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Osteoarthritis in dogs: what plants help against pain

Wenn Hunde unter Arthose leiden, führt dies irgendwann zu Schmerzen. Im Artikel erfährst du, wie du deinem Hund mit Heilpflanzen hilfst.
Osteoarthritis plays a very large role in the joint diseases of our dogs. It is also always important here to look at how to alleviate possible pain in our dogs caused by osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia or other joint diseases. I am very pleased at this point that Anne Sasson, veterinary practitioner, nutritionist and dog psychologist, gives us a great insight into phytotherapy for this and shows us ways to actively support dogs with joint pain with medicinal plants and relieve pain. Enjoy the article!

More and more dogs suffer from pain in the musculoskeletal system. On the one hand, this is because dogs live longer. As pleasing as this is, it promotes signs of wear and tear in the joints. Feeding errors, genetic predisposition or incorrect stresses also play a role. Osteoarthritis pain dog

But no matter where the pain comes from: They should never be taken lightly. Pain is not only uncomfortable, it also has serious effects on your dog’s health. Even those classified as “mild” require prompt treatment. It is irresponsible to think that a little pain is good to bear and is just part of the game. Often the start of treatment is postponed to avoid burdening the dog with the side effects of conventional pain medication.

This is where phytotherapy comes into play osteoarthritis pain dog

Many different herbs and plants can be used very successfully in the treatment of pain. In many cases, they are so effective that medication can be dispensed with completely. For more severe pain, these can at least be dosed down. This is very important, especially in the case of chronic complaints, as the treatment is very likely to last a lifetime. Many plants and herbs are known to be good for pain. To be able to use them specifically, it is useful to know how the individual plants work. They almost always contain different ingredients that act differently.

While it is possible to focus on a specific effect, it is often useful to combine plants from the categories described here to broaden the spectrum of effects.

These herbs and plants have a particularly anti-inflammatory effect

Inflammation is noticeable in that the painful area is red, warm and swollen. This is the case, for example, with arthritis. Here are two plants that have proven effective in the treatment of inflammation. .

  • Indian frankincense (Boswellia serrata): The resins contained in the bark of the tree have a reliable anti-inflammatory effect. Since the dosage of the active ingredient from the drug itself is not easy, it is recommended to use preparations with standardized active ingredient content. Special attention should be paid to the fact that it is the Indian incense. Frankincense can cause nausea and digestive problems in some dogs.
  • Ginger also has an anti-inflammatory effect and can be given fresh or as a powder. It is important to start the treatment with very small amounts. Since ginger can irritate the stomach of sensitive dogs, it is only recommended to use it as a cure.

These herbs and plants have a particularly beneficial effect on blood circulation osteoarthritis pain dog

Good blood circulation in the area of the affected joints is useful for relieving pain. However, treatments with heat or with phytotherapeutics that produce heat must not be done during inflammation: This would aggravate the inflammation.

  • Cayenne pepper fruit: The main component capsaicin has a strong blood circulation stimulating effect. Here, it is treated only externally with a tincture and only for a short duration of one or two days.
  • Hay flowers have a gentler effect and can be used in the form of moist warm compresses. Well-known and helpful are hay flower pillows, which are warmed over a steam pot and fixed to the painful area with an intermediate cloth.
  • Mustard seeds: They are made into a paste as mustard flour with warm water and applied to the area. A bandage should be applied so that the dog does not lick the paste.
  • Camphor and rosemary also promote blood circulation and help especially with muscle pain. However, treatment with oils is not always possible because of the fur.

These herbs and plants have a particularly pain-relieving effect

  • Nettle herb/leaves: Studies in humans have shown that treatment with nettle herb preparations can significantly relieve the pain of osteoarthritis, so that the use of medication could be reduced. Nettle herb can be very easily prepared for dogs as a tea, which is added to food. Also a mush of steamed nettle leaves or raw mashed leaves can be given very regularly in the feed for osteoarthritis.
  • Devil’s claw can also be given as a tea for the treatment of pain. However, ready-to-use preparations guarantee a constant content of the active ingredients. One advantage of devil’s claw is that it has an anti-inflammatory effect at the same time. However, it is not well tolerated by dogs with a sensitive stomach.


  • Willow bark contains salicyl, which is converted into salicylic acid and has similar effects to synthetic acetylsalicylic acid (ASA = aspirin). It works very reliably against pain and is well tolerated by dogs. It does not have the blood-thinning disadvantages of aspirin. The willow bark can be added to the feed very easily as a powder. In addition, there are numerous preparations available that contain willow bark.
  • Meadowsweet has a similar effect to willow bark. The flowers can be easily collected in the summer and dried to prepare a tea for pain later. Osteoarthritis pain dog

These herbs and plants have a particularly draining effect

In the case of painful joint diseases, it makes a lot of sense to also look at the entire organism and treat it holistically. Many dogs that suffer from joint pain benefit from a detoxification regimen. All plants that stimulate metabolism and drain can be used as a cure. For this purpose, quite conventional herbs such as nettle and dandelion are very suitable. They can be given as a tea or mashed raw over the food. During this detox cure, it is also useful to support the liver with milk thistle, for example. Osteoarthritis pain dog

And what about acute pain episodes?

Since phytotherapeutic measures need a few hours or several days to take full effect, they are of course not ideal for the acute treatment of very severe pain. In these cases, they should be given concomitantly so that conventional pain medication can be gradually dosed down.

Many pain-relieving plants, such as arnica or comfrey, are used for acute application primarily externally, which is usually not possible in dogs due to their fur. Ointments containing these plants can be applied as a compress to areas with little fur, provided the skin at the site is not damaged. Osteoarthritis

Would you like to learn more about pain in dogs and how to reliably recognize signs of pain? Then join my free online mini course “Recognizing signs of pain in dogs – incl. Checklist”!

Thank you, dear Anne Sasson, for this detailed and helpful guest article!

Anne Sasson | HappyDogHealthy
Anne Sasson | HappyDogHealthy

Hi, I am Anne
I am a pet health practitioner, nutritionist & dog psychologist by passion.
I help you make important decisions for your dog’s health.
This way you will go through life together with ease and understanding, happy , healthy and with a lot of joy.

Anne Sasson | GlücklicHundGesund

Want to learn more about Anne Sasson and her work? Then be sure to stop by here:

All the love, your Tina

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