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Dr. Harvey: Arthritis in Aging Pets

Our beloved pets experience many of the same aging afflictions we do.

May 24, 2018 4 min read
Dr. Harvey: Arthritis in Aging Pets

Elliott Harvey MH

Welcome to our next installment of Dr. Elliott’s Health Emporium

I would like to discuss a common affliction of the aging pet: Arthritis which results in pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited movement in varying degrees, caused by inflammation. It can occur as a crippling condition or simply a slowing down attributed to aging. Though the severity differs with each individual animal, arthritis is not a localized problem but a systemic disorder associated with a metabolic deficiency, which results in inflammation.

When the body’s organs are not functioning properly due to nutritional deficiencies, the metabolism suffers. When the body cannot metabolize nutrients, it leads to an accumulation of minerals and calcium in the joints. Pain increases as the cartilage becomes brittle and dry and ligaments lose flexibility and tone.

Viral and bacterial problems can also lead to arthritis. The most common factors that cause arthritis include; faulty nutrition, improper diet, supplement deficiencies, stress, buildup of toxins, obesity, aging, lack of exercise, environmental factors, genetics and infection. Beginning with prevention, avoid commercial kibbles, pouched and canned foods and treats that are loaded with chemicals. These products are the culprits that cause many health problems for your pet, including the perfect environment to induce arthritic inflammation.

Want to learn how to save on pet arthritis? Click here

The following products help to relieve the symptoms of arthritis pain and prevent further damage to the joints.

1-Glucosamine- Glucosamine is a compound found naturally in the body, made from glucose and the amino acid glutamine. Glucosamine is needed to produce glycosaminoglycan, a molecule used in the formation and repair of cartilage and other body tissues. Production of glucosamine slows with age.

2-Chondroitan Sulfate-Glycosaminoglycans are found in the lubricating fluid of the joints and as components in cartilage. Five kinds of glycosaminoglycans have been found in the tissues and fluids of vertebrates: chondroitin sulfates, keratin sulfates, dermatan sulfates, hyaluronic acid, heparin and heparin sulfate.

3-Chuchuhuasi (trembling bark) reduces inflammation and relaxes muscles resulting in pain relief; it inhibits protein kinase C which is believed to be responsible for many diseases. Good for adrenal glands.

4-Green Lipped Mussel (Perna): Green Lipped Mussels contain five kinds of Omega-3 (EPA, DHA, ETA, OTA, etc) all of which are necessary for the body. Green lipped mussel extract contains a rich blend of natural proteins, minerals, and mucopolysaccharides. These naturally occurring mussel extract substances are gaining attention for their ability to help joint mobility, cartilage maintenance, and overall health. Although some inflammation is normal under certain conditions, consistent or excessive inflammation can result in pain and damage to the body, including the joints. Green lipped mussel inhibits overall inflammation.

5-Celery Seeds- Celery seed is included in formulas for treating arthritis and gout, because it helps to subdue muscle spasms, calm the nerves, and reduce inflammation.

6-Devils Claw- Its anti-inflammatory properties are said to ease aches and stiffness in joints as well as relieve pain. A study in France that compared devil’s claw to a prescription medication for arthritis showed that both the herb and the prescription remedy had equal abilities to relieve pain.

7-Bamboo- This plant contains over 70% organic silica extract and is the richest known source of natural silica. It plays an important role in the integrity of skin, ligaments, tendons, bone, teeth, hair, nails and gums. Another benefit of bamboo is to support bone growth, heal bones and to relieve joint pain by increasing flexibility.

8-Coral Bean Bark- opens up meridian channels, and is used for relaxing striated muscles.

9- Tumeric- aids circulation, pain relief, anti-inflammatory

10- Ginger- stimulates circulation, reduces spasms, enhances other herbs

11- Pyrola- increases durability of muscles and tendons.

12- Guaco- Guaco is a significant source of the natural plant chemical, coumarin (as high as 11% in some guaco plants).

13- Iporuru- anti-inflammatory, pain relief, anti-tumor, aids flexibility

14- Chamomile- calmative, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant

15- Magnesium- assists in calcium & potassium uptake. Prevents calcification of soft tissue, fights acid buildup, neutralizes toxins

16- Charcoal- eliminates toxins in joints, aids mobility

17- Fruit X- composed of calcium, fructose and important element boron. Boron has a long standing relationship with the safeguarding of healthy bones and joints with improved joint mobility.

18- Krill Oil- pain reduction, high source of omega 3 oils, stiffness relief, anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, protects cellular damage

19- Collagen- is a type of protein and is the primary protein of connective tissue with approx. 25% of the body consisting of collagen . Collagen interacts with bone, skin, ligaments (main component), tendons (main component), muscle and cartilage. Collagen has strong tensile strength.

Want to learn how to save on pet arthritis? Click here

Question for Dr. Harvey:

My dog constantly gets cuts when we walk. Is there something natural I can use on the cuts? 


Pets paws are in constant contact with various surfaces. Extreme summer heat, small rocks, tiny pieces of sharp edged glass along with countless items can become embedded in the pets paw. These are natural products utilized for various paw and skin problems:

  • Arnica Montana cream
  • Aloe Vera gel
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Myrrh essential oil
  • Frankincense essential oil
  • Calendula salve / cream

* I like to mix different oils into the Aloe Vera gel (approx. 10 drops total oil into 2oz gel-mix well)