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If your pet has joint pain, then medical supplements like glucosamine and fish oil are the best course of treatment. However, using botanicals along with pharmaceuticals can highly benefit some animals suffering from osteoarthritis. Multi modal therapy is extremely effective at combating pain at many different levels. It goes without saying that you need to check with your pet's vet before you start botanical therapy. After all, botanicals are drugs that are waiting to be refined into a purer pharmaceutical form.
- Turmeric – This is quite possibly the most widely used medicinal herb for treating inflammation and joint pain. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is a powerful antioxidant. They neutralize the free radicals responsible causing painful inflammation and joint damage. A high dose of turmeric acts as a blood thinner and can lead to an upset stomach. So, you need to consult with a veterinarian before you start administering turmeric to your pet. As a rule of thumb, the suggested dosage is 15mg per pound of body weight.
- Boswellia serrata – The resin of this herb has been used in traditional medicines for centuries. Recent lab research has demonstrated that Boswellia serrata inhibits the production of a particular leukotriene, which is responsible for modulating the immune response of the body to inflammation. Although more clinical research needs to be done on this herb, preliminary in vitro studies clearly show that the herb has a positive effect on the body as a whole. The best part is that there are no known side effect to the compound. So, you can treat your dog with a formulation made for humans, as long as it is free from other compounds. The typical dosage is 6mg per pound of body weight.
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon is known to help with a wide variety of disease conditions like IBD, diarrhea, stomach cramps as well as joint pain and inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of the herb will slow down joint tissue degeneration. If your dog weighs 50 pounds, then add ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon to his food daily for a couple of weeks. If it shows beneficial results by relieving arthritic pain, then you can continue the regimen. However, if your dog is about to undergo surgery, then you need to discontinue the treatment at least two weeks before the surgery as cinnamon thins the blood and causes increased bleeding.
- Hawthorn – Hawthorn helps to stabilize collagen, the protein in the joints that's destroyed by inflammatory processes. Hawthorn also helps to increase circulation, thereby ridding the body of toxin build up in the joints. Please note that Hawthorn can interact with drugs that are designed to treat heart disease. So, speak to your vet before you start administering Hawthorn to your pet.