New Natural Remedy for Arthritis in Dogs
Arthritis in dogs is common, especially among larger breeds and older canines. Treatment of arthritis in dogs often consists of medications that are associated with undesirable side effects, although there are some natural therapies that have proven helpful. Now researchers have developed a new natural remedy for arthritis in dogs that combines several herbal ingredients.
Arthritis in dogs is common, especially among larger breeds, dogs who are overweight, and older canines. Aside from conventional drugs, some dog parents use the popular natural remedies glucosamine, chondroitin, and/or omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil), which have been shown to be beneficial, while acupuncture, electrical stimulation, and hydrotherapy have shown some advantages.
Little research has focused on herbal or plant-based remedies, however. Therefore experts at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine developed an herbal formula for arthritis in dogs that focuses on relieving inflammation and thus the associated pain.
The team, headed by Professor Eric Troncy, recruited 32 dogs and their owners for the study. Half of the dogs were given the herbal formula (consisting of black currant, chamomile, curcumin, devil’s claw, Indian frankincense, pineapple bromelaine, and willow bark) for four weeks while the other half were given a placebo.
During the second half of the study, the treated dogs were given the herbal remedy along with supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, glutamine, and chondroitin sulfate, with the hope that they would help regenerate the joints. All the dogs were tested using three methods: wearing of a special electronic collar that recorded activity, filming of the dogs as they walked on a special platform that recorded paw strength, and input from the dogs’ owners.
Here’s what the researchers learned:
- The treated dogs showed some improvement by week four of the trial
- By the end of the eight weeks, strength improved, on average, in the treated dogs
- None of the treated dogs experienced a decline in their health, while nearly 36 percent of the dogs given placebo got worse
- On average, the treated dogs increased their physical activity from six hours daily to eight while the untreated dogs were increasingly less active
All of these findings are good news for dogs with arthritis. For now, however, the natural remedy is not available commercially. More good news also may come from this study.
According to Troncy, their research model “is the best for predicting the efficacy of anti-arthritis treatments.” In fact, the authors “consider that clinical trials on humans would have a good chance of having positive outcomes.” Thus one more reason why dogs are a man’s best friend!
Moreau M et al. A medicinal herb-based natural health product improves the condition of a canine natural osteoarthritis model: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Research in Veterinary Science 2014; online Sep 28
Sanderson RO et al. Systematic review of the management of canine osteoarthritis. Veterinary Record 2009 Apr 4; 164(14): 418-24
Waining M et al. Evaluation of the status of canine hydrotherapy in the UK. Veterinary Record 2011 Apr 16; 168(15): 407