As our pets get older, the joints begin to stiffen making it difficult to lay down or get up from laying. Usually one of the most common treatments is veterinary anti-inflammatories like Rimadyl, Meloxicam or Previcox (among others). But sometimes that is not enough and adjunctive therapies are needed for the orthopedic disease.
- The common used one is nutritional supplements of either A) Dasuquin Advanced which adds glucosamine, chondroitin and herbs to build up the protective cartilage that covers the joint surfaces allowing smooth, pain free movement or B) Movoflex which helps to loosens up the joint tissues that allows more flexibility by herbs, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and collagen or C) Adequan injections into the muscle that inhibits cartilage loss and improves joint fluid production.
- The therapy that is becoming popular and safe for the joints and muscle stiffness is therapeutic laser which uses light energy to increase blood flow, stimulate activity in the cells to reduce pain and increase recovery. This usually involves a series of sessions in chronic cases. While some clinics have sonic therapy devices that use ultrasound waves to perform a similar effect.
- Acupuncture or acupressure/veterinary massage that can stimulate the nerve plexus under the skin to treat various conditions and massage also relaxes tight muscles, stimulates blood flow and moves lactic acid buildup in tissues away from the affected area so blood vessels can carry it away to be flushed from the body.
- MET (Microcurrent Electrotherapy) uses low voltage electrical current to travel through tissue between the two probes to alter the electrical current of the damaged cells to the bioelectric current of normal cells to reduce pain and improve blood flow. This is also used with the CET (cranial electrotherapy) probes to reset the brain’s cellular memory of pain.
- PRP (Platelet rich plasma) therapy uses concentrated injections of the patient’s own platelets to accelerate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints. In this way, PRP injections use each individual patient’s own healing system to improve musculoskeletal problems. The injections are given under sedation since the most common site is into the joints.
- Physical therapy exercises with or without using inflatable balls/discs/foam rolls, weaving/stepping bars, wobble boards, hobble straps and water treadmills.
- Chinese herbs and essential oils can be used, but aren’t as commonly used due to the effectiveness of the previous options.
Courtesy – Dr. Sanjay Jain