The Top 5 Inflammation Fighters
Do you know how your knees or shoulders hurt when it rains? It’s a dull ache that you just can’t massage out, so you turn to anti-inflammatory medicine? Well, we’re not alone in those ouches. Pets get them too. Including dogs. Actually, dogs, with their hip dysplasia issues, are now more frequently predisposed to these concerns, as we’ve removed them from their natural world in order to domesticate them. Dogs were seldom if ever, resting on a sofa, in their former lives.
What Kind of Pain Can Come From Inflammation
Sharp and immediate, or acute inflammation often happens around an injury. This is due to your dog’s body attempting to protect itself from the effects of broken bones, internal pain (e.g. peritonitis, intestinal issues, etc.). Oddly enough, even parasites such as worms can cause inflammation. Even odder… Your dog’s inflammatory response in these circumstances is normal.
Conversely, long-standing, ongoing, what’s often called, chronic pain can dramatically impact dogs. Our fuzzy BFF’s can suffer degenerative diseases (e.g., osteoarthritis, myelopathy) even before they are of senior age. Some of the more chronic, long-suffering pain comes from hip dysplasia and intervertebral disc disease (e.g. bulging discs). A prolonged inflammatory, fighting response can threaten your pet’s health and life.
Lastly, tumors and other such maladies, like cancer, often has your dog suffering from both acute and chronic inflammation. While treatment can often help with a cancerous tumor, it also takes a toll on your dog’s body and they may require additional support in order to help them feel better.
So What To Do? Here Are The Top 5 Inflammation Fighters
As we learned in one of our previous articles, inflammation is not good for your dog. We must quash inflammation at every turn. If we don’t, free radicals and premature aging take hold. And with it comes disease. While we know that nutrition plays a key role, what else is a pet parent to do? Let’s take a look at the top 5 inflammation fighters and when each may, or may not, be appropriate to give your dog.
This prescription medication is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that relieves inflammation and pain in dogs. Originally thought of as a magical drug, Rimadyl now has a rather cloudy reputation. Thought of as safe for short-term use, Rimadyl, while effective, has been indirectly and directly named as the cause of gastrointestinal bleeding and liver damage. A new, generic-brand drug, by the name of Carprofen, has become popular as a cheaper version of Rimadyl; however, it carries the exact same risks.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), include baby aspirin, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. NSAIDs work by combating an enzyme that promotes inflammation, as well as pain and fever. However, the enzyme that NSAIDs combat also works to maintain kidney blood flow, blood clotting, and protection of the gastrointestinal tract. So, when you give these to your dogs, clearly under the direction of your vet as you should never do so independently, the potential risks are great. Like those associated with Rimadyl, they include kidney or liver malfunction, and intestinal or bleeding disorders. These drugs should never be given with other medications, nor provided to pets with organ-related health conditions.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
While a dog’s body can produce Omega-9 oils, it cannot produce Omega-3 fatty acids. The key here is that when Omega-3 is given in the proper amount (in combination with Omega-6), it helps enhance a dog’s immune system, as well as reduce inflammation. Omega-3 can also protect a dog’s brain health, as well as enhance proper cardiovascular activity. While you can find a proper balance of Omega oils through supplements, natural is often the best way to go. You can provide Omega’s to your dog by feeding a diet rich in salmon, anchovies, herring, mackerel, and green lipped mussels. Also, they will benefit from a bit of egg, flax and chia seeds.
Without a doubt, canine acupuncture can help with managing your pup’s inflammation. Almost as old as time, acupuncture works by helping your dog’s body to release its own inflammation-fighting substances. This occurs both at the point of needle insertion, as well as providing generalized pain relief through improved blood flow and oxygenation. Basically, acupuncture helps your dog’s body to heal itself. Unlike medications, acupuncture has virtually no side effects and does not harm your pup’s organs. Seek out a qualified and licensed practitioner through the Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) organization.
While around for some time, and only recently getting noticed for its assistance with chronic pain relief, CBD works with your dog’s brain and immune receptors to offer effective pain management. When you give your dog CBD, his/her cannabinoid receptors grab on to the effective ingredients in CBD to provide an anti-inflammatory response without all of the negative side effects of over-the-counter or prescribed medication. A recent 2016 study demonstrated this finding and provided further evidence that CBD can help pave the way for a pain-free pup. All of the positive without any of the negative.
However you elect to help your dog fight back against pain, make sure to weight the pros and cons in order to keep your pup healthy and happy for as long as possible!