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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
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Dr. Michael Dym
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From Our Holistic Vet: Winter Joint Care For Pets

With the colder and damper weather upon us, this is the time of year that presents challenges to our animal companions with creaking or hurting joints. There are highly effective changes we can make that help relieve worsened inflammation during these colder months.

Firstly, this is an excellent time of year to make sure to feed a species appropriate, fresh meat-based diet that’s free of fillers, processed nutrients, and preservatives. There are excellent choices from companies such as Stella and Chewy’s, Primal, and Nature’s Variety, to name a few.

For those who are not able to feed a species appropriate meat-based diet, many of these companies offer freeze dried options as well, which are also a cut above most processed commercial pet foods.

For pets with aching joints, there are many excellent supplements that may help ease inflammation and facilitate mobility. Supplements that contain Glucosamine/MSM help aid in joint lubrication and joint health. I will often combine a Glucosamine/MSM supplement with antioxidant anti-inflammatory joint supplements such as Boswelia, cetyl myristeoleate, grape seed extract, as well as a good quality omega-3 fatty acid supplement.

In addition, there are growing numbers of CBD oil supplements now increasingly available which are also helpful in easing joint inflammation.

This is also an excellent time of year to incorporate holistic modalities into our small animal preventative care, including chiropractic care, laser therapy, massage, and acupuncture. Homeopaths use remedies such as Rhus Tox, Ruta graveolens and Bryonia to ease joint inflammation of many causes. There are increasing numbers of veterinarians becoming trained in these modalities. To find veterinarians adequately trained in these areas, I encourage clients to seek out veterinarians from organizations such as the AHVMA, AVH or the PIVH.

Finally, there are some animal companions whose joint care will require an integrative approach, including not only many of the above nutritional and dietary supplements, but also non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, as well as other prescription pain medications such as Gabapentin or tramadol.

Dr. Michael Dym, VMD