Corticosteroids can be life saving. That was the case with me and severe asthma. Steroids are anti-inflammatory; they decrease pain, swelling, and relieve itching. The problem is that what should have been a very short term treatment turned into 14 years, until I was introduced to Transfer Factor which I have often written about on this blog. When treating our dogs, horses, cats, and ourselves, it is imperative to be informed.
The negative side effects of corticosteroids are the reason they should be used as briefly, and in as low doses as possible. They decrease the ability of wounds to heal. They increase the chance of infection.They can contribute to destruction of joints by decreasing collagen. They suppress the immune system. They increase appetite and thirst. In cats, an increase in diabetes has been seen. Steroid use can also upset laboratory tests, causing misdiagnosis of other problems.
A holistic approach to replacing toxic steroids will include nutrition, omega fatty acids, antioxidants, Vitamins such as C, A, E, glucosamine, MSM, yucca, bromelain,and so many more. These approaches are safe and non-toxic. You will save money on drugs and vet bills.
Lameness is a common symptom of arthritis in older animals. Many veterinarians prescribe corticosteroids, or other potentially toxic medications, but there are more natural and safe options. Conventional therapies treat pain and inflammation, but rarely help the stiff and swollen joint to heal .
Each animal is an individual and a dedicated owner may have to try several treatment options before the magic cocktail is found. The goal is not just to suppress symptoms, but to actually heal the body in a holistic way.
I have discussed acupuncture, cold laser therapy, massage,Transfer Factor (wonderful for the inflammation of arthritis) and other homeopathic and herbal remedies on this blog. Many natural remedies can relieve pain and supply nutrients to help cartilage heal.
Arthritis results from erosion of the cartilage lining of the joints. Since there are no nerves in this cartilage, a great amount of damage can occur before the surrounding joint tissues become inflamed and painful. So once again, prevention is the key. The earlier diagnosis is made, the greater the chance for healing.
Glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, enzymes, fatty acids, can all help heal cartilage.
Horses with painful joints often have steroid injections into the joint. While these injections may bring some relief, the cause of the pain may actually be coming from tight muscles.The problem is treated , but not resolved and cured. The stress and trigger points go untreated and continue to pull on the joint. Steroids can damage the tissue of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and even the bone itself. Ultimately, the situation gets worse and the horse is no longer able to perform.
There is nothing to lose in seeing if stress and trigger point therapy might help soreness before resorting to more invasive treatment.