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“Within 48 hours, Sydney was walking on all four legs comfortably.”
A couple of years ago, Sydney developed a partial cruciate tear. It wasn't bad enough to require surgery and since she's not a super active dog, we didn't worry about her injury turning into a full tear. We decided to allow her to heal naturally.
Over the past two years, Sydney has reinjured the leg several times and last year, I introduced chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture into her care to help with her leg. Her doctor also advised me to cut back her food by 20% to help her lose weight. She lost 10 pounds in a year and we'd like to see her lose 5 more.
Sydney was slowly getting better and we were starting to get back to short walks (only around our property) until a couple weeks ago when I came home and noticed that she wouldn't put weight on her leg and she whimpered when I touched her leg.
I was at a loss.
Around the same time, I did three things that together made a huge difference in Sydney's mobility:
- I read an article about the benefits of diatomaceous earth for ligaments and joints.
- I received an order of turmeric powder from our local raw food co-op.
- I received an order of Nupro joint supplement (I forgot that I had ordered it).
Last week, I made three changes to my dog's diet:
- I began adding 1/2 teaspoon of diatomaceous earth to her morning meal.
- I began adding 1 scoop of Nupro joint supplement to her morning and evening meals.
- I made a batch of turmeric paste (aka golden paste) and added 1/4 tsp to her morning and evening meals.
Within 48 hours, Sydney was walking on all four legs comfortably.
In this post, I'm going to share what I learned about all three supplements to give you a better idea of why they are working for my dog. I've tried each one separately in the past (I tried diatomaceous earth a couple weeks ago and didn't see much improvement) and recently read something in a book that stated that sometimes one supplement picks up where another leaves off.
Maybe this is why all three – diatomaceous earth, Nupro joint supplement, and turmeric paste – are what's needed to heal my dog's leg.
Alternative to Nupro Joint Supplement
Before I get into the research that helped me develop this joint supplement regimen, I want to offer an alternative to Nupro. Rodrigo can't have Nupro Joint and Immunity Support; I think the shark cartilage is too harsh on his stomach. If you have a dog with similar GI issues, you might want to use an alternative joint supplement. Rodrigo receives the same combination of ingredients as Sydney, except I've swapped out the Nupro for In Clover Connectin.
Rodrigo receives the same combination of ingredients as Sydney, except I've swapped out the Nupro for In Clover Connectin. He has never had an issue with this supplement and it works great. Rodrigo's first vet predicted that he would have to have a leg amputated and would live a shorter life because of his joint issues. Today, Rodrigo is a happy, active, four-legged dog with no joint issues.
Benefit of Diatomaceous Earth for Joints
This isn't the first time that I've written about diatomaceous earth. I became interested in the supplement when I read somewhere that it was the flea killer that we can eat. Wow! That's an attention grabber.
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous earth is a soft, white powder that's the fossilized remains of teeny, aquatic organisms called diatoms.
Benefits of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
There are a ton of benefits for food-grade diatomaceous earth, the most commonly known (or known by me) being…
- Natural flea and tick killer
- Natural detox
- Natural dewormer
- Improves digestion
- Improves liver and colon health
- May aid in weight loss
Does Diatomaceous Earth Improve Joint Health?
I read an article recently that claimed that diatomaceous earth may be better than glucosamine for joint support. What?
“However, what I’ve seen in both humans and pets is that the results from glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are minimal compared to the type of results you get when you put in the body’s connective tissue strengthener called silica. The results are seen within days, not the weeks it takes for glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to work. Plus silica costs pennies, whereas you will pay an arm and a leg for glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
You need something that is considered a food supplement, that is easy to dispense, that the animals will eat readily, and has no harm associated with it. (Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate also have no harm.) Something that will do a lot of good in the body. The nutrient that fits all categories is silica, which is found in Diatomaceous Earth.”
I began adding a scoop into Rodrigo and Sydney's food and like the PetGuide.com article stated, I noticed an improvement right away, especially with Sydney, but it didn't last.
I reached out to the brand that I use since I did see some improvement with their product. I sent them a link to the PetGuide.com article and asked if they had any information to help me with a post sharing Sydney's results.
