In memory of Delius 1993-2011
Arthritis is a painful degenerative disease that is most often seen in older cats and dogs.
Wear and tear on the joints, destruction of cartilage, inflammation and degradation of synovial fluid, toxic build up in the joints all lead to a poor quality of life where it is painful to move.
What are the major causes of arthritis?
Major contributors to arthritis are:
- a long term highly processed diet of low quality pet food
- a lack of raw 'live' food in the diet
- lack of physical activity
- hip dysplasia ( which can be genetically inherited)
Whilst most conventional Veterinarians treat the symptoms with anti-inflammatories and pain killers, the more holistic approach is to treat the underlying cause by changing diet, lifestyle and introducing herbal and food supplements. The holistic approach is more about treating the whole individual with an understanding that everything in the body is connected and as a result one affected body part will affect all other parts.
So how do we prevent and treat arthritis and if possible avoid or minimize pharmaceutical drugs?
Holistic treatments include:
Antioxidants eg: vitamins A,C,E and selenium
Acupuncture (this helped my cat enormously, he enjoyed the treatment too)
Omega 3 and 6 oils
Whilst there is no harm in trying any of the above, in my experience the number one way to treat and avoid arthritis and all other degenerative diseases is to introduce a fresh, human grade, mostly raw food diet with some good quality food supplements.
Here is a list of supplements that can safely be added to your cat or dog diet:
- digestive enzymes (taken on an empty stomach they reduce inflammation)
- fish oil (cod liver or salmon oil)
- antioxidants including vitamins A, C, E, selenium, CoQ10 enzyme, ginkgo biloba and grape seed extract
- glucosamine (it activates growth of new cartilage cells)
- chondriotin (which is actual ground up cartilage)
- MSM 'methylsulfonylmethane'. This is an excellent sulfur based natural anti-inflammatory
- green lipped mussel, an anti-inflammatory
-sea cucumber. Assists with lowering inflammation, very rich in nutrients
- skullcap and mullein. These are herbs for reducing pain
- yucca. A herb that reduces inflammation
-alfalfa. A wonderful herb for alleviating the inflammation and pain caused by osteoarthritis.
In my own experience, I had a 14-year-old cat with painful joints that was diagnosed with arthritis. Unfortunately, this was prior to my learning about natural, alternative treatment methods.
The Vet treated my cat with a long-term use pharmaceutical drug called 'Metacam' (meloxicam) which is a non-steroidal anti inflammatory (NSAID).
Without having carried out any research on this form of treatment, I later realized (once it was too late), that this drug was contributing to his degenerative kidney disease.
In all fairness, this drug was not solely to blame. Up until this point my 14-year-old cat had been eating a mostly commercial pet food diet. As I now understand (after years of researching) heavily processed pet and human food is the biggest cause of all degenerative diseases!
Pharmaceutical drugs are simply a quick fix, a reprise from the symptoms, a break from the inevitable break down of an unhealthy body, a fake temporary illusion of health until the side effects overcome the benefits and the body surrenders to toxic chemicals and organ failure.
Most drugs do not provide a cure; they provide relief of symptoms along with unwanted side effects. They mask the underlying cause. The real problem goes unresolved and untreated.
Once the diagnosis of irreversible kidney damage was clear, I carried out extensive research on the dangers of taking long-term anti-inflammatories. This led me to searching for alternative treatments that did not have serious side effects like most pharmaceutical drugs.
I wanted to find a more natural approach that dealt with not only the symptoms but the underlying causes too.
Was it possible to reduce pain and inflammation without drugs?
Was it possible to improve the health of the joints and for my cat to get some more movement back?
Once I had been giving my cat natural supplements for approximately 4 weeks I started to decrease the dose of his anti-inflammatory drug and after 6 weeks he was only receiving the natural supplements. After 2 months I can honestly say I had a different cat. He became kitten like at 15 years old, he was being told off for jumping up onto the kitchen counter tops again, he had more energy, his appetite increased and after 6 months his coat became glossy again.
The treatments which worked wonders for my cat was as follows:
These are daily doses; I gave my cat, 5 days a week
500mg vitamin C
1 capsule salmon oil
1 capsule blackcurrant oil
100iu vitamin E
1/4 capsule CoQ10 enzyme
1/4 tablet ginkgo biloba
250mg glucosamine and chondriotin
½ tablet digestive enzyme (given on empty stomach)
½ capsule of probiotic powder
1/8 tsp green powder (spirulina, chlorella, wheat grass, alfalfa)
This was carried out in conjunction with a raw food diet.
He lived for 3 more years drug free with a high quality of life showing no signs of painful joints, until succumbing to kidney failure at 18 years old. The damage had already been done with years of heavily processed commercial pet food. If only I had known about the raw food diet and holistic treatments earlier.......