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Many dogs experience pain and injuries throughout their lives and can receive prescriptions from veterinarians for conventional, pharmaceutical pain relievers. Doctors often prescribe Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), which can cause serious and often dangerous side effects such as liver damage, stomach problems, and even blindness. These adverse side effects may push some dog owners to search for other options, such as herbal pain remedies.
Most herbal pain remedies for dogs aim to provide pain relief and improve the quality of life without the adverse side effects of conventional drugs. Many pet owners find that they can be an effective, safer alternative to allow their dogs to live healthier, pain-free lives.
Some examples include ginger, comfrey, organic alfalfa, cayenne, Boswellia, turmeric, devil's claw, cat's claw, and yucca.
Some herbal pain remedies are administered externally as salves, creams, oils, and ointments. These are typically applied multiple times a day to the affected area as long as symptoms continue, though each herbal treatment may have different requirements.
They are generally used to treat joint or injury pain in a particular area, such as paws, legs, or hips.
Other herbal pain remedies are administered internally, often through liquids that are given in water or food. These remedies are often a more holistic pain relief, rather than for one particular injury. The frequency and dosage of this kind of herbal remedy vary according to the pain being treated and the selected resource.
Dog owners should consult with their veterinarians about what kind of herbal treatment to use, and how often to administer it since some remedies might harm your dog if employed in the wrong doses.
Herbal pain remedies can be very effective when managing a dog's chronic or injury pain. Many dog owners experience great improvements in their pet's energy levels, pain levels, and overall quality of life.
There is less research available on the permanence of the effects of herbal pain remedies than there is on pharmaceutical drugs, although many pet owners report great improvements that seem to last. Additionally, the continued administration of these herbal remedies is often not as problematic as the need to consistently administer conventional medicines, as the side effects of herbal remedies are non-existent or minimal if applied correctly, whereas pharmaceutical drugs often have very apparent, adverse side effects.
As an alternative method, pet owners can treat their dog's pain with pharmaceutical pain relievers, and sometimes those conventional, more aggressive pain relievers are necessary if herbal treatments don't seem to be effective. Some veterinarian-prescribed painkillers are more effective at eliminating pain for dogs, so in some cases, they are more efficient. But as previously mentioned, they can also have severe and sometimes dangerous side effects.
One of the best reasons for using herbal pain remedies in a dog is that the aftercare and side effects are often non-existent. The dog will often experience all of the benefits of pain relief, without harmful side effects or long recovery times.
Herbal remedies usually take longer to show any effect, compared to a veterinarian-prescribed pharmaceutical pain reliever. Therefore, the dog will sometimes have to wait longer to experience the benefits of the herbal pain relief, which can start anytime from a few hours after administering to a few days later.
Some herbal pain remedies require consistent maintenance. They may need to be administered regularly and long-term to treat chronic pain. However, this is also the case with pharmaceutical medications.
For injury pain, herbal remedies will likely not need to be administered long-term and may be able to help the dog heal in as little as a few days.
The cost of herbal pain remedies can vary widely, depending on the size of the dog, the injury, and the herbal treatment.
Most herbal treatments use ingredients that are available in almost any health food store. Some of them, like ginger, can be very cheap at any grocery store and $10 might buy enough supply for several weeks.
However, some herbs are harder to come by, such as cat's claw, which is useful for treating joint pain and arthritis. Cat's claw can be bought at health food stores as a tincture for around $50.
The price of herbs can also vary due to market availability, demand level, location, and even the time of year, particularly when buying fresh herbs. On the other hand, pharmaceutical pain treatments can often run significantly more expensive than herbal remedies, making the latter an excellent alternative from a financial standpoint.
The benefits of using herbal remedies for pain relief in dogs are numerous. Primarily, the dog can experience all of the pain relief and medicinal benefits associated with conventional drugs, but without the risks related to pharmaceutical products.
The short-term impact of herbal remedies is sometimes not as apparent as the results of conventional drugs since they often take longer to show any effect. However, considering the long-term health of the dog, herbal pain relievers are non-addictive and don’t carry the same risks and side effects as pharmaceutical pain relievers, as long as the herbal remedies are used safely, in the right doses and with the approval of a veterinarian.
There is a possibility that certain herbal remedies will no longer be effective in managing chronic pain after a certain time. In this case, many dog owners choose a different herbal remedy or might even turn to more conventional painkillers as a last resort, even if temporarily.
Arthritis and other joint pain occur naturally in many dog breeds as they age, particularly bigger dogs. However, there are some practices that can help prevent the early onset and reduce the intensity of these pains.
Regular moderate exercise is vital; it's important for dogs to be active but not over-taxed since over-exercising can lead to joint problems later in the dog's life, particularly for bigger breeds. On the other hand, a lack of exercise can lead to stiffness and unhealthy bodies, so it is important to establish regular exercise routines without going to any extremes. Besides, exercising regularly with your dog is also an excellent way to keep the owner healthy!
Another great option to help prevent chronic pain in dogs is physical therapy, particularly after injuries occur. Consulting and working with a canine physical therapist can significantly improve the quality of movement and life for dogs.
Owners can also consider the use of herbal vitamins and special dog food that can be given to help support bone and joint health. A better diet prevents the deterioration of bones and joints in dogs early on in their life, instead of acting once the damage is done.
Regular vet checkups and proper daily care for the dog are also important preventative measures that work best when they are applied throughout the dog's life and not until the dog starts showing signs of pain.
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