harness for arthritis dog

MyGermanShepherd Health ManualArthritis (Degenerative Joint Disorder) actually is a progressive disorder, not a disease as it is commonly referred to ("Degenerative Joint Disease").

Arthritis describes the condition of chronic cartilage inflammation, the cartilage at the joints between bones. This type of inflammation causes pain, and over time the inflammation leads to the degeneration of the cartilage such that the friction of rubbing bones causes even more pain.

Allopathic vets and MDs alike typically portray Arthritis as unavoidable with increasing age and body wear. We know today however that although cartilage naturally deteriorates with age and body wear, Arthritis anytime before old age clearly is a preventable disorder.

This is because chondrocytes and the synovial fluid that nurture cartilage both are sensitive to poor diet, lab medicaments, and an impaired immune system. Immune system impairment too is primarily caused by:

  1. poor diet
  2. improper vaccination and
  3. immunosuppressive drugs (steroids and NSAIDs).

Thus the better you avoid a poor diet and vaccinations and immunosuppressants, the less likely that your dog (or you) will experience Arthritis early, or indeed at all! Note that many dogs (and people) never experience Arthritis in their whole life.

Who Suffers Arthritis

Healthy German Shepherds are not more susceptible to Arthritis than other dogs. However, as the joints at hips and shoulders are particularly weak in dogs with Hip Dysplasia or Elbow Dysplasia, German Shepherds with either defect are likely to also suffer Arthritis, and rather early.

In general, purebred dogs are more susceptible to Arthritis as well as other disorders: all types of Allergies, Tumors, Diabetes, Bloat or Gastric Torsion, Obesity, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, etc. This is because the same likelihood for genetic mutation impacts on the narrower gene pool in every dog generation.

In addition, larger dogs with a lot of weight put on their joints, and dogs that get little exercise and thus insufficient training to support the muscles, are more susceptible to Arthritis. Accordingly Obesity is a major contributing factor.

Finally, dogs that put undue stress on their joints (eg excessive jumping) are much more likely to suffer Arthritis at some point in life. However younger dogs that are kept healthy would normally only suffer Arthritis if they sustain an injury that puts undue stress on the joints.

Again, the easiest way to keep a dog healthy is:

  1. Share only REAL foods with the dog, don't pay for industrial crap.
  2. Don't pay for unnecessary vaccinations, and certainly not for "boosters"!
  3. Decline to pay for immunosuppressive anti-inflammatory drugs (steroids and NSAIDs).

Easy! And saves you a ton of money too!

Warning Signs

Preventing Arthritis

Arthritis can be entirely prevented, or at least delayed and alleviated with:

* I trust the repetition of the life-saving points sinks in?

Although Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia are finally declining, both forms of dysplasia are still common among German Shepherds, and both promote Arthritis too. Hence, here you have another reason why you should ensure that, if not from a rescue center, you get your (next) dog from a reputable breeder who tests both dam and sire for dysplasia (and other hereditary defects) before undertaking the breeding venture!

Treating Arthritis

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The key in the treatment of Arthritis is to nurture cartilage tissue via the chondrocytes and synovial fluid. In general this is no different to nurturing any other body cells: You cannot nurture cells with colorful cutely shaped dry mass aka kibble, nor with chips, flips, fries, crackers, donuts, cookies, cake, etc, nor with "joint health" food supplements.

You can only nurture cells with REAL foods, natural foods, unprocessed foods that have the naturally high water content that allows the human and canine organism to absorb the nutrients in the foods! And above I wrote "in general" because damage to cartilage is not readily repaired by the body as cartilage doesn't have its own blood supply. This is why Arthritis treatment takes longer.

Also consider, even the best nurturing is of little value if you then also provide the organism with known cell toxins:

  • vaccines are combinations of weakened or killed pathogens together with cell toxins as powerful adjuvants
  • herbicides in yard care products
  • volatile organic compounds (VOC) and surfactants in household detergents and carpet adhesives
  • insecticides in flea and tick remedies
  • uncounted allergens and carcinogens in lab medicaments, etc.

