The background story!
One of our readers recently sent in her question about her dog Cocoa, and desperately needed help with better answers for arthritis treatment and therapies. Cocoa is older now, and her hips are giving her a lot of trouble. This is evidenced when she tries to get up or sit down, and the time it takes to do so. If you have had a geriatric pet then you all know what I am talking about. The veterinarian let the owner know that Cocoa's "ALP" value is slightly elevated, and that she will not be able to prescribe NSAIDs (see our post on NSAID do's and don'ts below) until the value comes down. This leaves Cocoa still in pain, and the owner just doesn't know what to do. Great news, Demi F, there is so much hope for Cocoa. Let's break this down for Cocoa so that we can get her the help she needs.
A little more information regarding blood work:
We must understand why the doctor would want to see blood work before giving NSAIDs. As we have already learned in previous posts NSAIDs are very hard on the liver, stomach and kidneys. Therefore, if blood work indicates liver issues already, then we should not exacerbate the issues, right? Agreed. However, we also have to know the real signs of liver disease in animals. One single blood enzyme elevation in the body does not indicate liver disease. ALP comes from multiple places in the body. So where is Cocoa's elevation coming from? Her bones, of course. Why is Cocoa in the vet clinic to begin with? Hip pain. The veterinarian performed a thorough orthopedic exam of Cocoa's hips and found no other issues, and her tetntative diagnosis is arthritis. Bone destruction and muscle atrophy or trauma also causes elevations in enzymes like ALP. Therefore, we are not to be alarmed at this time. BUT, this is not a reason to give NSAIDs now, nor should the current exam findings be a reason to give NSAIDs either. If Cocoa is truly suffering from hip arthritis then we need to help, and NSAIDs do not help the issue long term, they only mask the inflammation.
How to treat arthritis in older dogs the natural way!
Let's put together a plan for treating all dogs with hip and other joint pain the natural way.
This is a great starter to helping your pet ease the pains of arthritis. Unfortunately this is no cure for the disease. Please see your regular veterinarian if the issues continue or progress despite your best efforts as there are other bone and joint diseases that cannot go untreated. I hope Cocoa and the rest of our geriatric fans out there are able to feel better.