Treating arthritis in pets with homeopathy
Updated: Nov 5, 2020
This article mainly focuses on the rheumatic arthritis that mostly affects the toy breeds of dog. But, the homeopathic remedies described in this article can be used for any type of arthritis and its related symptoms of any reason like strenuous exercise, osteoarthritis, gout, etc. Dr. Jeeta from Odisha wrote this article using colloquial language to make it simple for our readers to understand.
Arthritis is an inflammation of joints and which causes pain, discomfort, and stiffness of the joints in many dogs which seem to be lively and healthy. There are different types of arthritis of which rheumatoid arthritis is one, which is an autoimmune disorder.
WHAT IS RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS?
It is an autoimmune disorder in which the body mistakes its proteins as foreign. This sends a false alarm to the immune system, which starts producing antibodies against its proteins. These antibodies are called the Rheumatoid factor. The antibodies and proteins form immune complexes that get deposited in the joints and trigger inflammatory reactions. These inflammatory reactions if not treated timely, spread to the surrounding tissues of joints affecting the structural and functional integrity of cartilages, bones, and synovial fluid.
WHICH BREEDS OF DOG ARE MOST AFFECTED?
The disease is common in toy/small breeds of dog of an age group of five & six years. Breeds like pug, Pomeranian, Poodle, Shetland sheep dog etc. are highly susceptible. The idiopathic immune-mediated disease can occur in all the dogs but most common in small–breeds.
The symptoms of the disease include lameness, fever, stiffness, swelling and painful joints, tonsillitis, enlarged lymph nodes, pneumonia, etc. The severity of the lameness varies from the normal shifting of the gait to the point where the animal cannot walk at all. Fever is associated with inflammatory reactions. Stiffness, swelling of joints, progressive disuse of joints can cause muscle atrophy. Palpably enlarged lymph nodes near the affected joints. Tonsillitis, pneumonia, kidney diseases, muscle wasting diseases are the other diseases that affect animals suffering from arthritis for a long time.
The diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is relatively difficult because it can be confused with other diseases of similar symptoms. Lameness, the prominent sign, can be due to other reasons like osteoarthritis, fracture, nerve injury, calcium imbalance, and many other reasons. Therefore, differential diagnosis by a qualified veterinarian is very important. Radiology along with a biopsy of the inflamed joints are the techniques used for effective diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Blood tests can be done to find the rheumatoid factor. But it must be kept in mind that the mere presence of rheumatoid factor doesn't confirm rheumatoid arthritis. Synovial fluid can be analyzed for change in pH, color, and consistency and observed for the presence of cells of inflammation.
Management: Modifying the dog’s daily routine is the first step to decrease the effects of Rheumatoid arthritis. Increasing the resting period, practicing simple exercises, controlling weight, feeding a balanced diet are the basic changes to be kept in mind while adopting any therapy. If a pet is overweight, pressure on the joints is inevitable thereby slowing the healing process. Regular practice of simple exercises strengthens muscle and blood supply to the affected area thereby accelerating the process of healing.