TERRY’S BOTTOM LINE:
If your dog is beginning to move a bit slower as he gets
older, having trouble getting into the car, taking longer to climb stairs, or
just seems a bit unsteady on his feet, it may be signs that he or she is
suffering from osteoarthritis or other joint and hip problems.
Fortunately, there is something you can do to help that
doesn’t involve taking potentially dangerous non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs (NSAIDs). Two botanical ingredients – boswellia and curcumin — can
relieve the pain and stop joint damage without causing side effects.
- Relieve pain effectively and safely
- Stop COX-2 and 5-LOX inflammation
- Inhibit inflammatory damage to joints
- Provide additional health benefits for muscle
soreness, digestion, and brain health
Anyone Can Have Hip and Joint Problems – Including our
We share a lot in common with our canine companions.
Sometimes, that means we also share some of the same health issues. Joint and
hip problems are definitely among them. While there are certain breeds of dog
that are more prone to developing osteoarthritis or hip dysplasia, simple aging
and wear and tear can contribute quite a bit – just like it does for us. In
fact, according to statistics in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science,
osteoarthritis affects up to 15 million dogs in America, most over eight years
old, and canine hip dysplasia is one of the most common degenerative joint
As dogs age, the cartilage between the knees and in the hips
breaks down, releasing joint fluid and potentially creating inflammatory damage
to the structure of the joints, as well as a great deal of pain. You may notice
that in the way that your dog slows down toward the end of your regular walks,
lays down gingerly and gets up slowly, or is reluctant to jump or to climb
stairs. And in the beginning, they may hesitate a bit prior to doing anything
that requires effort and activity, even if they look like they’d like to play
or go for a stroll.
In fact, one of the barriers to dogs getting the treatment
they need for osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia can actually be due to their
owners not recognizing their canine companion is in pain. Either they’ve become
used to their dog’s behavior, or they don’t want to think their canine
companion is suffering. In an article published in the American Journal of
Veterinary Research, veterinarians in Finland asked dog owners to note on a
questionnaire how much pain their dogs experienced. What they found was that
initially, many pet owners couldn’t tell that their dogs were in pain, even
when it was obvious to a veterinarian. However, as the study progressed, owners
noted a change when their dogs were taking a pain reliever – and then really
noticed the difference after a little time passed and they were instructed to
stop giving their dogs a pain reliever.
If any of this sounds familiar – and daunting – it doesn’t
have to be. There are ways of addressing this without the need for potentially
dangerous prescription steroid drugs or even common non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs. It’s very likely that your dog has been taking
glucosamine. Maybe that’s been working and you want something additional to
back it up. Or, maybe you’ve noticed it is no longer as effective, and your vet
is recommending Rimadyl, another NSAID that can cause liver damage, vomiting,
diarrhea, fatigue, and ulcers. Fortunately, you can avoid that step.
It so happens that two of the most effective botanical
ingredients for stopping pain, restoring range of motion, and supporting
healthy joints can work as well for canines as they do for humans. And they do
so without causing side effects. Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) and curcumin
from turmeric (Curcuma longa) are clinically studied –in dogs to help overcome
Stopping Inflammation, Pain, and Joint Damage – Safely
Boswellia is especially helpful for joint and hip pain
because it tackles a pain-causing enzyme that other powerful pain relieving
botanicals and drugs struggle to defeat called 5-lipooxygenase, better known as
5-LOX activates inflammatory leukotrienes and is a major
factor in arthritis pain and joint destruction. Researchers find that elevated
levels of 5-LOX activity in the synovial fluid between the joints in cases of
arthritis, over time, damages their very structure.
Because boswellia directly inhibits 5-LOX and prevents the
formation of leukotrienes, it stops an inflammation cascade from starting. It
doesn’t just alleviate pain – it can stop the cause of the pain and preserve
your dog’s joints. Additionally, reducing 5-LOX activity may also help relieve
your dog’s digestive or respiratory issues, so including boswellia in their
daily regimen can provide many benefits.
And although botanical ingredients for joints tend to become
more effective over time, you may notice a difference in your dog relatively
quickly. In a multi-center veterinary clinical trial, 71 percent of canines
with chronic joint and spinal conditions saw noticeable results in just two
weeks. They showed less joint stiffness, an improved gait, and reduced local
pain at the joints. Over time, they showed better physical movement after
exercise or right after rest – two key times when we might notice our own dogs
looking really worn out after a regular walk or reluctant and struggling to get
up from a nap.
I think your choice of boswellia is critical here, though.
Like many plants, boswellia has compounds that can help prevent inflammation or
that can actually cause it. The boswellia I prefer is standardized to provide
enhanced levels of a compound called acetyl-11-keto-B-boswellic acid, best
known by its abbreviation, “AKBA.”
What I like about this boswellia extract is that it has
naturally high levels of AKBA – the compound most associated with stopping
5-LOX activity – but it isn’t “spiked” with the compound. Plus, the boswellia
extract I prefer also reduces levels of another component of boswellia called
beta-boswellic acid, which can be pro-inflammatory. That’s definitely something
your best friend doesn’t need.
Curcumin Relieves Pain
Along with boswellia, curcumin from turmeric (Curcuma longa)
stops joint pain by blocking cyclooxygenase-2 – COX-2 – activity, among many
other forms of inflammation.
In a veterinary clinical study, a combination supplement
with curcumin (combined with green tea extract and collagen) reduced pain by 30
percent in just three months. This time frame is not unusual in alleviating
joint issues for canines or humans. Botanicals like curcumin and boswellia
start reducing inflammation right away – and help decrease pain –- but it can
take time to be most effective. It is certainly a better option than NSAIDs,
which can cause the same gastrointestinal damage to dogs as they can to people.
And the type of curcumin you use can make a difference, too,
and may work even faster. Curcumin, in its regular standardized forms, can be
difficult for the body to absorb. However, combining high-quality, standardized
curcumin with turmeric essential oil not only enhances absorption and blood
retention time, it also provides ar-turmerone, a component of the oil with
anti-inflammatory power of its own. This curcumin, which I prefer, has been
shown to be significantly better absorbed in dogs than standard curcumin
Your Dog Can Age Gracefully and Actively
We all want to spend as much quality time with our canine
best friend as possible. Boswellia and curcumin are two botanical ingredients
with the power to help us do exactly that.
To help your best friend feel their best, and safely
reduce joint and hip pain, I recommend adding curcumin combined with
turmeric essential oil for enhanced absorption along with boswellia that is
standardized for a higher level of inflammation-fighting AKBA.