Effective treatment of Arthritis has to incorporate all of the above: the nurturing of the cartilage tissue and avoiding its intoxication. A side effect of this successful cartilage rehabilitation is that it will also remove any pain and improve the range of motion for the dog and person alike.

Conversely, what you typically pay for when you see an allopathic physician to treat Arthritis is:

  1. first visit: analgesics to relieve pain and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to further relieve pain via reducing the inflammation (CASH)
  2. second visit: steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Prednisolone (More CASH)
  3. third visit: they recommend joint surgery! (Holiday CASH)

Did you notice how very similar the allopathic treatment protocol for Arthritis is with the allopathic treatment protocol for the entirely different condition of Anal Infections?

Think about that. And this although one is a disorder, the other is a disease!

This allopathic blanket treatment protocol is no coincidence: Allopathic treatment options are

  • first confined to lab medicaments (plenty of analgesics, steroids, NSAIDs, or antibiotics) - because medicaments have a fairly low barrier to entry for the paying medical consumer: you will go ahead without a second thought!
  • and allopathic treatment options often end with surgery - once you got "accustomed" to the much higher price ticket of surgery, you're supposed to conclude: "I went this far, now let's not stop before having tried surgery as well"...!

Also be aware that the treatment attempts of ordinary allopathic vets and MDs generally cause more "side effects" than they do good because allopathic physicians focus on the symptoms, not the cause, here of Arthritis.

Thus back to the so much more sensible holistic treatment of Arthritis: In addition to rehabilitating cartilage tissue (nurturing it and avoiding intoxication), Arthritis treatment focuses on strengthening the joints through gentle exercises (ideally in water bodies) and training the supporting muscles (ideally not in water bodies). This in itself usually relieves most of the pain and improves the range of motion too.

Notice that all of this holistic treatment protocol for Arthritis is entirely void of medicaments and does not cause any "side effects" at all!

"But will it instantly relieve the symptom of joint pain from inflammation?"


"What? Why is it not even trying to?"

Because the inflamed joints and any resulting pain will make the dog (or you) move around with care, taking it easy on the body while under repair: The inflammation starts the healing process - IF YOU LET IT and if you support the healing process (nurturing the cartilage, avoiding cell intoxication etc, see above), not hinder it.

Think: Healing is impossible when the dog (or you) continue to live and "jump around" exactly like before! The prior "lifestyle" is what brought your dog (or you) the misery. The evolutionary purpose of pain is to thwart further damage, to thwart harm to the body!

"Does that mean the dog (or I) have to accept living with pain??"

No. The pain will disappear even before healing is accomplished - IF YOU LET HEALING GET UNDERWAY. Imagine you are the parent of your body like the parent of your child. Would you allow your child (body) to continue crossing roads without looking left and right for safety?

No. You would only allow your child (body) to continue crossing roads ONCE IT SHOWS TO BE CAREFUL. Now you may replace "crossing roads" with anything else. Because both dogs and people only made it through evolutionary history to exist today after early dogs and people had learned to pay attention to their bodily pain.

Not to forget, painkillers without anti-inflammatory properties have their merit - ONCE YOU LET HEALING GET UNDERWAY.

Other than this, many dog owners swear on a daily tablet or two of the joint health supplement Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM, which they say has removed all Arthritis symptoms in their dog. So much so that some have claimed that even 12 year old dogs are "suddenly jumping around like puppies again".

And indeed, Arthritis is the main condition where even many allopathic veterinarians recommend the administration of this particular joint health supplement. Either way, note that NO health supplement can replace the need to nurture cartilage tissue with REAL foods, and to avoid cell intoxication.




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    Hi , I'm from India , i have a 12 year old cross bread german shepherd , he is suffering from sever arthritis , he is unable to walk now , he is not having food at all . he only drinks water . we are trying to feed him with medicines the vet has prescribed . can u please help me what needs to be done .


