Arthritis Relief for Dogs: chiropractic, laser, and more help mine by da-AL

Chiropractic and laser works for canine arthritis
Chiropractor Dr. Michelle Zarzana restores mobility and comfort to my dogs.

They’re 12 1/2-year-old twins. Born love-radors, their torsos are still black and sleek as seals, but now snow dusts their eyebrows and muzzles, rendering their faces more expressive. While age hasn’t diminished their charms, it hurts their joints.

Gentleman-Dog should have it worse, given his two knee surgeries at the age of three. Nonetheless, his ninja-jumper cheetah-swift sister feels it most. She’s become a creaky morning riser, climbs the four stairs into our home like a mermaid, and hesitates before revving up for walkies.

Angels live quick. My dear, oh-so-sweet dogs. Balancing quality against quantity of life is a guessing game when loved ones can’t mouth words.

Perhaps our story will help you and yours? Here’s what we’re doing so far:

  1. Chiropractic: for many years, the gifted and personable Dr. Michelle Zarzana, along with her efficient staff, has relieved numerous furry and non-furry family and friends of their pain.
  2. Laser treatment: more recently, Dr. Z has come to the rescue in this area too! When Lady-Dog’s vet recommended expensive rounds of laser treatments (twice a week for a month, then once a week for a month, then once a month thereafter at roughly $40 per dog per session), Dr. Z kindly stepped in for a fraction of the rate! Under her supervision, she generously allows me to administer her laser to my loyal hairy kin. As soon as we’re done, there’s a marked spring to their steps.
  3. Daily walks: even the shortest help. In the karma of dogs, walkers benefit too!
  4. A fellow dog loving tango-ista relayed that homeopathic anti-inflamatories help his doggie without danger of adverse side effects. At 55 and 65 lbs, I give each of mine a chewable tab of T-Relief three times a day. Now well into their first bottle, I’m seeing great results.
  5. Pharmaceuticals: Rimadyl, an anti-inflamatory prescribed by Lady-Dog’s vet, helps but risks injuring her liver and kidneys. Given her overall good health, she could live several more years (fingers and toes crossed!). I doubt she wants incontinence and added discomforts during her final days, so I only dose her on days when she lies about panting, not caring for treats. Her vet additionally suggested an extensive/costly regimen of spinal injections that I’ll consider if the other remedies cease to help.
  6. Glucosamine: The fab orthopedist who tended my knee last year says the sulfate formula (as opposed to the more available HCL kind) is best. My hunch is that human supplements are held to higher standards than those for dogs, so I buy the people kind. Improvement can take months to show. Fortunately, Gentleman-Dog was better within days, and Lady-Dog took about a week.

What works for your dogs? Or doesn’t? Please share!

Dr. Michelle Zarzana’s website

NY Times on canine chiropractic
ABC News on laser for dogs
Glucosamine dosages for dogs. My dogs and I have best results with sulfate version

Dancing and knees

15 thoughts on “Arthritis Relief for Dogs: chiropractic, laser, and more help mine by da-AL

  1. I had a dog when I was a child, but it was really my parents who did most of the looking after him. I’m simply not sure what kind of supplements and medical treatments work well with dogs. I do remember that lots of praise and friendly pats on the back seemed to go a long way, though. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We have had the blessing of several rescue dogs growing old in our care, all of them fast running dogs (greyhound, saluki and lurcher) and prone to arthritis in later life. What we did for our dogs was to include regular swimming, especially in the sea. All our dogs had cod liver oil glucosamine and green-lipped mussel supplements added to their diet. Our lurcher Seamus suffered from serious leg injuries and we rehabilitated him with hydro-therapy (swimming in a heated pool) without the need for medication. He lived to be thirteen years old and would still have a run on the beach, later aided by a magnetic collar to help his mobility. He remained medication free.

    I can wholeheartedly recommend hydro-therapy for older dogs as it keeps them fit and enables them to exercise without carrying any weight. The magnetic collar (we used one by Magno Mutt) was an additional help with mobility.

    Liked by 1 person

      • We do not have our own pool but we live by the sea. The nearest canine hydro-therapy pool is a 30-minute drive away, so we are very lucky. Amazon sell the magnetic collars and it is best to leave them on all day and take them off at night. We saw a big difference after one week already. I hope you will find something to help your dogs feel comfortable 🐾🐾

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Daal,
    It is the times our dogs are in pain, I miss the capability of talking to each other the most ;-( To be able to explain, why I am doing or giving them something…
    Glucosamine combined with flaxseed is what seems to help my oldest one. Since I am not only a holistic animal therapeutic, but also an energetic animal therapeutic I can use energy to help taking away pain.
    Did you know there are natural alternatives for medications as Rimadyl? I give that, as soon as I see or feel the pain is increasing again.
    Anyway…I hope your lovely friends will be with you for more years to come. My fingers and toes are crossed 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your generous spirit is always appreciated, dear Patty. I give Rimadyl only as last resort, & give homeopathic first. You make a good point that intentions and energy are effective too.

      BTW – Do your dogs ever suffer from fleas &/or hotspots? If so, please share what might work for you & yours.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My German Shepherd Abby was plagued by dysplasia and I did the laser treatment with her for over a year-I saw dramatic results which I am convinced allowed her another year of mobility-and life. She also received supplements from Springtime in Baltimore which I believe also helped her a great deal. While our walks grew shorter, she was still engaged in her world and lived to the ripe old age of 13. The last few months we continued to walk with her back legs in a harness, but she moved like she had mobility for all four-I learned a lot from watching her. Dogs are amazing at overcoming challenges-they just do what they can. And it sounds like yours are getting every chance reasonably possible to help them enjoy life-

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are kind! I do what I can for them, as they give totally of themselves for me. I am a great admirer of Cesar Milan, aka Dog Whisperer, & his adage that dogs live in the moment. His opinion is that they don’t worry about how they incurred pain, don’t fixate on how long pain will last. Also, that they don’t benefit whatsoever from pity. Over & over, I try to practice this lesson.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. In Australia, there is a view that green lip mussels give dogs some relief from arthritis. It seemed to help the two older dogs we had. Both lived to 15 or so—you never know for sure with rescue dogs. We have a young dog now and no need yet for that kind of help. Walks, pats and homemade dog food seem to do the trick now.

    Liked by 1 person

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