint movement, localized swelling and joint deformity.

When reading Dr. Shawn Messonnier book titled “Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats”, then you will realise that no diet are specifically designed for the pet with osteoarthritis per se, however, what we have observed is that many pets with arthritis are also overweight. Since increased weight load on the joints significantly contributes to pain and worsening of the inflammation and destruction of the joint cartilage, it is important that overweight pets be placed on medically supervised weight-reduction diets. Ideally, pets with arthritis can be kept slightly thin or under-weight, to minimise stress on the joints.

If your fur kid is overweight, and also suffering from arthritis, then your first action would be to arrest the obesity (see our article on obesity in pets). Realise that obesity does not occur overnight, and neither will it go away overnight. While only a small subset of pets truly cannot lose weight, most pets will reach an acceptable weight within 6 to 12 months of starting an obesity diet coupled with an approved exercise program.

Prior to starting a weight-reduction diet and exercise regimen, it is important that your pet receive a blood profile to rule our other diseases or conditions (for example, thyroid problems and diabetes). Presence of these diseases would require treatment in addition to dietary therapy.

As with most conditions, the most healthful natural diet will improve the pet’s overall health.

Principal Natural Solutions

  • Glucosamine, chondroitin, PSGAGs, bovine cartilage, green lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus), sea cucumber (Cucumaria frondosa), acupuncture

Supporting Natural Solutions

Arthritis Herbal Support Blend

Before feeding a pet with a medical condition one of our natural diets, please check with your veterinarian first to make sure the diet does not compromise your pet’s health care.

Start by switching your fur kid to natural raw cuisine. Once your fur kids transitioned to raw, typically between 4 and 6 weeks, introduce our Arthritis Relief Support Blend into the die. The Arthritis Relief Support Blend is used to relieve inflammation and pain in joints and to improve circulation using 100% natural herbal blend. The Arthritis Relief Blend  contains Devil’s claw, Deep Sea Kelp, Meadowsweet, Gingko leaf, Gotu Kola, MSM, Turmeric and Glucosamine Sulphate, all recognised natural treatments for canine arthritis.

These can be used in conjunction with conventional therapies. The natural treatments are widely used with variable success but have not been thoroughly investigated and proven at this time.

If your dogs’ breed is prone to arthritis in his senior stage of life, we recommend you proactively consider Promix Joint Q Supplements or Honeyvale’s Rebound Herbal Blend early in his or her life stages.

Additional Articles and Videos

Good reference articles & videos further reading available at:

  • Canine Arthritis Treatment (Whole Dog Journal);
  • Arthritis in dogs (The Kennel Club);
  • Causes and Management of Arthritis & Other Joint Diseases in Dogs (Pet Education);
  • Omega-3 Supplement Helps Relieve Arthritis Symptoms in Cats (Huffington Post);
  • Arthritis In Animals (Animal Wellness Magazine);
  • Dr. Becker, Arthritis: Could Your Pet Be Suffering from This Debilitating Inflammatory Disease? (Mercola);

Dr. Becker Discusses the Different Types of Arthritis in Pets

References and Research

  1. 1.
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
  4. 4.
  5. 5.
    Harari J. Immune-mediated Arthritis in Small Animals. MSD. 2000. https://www.merckvetmanual.com/musculoskeletal-system/arthropathies-and-related-disorders-in-small-animals/immune-mediated-arthritis-in-small-animals?query=Immune-mediated%20arthritis.
  6. 6.
    Harari J. Developmental Osteopathies in Small Animals. MSD. 2000. https://www.merckvetmanual.com/musculoskeletal-system/osteopathies-in-small-animals/developmental-osteopathies-in-small-animals?query=hypertrophic%20osteodystrophy#v3286534.
  7. 7.
    Harari J. Polyarthritis in Small Animals. MSD. 2000. https://www.merckvetmanual.com/musculoskeletal-system/arthropathies-and-related-disorders-in-small-animals/polyarthritis-in-small-animals?query=polyarthritis.
  8. 8.
    Harari J. Elbow Dysplasia in Small Animals. MSD. 2000. https://www.merckvetmanual.com/musculoskeletal-system/arthropathies-and-related-disorders-in-small-animals/elbow-dysplasia-in-small-animals?query=elbow%20dysplasia.
  9. 9.
    Harari J. Hip Dysplasia in Small Animals. MSD. 2000. https://www.merckvetmanual.com/musculoskeletal-system/arthropathies-and-related-disorders-in-small-animals/hip-dysplasia-in-small-animals?query=hip%20dysplasia.

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