      Ahhh Avinash, how do I respond without hurting your feelings? I can't. Sorry.
      Feeling you require me to respond anyway, let me diplomatically refer to a Periodical instead:
      How to Care for a Senior GSD.
      Hopefully you can take away some pointers...?


    My 10 year old GSD, Sam has what I believe to be the beginnings of arthritis. Unfortunately he used to jump out of my 4 wheel drive, which has a lift kit as soon as I opened the door and I fear this has taken its toll.
    The issue I have with him now is that he still thinks he is 18 months old. He does not know when to stop, especially at the water (beach or river). I make him have time outs as he would spend 6 hours playing and swimming.
    He only seems to suffer in the evening and by the next day he is ready to go again.
    My dilemma is that I don't want to stop him having the time of his life.....but I don't want to make any problems he has, worse.


      Hey Rod! Didn't you see my email reply? Or misunderstood it?
      I paste it here again for you:

      "Yes, I do know of a great remedy for both and I mention it in both:
      Dog Arthritis (this page)
      Dog Hip Dysplasia

      The point is, it's quite pricey though. Regardless, it's really amazing, and hence I always suggest that concerned dog owners try ONE pack to see how it goes. Well before the end of a pack (90, 1 a day, so 3 months) you should see a marked improvement. If not, you feel comfort: At least I've tried!"

      You too will see a marked improvement with Nutramax with MSM.


    I have a 6 year old GSD with Arthritis. Is it common for such a young dog to have arthritis. He is on half a Coxflam tablet a day but still is very stiff in the evenings


      Elise, Meloxicam (Coxflam) is an NSAID that causes further auto-immune disorders (Arthritis itself is an autoimmune disorder too), thus you are only making things worse - regardless what your vet is trying to sell to you.

      No, it is UNcommon for a dog to develop Arthritis at all IF the dog is kept healthy:

      - NO industrial pet "food" (incl. treats), ie anything from rendering plants.
      - NO needless vaccinations, ie unnecessary given the dog's living environment and lifestyle.
      - NO antibiotics - unless the dog (or person) suffers a life-threatening disease (very, very rare case!)
      - NO steroids and NO NSAIDS ever!

      You see it is really easy to keep a dog healthy throughout life, and thus easy to avoid Arthritis too. Just don't do things that people routinely do. Routinely is without thinking.

      Could it be that so many dog owners are nonetheless doing all of the above because they WANT to pay high vet bills regularly, to "document" they are trying to help their sick dog?

      If you for once don't want that, simply STOP DOING all of the above.

      Subject to how ruined your dog's immune system already is, the dog may or may not fully recover. In any case, following the above advice will certainly improve the dog's life and prolong the lifetime and keep your bank account stuffed. :mrgreen:

      If you want to help your dog's pain and stiffness, simply give one Nutramax or Yumove a day. I do not know of any case where this didn't help the dog.

      Just reply here to show you read this advice, thank you.


    Thank you for your reply. I am in SA will search for the supplement you are talking about.


    My sister german shephard can not stand up on his leg that good and he not eating at all


    Many thanks to all! Wish I knew about this site 10 yrs ago. I applied almost all advice on this page, pigs liver, chicken, rice no progressed, plenty playtime etc. Up til 4 months ago when she had to have rabbies injection to visit uk she had never been ill, since then she has been really ill, vey days its not rabbits injection its inflammation, then 4 weeks after its now arthritis, more tabs more injections more pain. I said to get yesterday I'm not going down that rd for my dog and for me all that dosh with no solution for my dog to lay in bed in pain but convinced me to go down route of long term weekly injectionsns for month another 600 euros 8m on disability with ME and a host of other stuff I know what its like to be Bedbound in pain in not sure I can do it to my beloved, she is my life she keeps me alive, but one positive at least I may not have to worry about me going b4 her. Any advice welcome, I'm in bits here just want to make decision but may be in emotional mind and make wrong one. Fantastic site, Thank you Yvonne x wish I could donate but I can't at the moment.

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