This article was originally published by The Bark.
My eleven-year-old Schnauzer, Odie, is an old man at heart. He always has been. But when he started wobbling and having trouble walking up stairs, I knew the problem was deeper than his grumpy-old-man demeanor. A trip to the vet confirmed what I suspected: Odie was suffering from joint pain.
Joint pain and stiffness is fairly common in older dogs—specifically pain in the hips, knees, elbows, and tail area. But, the way we think about what causes joint damage and pain has changed. Veterinarians used to think joint pain was a direct result of wear and tear from years of running and playing. However, recent studies show that joint pain is actually caused by constant inflammation. Inflammation causes more than joint pain: it can also cause gut issues, like IBS, and can exacerbate existing medical conditions.
Treating the root of the problem, inflammation, using holistic methods can help alleviate joint pain and can prevent future joint pain from starting.