As part of your regular pet health exam, today we focus on the muscles and bones that help your dog move. Starting at the neck, run your hand along the spine to the base of the tail. Feel the muscles on both sides of the spine and notice if any feel unusually firm or knotted.
Dogs can get a variety of conditions that will lead to muscle spasms in their back muscles.
Massage any tight muscles and take note of the area. A common condition in active dogs is to develop fusing of the spine (spondylosis). This can lead to decreased mobility, pinched vertebrae and back pain. Your dog will benefit from regular massage of the lower lumbar spinal muscles. Place your hands on either side of the spine and use deep circular digital pressure with your thumbs. Work on the affected area once daily for 5 minutes.
Next, palpate the bones and muscles of the legs. Start on the legs at the toes. Apply moderate pressure to the joints and move each joint back and forth. On the front legs pay close attention to any discomfort in the elbow or shoulder; these are common areas of dog arthritis. In the rear limbs, pay close attention to the knee and the hips for these are commonly arthritic. Your dog will resist moving these joints and may even yelp if your dog has arthritis.
HERBAL. A variety of herbs are used at different times for dog arthritis. The ones I have seen to be most effective include: DEVIL’S CLAW, used in traditional African medicine and has scientific studies to back its effectiveness, give 100mg or 10 drops per 10 lbs of body weight.
ACUPRESSURE. GB 41, located on the bottom of the foot, in the depression of the two outside toes, and is especially good for arthritic pain in the hips.
METHYLSULFONYMETHANE. MSM is a supplement, found in some plants such as Horsetail. It works by reducing inflammation in the joints by acting as an antioxidant – this has been shown to work well in treating dog arthritis. The MSM dosage is 50mg per 10lbs of body weight daily.
IT’S IN THE CARTILAGE. GLUCOSAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE is the most important supplement to add to your dog’s diet. The dose is 1/4 of a 500mg tablet once daily per 10 lbs of body weight. It helps to rebuild the cartilage and delay further cartilage breakdown.
The treatments I’ve just covered may be all that you need for now, but if you would like additional dog arthritis remedies, get my book today – I offer 15 different alternatives to dog arthritis alone. And along with arthritis, I guarantee that you will use many of the (over) one thousand at-home remedies in my book.
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To your pet’s good health,