WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON JOINT PAIN MEDICATION?
One of the most commonly prescribed medications for joint pain in dogs is Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).
They come under a variety of names such as Rimadyl (carprofen), Deramaxx (deracoxib), Metacam (meloxicam), and aspirin.
HOW DO NSAIDs RELIEVE JOINT PAIN FOR DOGS?
Prostaglandins that are present in dogs promote inflammation and pain. NSAIDs reduce the production of these prostaglandins by inhibiting COX enzymes. Having fewer prostaglandins by either blocking some activity of certain prostaglandins or by completely blocking COX enzymes, NSAIDs reduce inflammation and ongoing pain in dogs.
But unfortunately, NSAIDs can cause side effects as they interfere with the other positive functions of prostaglandins.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS OF NSAIDs?
The most common side effects are related to the digestive tract and kidneys. Prostaglandins are required to protect the lining of the stomach and intestines. As NSAIDs promote fewer prostaglandins or some of their activity are blocked, the entire digestive tract can be more prone to damage. This can lead to ulcers and perforations (holes) in the stomach and intestines.
NSAIDs are slightly acidic and when trapped in the stomach, can directly irritate the stomach lining. Giving a dog two NSAIDs at the same time, or an NSAID with a steroid such as prednisone increases the risk of side effects in the digestive tract and should be avoided.
Chemicals created through the COX pathway are important for proper kidney function. NSAIDs can reduce blood flow to the kidneys which can lead to kidney damage or failure. NSAIDs should be avoided with dogs that already have a kidney condition.
WHAT ARE NATURAL JOINT HEALTH ALTERNATIVES?
NSAIDs can be used in the short term and do have their place in maintaining the quality of life when nothing else works.
Inflammation creates a vicious cycle, breaking down cartilage and causing pain that restricts activity. Before they get to this stage, looking for natural alternatives that have a similar mode of action as medications but without the side effects is important.
The anti-inflammatory properties of Turmeric are well studied with over 500 patents and 9000 publications. Turmeric contains more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds, including six different COX‑2 inhibitors. The key Turmeric is it inhibits COX-2 but not COX-1. This results in an anti-inflammatory effect without the side effects of the digestive tract or kidney damage.
Another major component of joint health is collagen. The integrity of joints is dependent on collagen, as it makes up to 90% of a dog’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Over time, muscles and connective tissues loosen and become more brittle. Dogs can become susceptible to injuries like torn cruciate ligaments, patellar subluxations, elbow and hip dysplasia. Collagen in the diet can help prevent these injuries and improve joint health without the side effects of medications.
A preventative strategy through natural dog supplements is a great way to promote the health of all of these vital structural components. CEN Active provides a high-quality formulation that includes hydrolysed collagen peptides and organic turmeric. For more information see the CEN Active product page.