No loving dog owner wants their fur buddy to suffer, period. 

We try our best to give them all the care and attention they need, feed them properly, and get them walked, trained and socialised to give them the most out of life. Inevitably, things go wrong in their bodies and it can be distressing to see your doggie in pain.

My desi dog Charlie was recently diagnosed with both arthritis in the hips and spondylosis in her spine. The reason I got her x-rayed is that she was getting increasingly stiff and achy, especially in the cold weather.

One of our readers commented on a previous post about a possible remedy: turmeric paste. Although it worked for a while, she started to really dislike it in her food, and started to leave her food as a result. So, I thought I’d write a little update, in case anyone else finds themselves in a similar situation — I know DAR Founder Deb’s gorgeous Ruby has also had the same diagnosis recently too.

The Guinea Pig Phase

There are so many products out there now for dog ailments. There’s no need to commit to one right away. I’ve found that it’s normal and probably useful to go through a bit of a trial phase with different remedies, much like we do for ourselves. I’ve tried turmeric paste, CBD oil, dietary alterations and supplements.

So, my advice would be: first, ask your vet for some (hopefully impartial) advice, i.e. advice that doesn’t involve trying to sell their own products. Secondly, just trial things for a short period and see what suits your pup before committing to a year’s supply. I know some dog owners swear by turmeric or turmeric paste, but unfortunately it just didn’t work in our case.

Also, we all have to live within our means. CBD oil can be uber pricey and for many of us, it’s beyond our economic reach. It can be tricky to get insurance to cover these things, if your dog has already shown signs of disease which is what happened in our case.

Make The Change

So, finally Charlie and I have landed on a supplement called YuMove. And I can tell you, it works. Before we started it, Charlie was still keen to go on long walks but she paid for it later. She would grumble in pain in the evening, and start limping after being at rest — it was so sad to see. I have noticed a difference in only a few weeks — she seems happier, livelier and I’m definitely seeing less of ‘Grumpbags Charlie’.

Aside from the supplements (which I think are crucial), here are a few other things that, once implemented, can make a really big difference to doggo:

  • Shorter, more frequent walks. This advice came straight from the vet, and although it can be challenging to implement, especially if your dog is used to longer walks, it really does help.
  • Non slip carpets. Unfortunately many of us now have wooden/laminate flooring at home which is a no-no for achy dog joints. Charlie has altered her play due to this very reason — slipping on the floors causes pain later. Get some thick non-slip carpets down so that the fun can be unadulterated once more!
  • Natural oils. Try to add some natural oils in the diet. I give her sardines at least once a week but there may be other options that work for your pup.
  • Cut the crap! We all know processed sugar isn’t good for us, and especially not for inflammatory conditions. Try to watch sugar intake hidden in doggie treats, processed meats etc. You may not be aware of it — but it’s there.
  • Acupuncture. Now, I have to admit that I haven’t started the course of acupuncture yet but I have it on good authority that it can lessen this type of pain and be very therapeutic (and even enjoyable!) for doggies.

Do It, Because They’re Worth It!

For me, this has been a steep learning curve. Charlie has always had a slight limp on her back leg, which we believed was from an old injury. Several vets we consulted with early on couldn’t find anything wrong, and so perhaps it is simply a weak point in her body that has developed into arthritis. My advice to anyone who suspects joint problems with their dog would be to start them straight away with something to help — it can start earlier than you might think.

I definitely intend to do a follow up blog once we start acupuncture, but until then know that there are things that can be done (and fairly easily). I’m so delighted to see Charlie once again with a sparkle in her eye and a spring in her step! Keep paying attention folks to the signals they’re sending and make that change!

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About the author

Vaila Erin is a writer, lover of animals, and a bit of a nomad. For her, life is about stories — observing yourself and others so that you can laugh, cry and entertain each other with its absurdities. Connect with her at vailaerin.com or via LinkedIn.

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