As our animals live longer, joint pain and reduced mobility is increasingly common. Joint pain can be caused by osteoarthritis, Lyme disease, inherited problems such as hip dysplasia, or after injury. It is generally treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), but these are often not 100% effective and also cause side effects such as liver and kidney damage, which can even be fatal. Cats and horses are particularly sensitive to the side effects of these drugs. Fortunately, a holistic approach utilizing acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and rehabilitation techniques can be used to relieve pain and improve mobility safely and without side effects.
In dogs, arthritis generally arises from prior orthopedic issues, such as hip or elbow dysplasia, and not the wear and tear of aging that is the major cause of arthritis in people. This means that arthritis can develop even in young dogs. Research has shown that maintenance of a healthy body weight is key to delaying development of arthritis for as long as possible. Dogs that are overweight develop arthritis earlier and require more drug treatment to manage their arthritis. For dogs that need to shed a few pounds, NYVAS uses an individualized program of rehabilitation techniques to reduce weight safely and effectively, while strengthening core muscles and improving cardiovascular fitness. But what can you do for your pet once arthritis develops?