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What do you recommend for a cat's arthritis?

 

Dr. Randy Kidd’s response:

I always start with the recommendation to try acupuncture – and I always combined acupuncture with chiropractic adjustments and massage at home – to get the joints moving.  Just too many successes here to try anything else first.  I’ve also had some success with classical homeopathy, but for me these would only be for the patients where acupuncture was difficult – a cat that couldn’t travel, for example. 

 

The downside to acupuncture is that it generally takes 4-6 treatments before we see results, and we may need to repeat treatments (anywhere from 1-6 times per year) to continue the effects.  Treatments may cost $75-100.  

 

Interesting that this is a CAT with arthritis.  When I was practicing, I saw many arthritic cats – oftentimes brought in for some other problem.  I think it’s a disease we often miss because we think the cat that wants to lay around is just being a cat (which I guess it really is), and so we don’t notice that it is sore when it moves.     

 

I combine the acupuncture treatments with chondroprotective agents such as glucosamine, antioxidants, and arthritis-specific herbs such as turmeric, Boswellia, alfalfa, licorice root, and burdock.  For pain I might add willow bark, wild yam, feverfew, or St John’s wort.  Check with your holistic vet or my book “Dr. Kidd’s Guide to Herbal Cat Care (Storey publishing) for more information on correct usage and dosages.  

 

Dr Rose DiLeva’s response:

Thanks for the question. It's a good one. Questions about arthritis, osteoarthritis, and joint problems are by far the most frequently asked in my practice. It's a condition that you are likely to encounter as your pet gets up in years. Cats with arthritis are likely to appear stiff, and, as the pain increases, become lame.  Arthritis is a painful condition. Cats very rarely cry when they are in this kind of discomfort. They are more likely to be quiet, not move around much, and hide. Conditions involving the musculoskeletal system can be helped by a number of holistic treatments. Acupuncture, Western and Eastern Herbs, Homeopathy, Chiropractic, Microcurrent Therapy and Massage Therapy can be of benefit alone, and in combination. Regular acupuncture treatments can give profound relief in cats. There are Chinese herbs that can be fine tuned to help the cat whose arthritis is worse in the cold weather or the hot, humid weather.  Antioxidants are helpful. Solid Gold puts out a product called Sorbate, which is a Vitamin C supplement that can be sprinkled on food. They also put out a powdered form of Yucca, which is a very potent anti-inflammatory.  Cosequin, a glucosamine/ chondroitin combination, and Glycoflex, containing perna mussel, are other products that may help your pet. Omega 3 fatty acids should be added to the diet. Other herbs such as Tumeric and Bromelain have been used in cats.