To protect the general wellness of your beloved pets, it is essential that we give them healthy food, an active lifestyle, and the vaccines and vitamins they need. But sometimes, inevitable circumstances happen, and our dog gets sick either due to many reasons. It could be because of their old age or viruses that they can get from the outside. This situation can affect not only our dog but also us humans in so many ways. When one of our family members is sick, we also feel sad and scared when our dog is not feeling well, especially when they can’t speak for themselves.
During these moments when we, the dog owners, should know what to do and how to recognize situations that call for a visit to our dog’s veterinarian. We must be aware of the signs when our beloved fur ball is not their normal selves so we can tell when they are feeling under the weather. While there are tons of health problems out there that can affect our doggo, here are some of the common inflammatory diseases that you should know and the symptoms to watch out for.
Kinds of Inflammatory Diseases in Dogs
Canine Osteoarthritis: Like in humans, arthritis is a commonly occurring chronic illness in dogs as they often have excessive running or exercise, injury, and/or genetic predisposition. This is characterized by inflammation of the joints, pain, discomfort and stiffness. This condition develops as the cartilage within a joint gets damaged, causing the bones to rub together, which can cause discomfort and pain to our dogs. When this happens, it can result in degenerative joint disease wherein new bone forms around the joint, which in turn makes it stiffer and harder to move. While this is a problem common in older dogs, this can also occur at any age if there are problems in the bone and joint development of your dogs, such as ligament damage, abnormal cartilage development or fractures.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) – This condition is rather considered a syndrome than a disease resulting from chronic irritation of the intestinal tract due to parasitic or bacterial infection or reaction to a specific food. Inflammatory bowel disease can negatively affect any part of the digestive gastrointestinal (GI) tract, but in most cases, the stomach and/or the intestines are affected. Classic characteristics of this condition include chronic vomiting if the only involved part of the GI tract is the stomach and chronic diarrhoea if the intestines are affected. But it can also be both when both parts of the digestive tract are affected. You will also notice a reduction in appetite and weight loss in dogs who are suffering from this problem.
Myasthenia Gravis – This neuromuscular disorder is commonly seen in breeds such as Newfoundland, Great Dane, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Akita, and Scottish Terrier. This condition is known to be caused by a defect in a dog’s immune system that mistakenly attacks its muscle receptors, stopping them from working normally. Most cases of myasthenia gravis are acquired instead of inherited. This health condition is characterized by difficulty swallowing, a decreased ability to blink, progressive weakness, excessive drooling, difficulty breathing and cramping with mild exercise.
Natural Anti-inflammatory Botanicals
Botanicals have been part of health management not only for us humans but also for many animals since ancient times. With these supplements that can help your dog’s condition and general wellness, it is always a good practice to consult your veterinarian before giving any supplements like with any medications.
Boswellia serrata. Also known as Indian frankincense, Boswellia has been used in Ayurvedic practice for centuries. It is said that its active ingredient, Boswellia acids have an anti-inflammatory effect and can modulate the immune response. In addition to this, Boswellia is said to influence leukotriene synthesis, which is helpful in arthritic pain.
Turmeric. This botanical that belongs in the ginger family has been used since ancient times as a remedy in Indian medicine practice, Ayurveda. Turmeric has a main active component, curcumin, which is clinically proven to help in the management of osteoarthritis that is characterized by pain and inflammation, cartilage damage, bone health, as well as the maintenance of general wellness.
Ashwagandha. An ancient herb in the Indian medical practice of Ayurveda, ashwagandha is hailed as one of the most important adaptogens which can provide many health benefits to the body. The effects of ashwagandha in dogs are also the same in humans. It can reduce stress, and it also possesses properties that can help in the management of anaemia, inflammation, bacterial infection and diarrhoea. In addition to this, ashwagandha can also enhance the immune system, improve the quality of bodily tissues, has anti-tumorigenic properties, and is great for maintaining your dog’s health and well-being.
Cinnamon. Cinnamon not only offers tons of health benefits to the human body but to our dog’s health as well. This spice is reported to help conditions such as irritable bowel disease, stomach cramps and possesses powerful pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. This spice is referred to as a superfood for humans, but can dogs eat cinnamon? Take note that while there are two kinds of cinnamon that you can buy in the market, the ideal kind for dogs is the Ceylon cinnamon which only has a small amount of coumarin, a compound that can be found in many plants which can be toxic to dogs in huge amounts.
Hawthorn. This botanical has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is known to help dogs who are suffering from arthritis. According to herbalists, hawthorn can help dilate blood vessels causing better blood circulation in the affected organs and throughout the body. It is also hailed as a great supplement that can support heart health.