One treatment you should avoid to keep your dog safe
Do you feel like life is speeding up? I definitely do too. Today I was going through my to-do list, trying to complete some tasks and suddenly the day is over. One would think that with all the technology we use like computers, smartphones and communication we would have more time for life, but the opposite is true.
With such a lack of time, people are looking for quick solutions and that also applies to their dog’s health. I remember a time when I would see dogs being treated at another practice and they were always on a quick-fix drug.
Why men are less patient when it comes to medicine
Some men may disagree with me but, my experience is that women are much more patient when it comes to healthcare. Most guys are looking for a quick fix and prefer spending money on the next toy, big screen TV or a car than health and preventive care.
You may find it funny but, after 28 years in practice, I started calling this the 'husband phenomenon.' In most, but not all families, women seem to be much more in tune with understanding health, whereas guys often expect a quick fix that does not cost too much. After all, steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs were invented by men*.
*Percy Lavon Julian (April 11, 1899 – April 19, 1975) was an American research chemist who laid the foundation for the steroid drug industry's production of cortisone, other corticosteroids. Aspirin, the first non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug was invented by Felix Hoffmann, a chemist at Bayer, in 1897.
The cheap, quick fix that can be very costly
In Western medicine, people like to use the 'anti' drugs. Antibiotics, Antifungals and finally, the focus of today - anti-inflammatory drugs.
Today, I would like to focus on corticosteroids, very commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs, that in my opinion cause the deepest and irreversible damage.
The body naturally produces corticosteroids by the cortex of the adrenal glands. Adrenal glands have two main functions - regulating electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, and helping the body deal with stress and inflammation.
The more stress your dog is exposed to, the more corticosteroids are produced. It is an important part of survival strategy.
However, most people do not realize that healthy inflammation is an essential part of the healing process. Inflammation causes discomfort, which prevents us from overusing an already injured body part. If a dog injures his leg or back, inflammation is a way of increasing blood supply and if the healing process is not obstructed, the tissue heals fast and permanently.
When anti-inflammatory drugs are used, the natural healing process is blocked for the sake of short-term relief but, there is a high price they pay. Most often, the problem comes back because the tissue has not healed fully and the vicious cycle starts spinning.
That is how many injuries become chronic.
To summarize, using anti-inflammatory drugs gives us the illusion of recovery. Deep inside, the body's ability to heal is hindered and the chances of a full recovery are reduced. This applies to ears, skin, muscles, joints or even internal organs.
Anti-inflammatory drugs also cause serious side-effects and, in my opinion, are unnecessary and contraindicated. I will mention these in the next article.
What is the solution for injuries and inflammation?
The first ingredient is patience followed by persistence and an open mind to get out of the rut.
For many decades now, the use of 'anti' drugs is so common that most people don't think twice about taking Advil, Aspirin or even steroids and the same applies to their dogs.
The question is, how does one reduce the likelihood of injuries, inflammation and resist the temptation of quick fix.
It is constant learning for everyone, including myself.
6 step plan to reduce inflammation and the chances of chronic disease
- Feed your dog natural food. We are in the process of preparing a new raw and cooked diet course. You can pre-register for the updates here.
- Keep your dog toxin free because toxins cause inflammation and chronic disease. Learn about the detox process here.
- Give your dog essential supplements. Providing the core building blocks will help the body recover faster. Generally, I see much more improvement in mobility and inflammation reduction with essentials. Interesting, right?
- Keep your dog's spine aligned with the help of a chiropractor, rehabilitation, physical or massage therapist to name a few.
- When it comes to natural anti-inflammatory medicines - turmeric, coconut oil, omega oils, chlorophyll and Perna mussel are a few good examples, in addition to a raw diet.
- The last part of reducing inflammation is maintaining mobility by increasing strength.
Increasing mobility through increasing strength
I often derive ideas for dogs from my life. Overall, I am relatively fit, doing yoga, hiking, kiteboarding and living an active life. However, when I started adding strengthening exercises and core strengthening classes, I noticed that my joints were stronger, more stable and less achy even after exercise.
Building and maintaining strength is the key to reducing inflammation in your dog. That is why I have united with my South African colleague Dr. Megan Kelly. Our plan is to launch a course on reducing pain and inflammation mainly in senior dogs, but also in all dogs.
All you need to do is to pre-register here to receive further updates on the course and if you have any questions about how to reduce steroid use, enter your question at the end of the registration form, we will consider your concerns while finalizing the course curriculum.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM