CityDog Magazine Fall 2017 Issue

Page 36


TAKE THE ACHE OUT OF ARTHRITIS Have you ever noticed your dog limping, acting stiff, or unable to jump to and from their favorite couch spot? Chances are, they’re dealing with achy joints or arthritis. As dogs age and become less active, the chances of them developing aches and pains increases.

Thankfully, just like for humans, there are treatments and remedies to combat arthritis and keep your dog happy and healthy for years to come. Julie Nealey, who owns Stella and Floyd’s Pet Services in Edmonds, has been around her own dogs and client’s dogs for decades, and says that of her 422 active clients, one third of those actively deal with joint pain and arthritis. “The majority of the pets that I care for are on a Glucosamine supplement, in addition to a prescribed pain reliever and anti-inflammatory, she said. “I find that the majority of pets I care for see fluctuating levels of relief, if any, as there are risks to higher or prolonged Rimadyl or Tramadol therapy.” In Nealey’s experience, Glucosamine has very little if any effect, with Rimadyl and Tramadol (both prescribed anti-inflammatories) helping for a only a short time--and carrying too many risks. “I believe they are best used for acute and short-term relief from the pain. These are a temporary fix, but do little to eliminate the cause, or repair what has been damaged,” she said. Instead, Nealey recommends more unconventional and overlooked therapies: body and joint massage, water therapy, dietary supplements like bone broth, omega 3, and turmeric powder, and acupuncture and CBD supplements. “Definitely try acupuncture, as I have seen marked relief with ongoing care,” she said. “When the acupuncture is paired with a daily high quality Omega 3 supplement, gelatin and bone broth supplementation at each meal, I have seen a significant increase in mobility and decrease in pain.” Dr. Cynthia Glover, DVM, of LunarPoodle Veterinary Services, shares this same philosophy. After earning her veterinary degree in 1997, Glover went on to work at small animal clinics in Washington and Alaska. In 2013, she began studying animal acupuncture at the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, while working on starting her own house call practice. After finishing her certification in 2014, she incorporated acupuncture into her house call practice full time. 36 • CityDog Magazine


“The seeds of my interest in alternative therapies started while I was working in a conventional practice and noticed that some of our clients were interested in giving herbs for their pets. Since we didn’t offer these, some struck off on their own and sometimes ran into trouble,” Glover said. “I realized I would need to learn more about herbs and other therapies to help guide these clients. As I dove in trying to learn more, I became fascinated by Chinese medicine and realized I really wanted to learn acupuncture and apply it for my own patients.” According to Glover, acupuncture is helpful in treating arthritis and stiff joints in dogs because it helps to restore the normal flow of “Qi” (energy or life-force) throughout the body. “From a more familiar Western standpoint, acupuncture helps to relax muscles that are knotted around those sore joints, releases endorphins, and increases blood flow in the damaged areas,” she said. In additional to traditional acupuncture, Glover also sometimes uses electro-acupuncture, which works like a TENS unit and does a great job of getting muscles to relax, providing amazing relief to the pets that receive it. Her favorite part of acupuncture: no negative side effects. “I love the fact that there are no negative side effects as there are with conventional drugs. I also like the fact that Chinese medi-

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