They offered to shipment more of their product and, in response to the joint health benefit, this is the response I received…
“It's a “free” country, and people will often say whatever they believe, and some people believe whatever they say. For reasons of confidentiality, I'm afraid that I cannot direct you further. Careful reading out there. I will let you know (send you a tracking number) when your samples have shipped.” ~ Employee of Brand
I asked them to cancel the shipment because this response caught me off guard. What's so confidential that we can't discuss their product and the connection to joint health?
Grandpa's Diatomaceous Earth
I recalled that I met the folks of Grandpa's Diatomaceous Earth at SuperZoo and what stood out was how passionate the woman was about their products. In a five minute conversation, I learned the benefits of DE and that if the DE is brown or tan, it's not food grade.
I went to their site and scrolled through their testimonials and look what I found…
“What I really notice is that the joints in my feet and knees do not hurt anymore—that is exciting—but what really has me amazed is that hair is starting to grow back on my bald spot!!! This stuff is GREAT!!! Terry Nebraska”
“My mom is disabled and no longer able to care for her aging Min Pin. I started him on 1 tsp. of DE per morning in his food. It has only been a week and he has switched from “hard to get off the porch for his walk” to yesterday HE WALKED ME!! to the neighbor’s property 1/2 mile away!! He even ran part way across the neighbor’s field. I don’t do testimonials, but THIS IS CRAZY! I had to tell you. Mom is so happy his health is no longer in decline. “Zeus” is very visibly happier and so much more energetic. I know he thanks you too. Paul in NV”
I was encouraged by these testimonials, so I did more research that amounted to “diatomaceous earth and joints” in a Google search bar and came up with more facts.
Diatomaceous Earth Improves Joint and Ligament Health
“A 2007 study published in the Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging stated that dietary silicon is beneficial to bone and connective tissue and helps prevent low bone mass (osteoporosis), which is considered “a silent epidemic of the 21st century.” Silica within DE helps with normal bone metabolism and joint formation, with evidence over the past 30 years suggesting there’s a positive association between dietary silicon intake and better bone mineral density. (6) Thus, DE makes a great addition to any osteoporosis diet and treatment plan.
A number of possible mechanisms for how this works have been suggested, including the possibility that silicon helps with synthesis of collagen (used to form joints, the lining of the digestive tract and connective tissue) and within the mineralization of bones. While more research is still needed, it appears that DE can be used to help support normal metabolic processes, preserve joint health and prevent bone disorders.”
“Silica is easier for most people to digest and keeps joints limber and flexible and is a go[o]d choice for people with arthritis. In fact, some scientific studies have shown taking a silica supplement can help delay the onset of arthritis and help people stay pain free longer.”
Benefits of a Quality Supplement for Dogs
Every now and then I receive an email from someone asking me if I still give Nupro Joint & Immunity Support to my dogs. Rodrigo couldn't stomach the Nupro due to the shark cartilage in the ingredients; it can cause stomach upset and vomiting in dogs with GI issues. Update: I have switched all of my dogs to In Clover Connectin, which works just as well for them – it's easier to give all of my dogs the same supplement.
The list of benefits of a quality joint supplement is short for me:
- improve mobility and activity
- decrease pain and inflammation
- make your dog happier
I recommend that you stay at the introductory dosage, never decreasing down to the maintenance level for a dog that is displaying joint issues (mobility problems, limping).
How Shark Cartilage Helps Joints
Cartilage is the connective tissue found in various part of the body, including around the joints. The belief is that shark cartilage or chondroitin (which is part of cartilage) will help the body repair or regrow cartilage in the joints, providing more stability and support.
Sydney Needs 1,500 mg of Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Nupro joint supplement for dogs contains humanely sourced shark cartilage and Sydney gets 300 mg per scoop. She gets 500 mg of glucosamine per scoop of Nupro joint supplement. Together, she gets 1,500 mg per day – which is what her vet recommended. The Nupro turns into a gravy that smells of beef liver, which Sydney loves. I mix it into her raw meals 5-6 days a week.
I add more chondroitin to her diet through:
- dehydrated duck feet
- dehydrated trachea
- green tripe with trachea and gullet (from GreenTripe.com)
Although these food products are rich in natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin, the amount in one treat isn't enough to treat a serious condition alone. Plus you want to avoid supplementing a dog through treats due to the additional calories.
Benefits of Turmeric Paste for Dogs
I've been hearing about turmeric for dogs for years and even made a paste (incorrectly) a while ago. The benefits are impressive and after seeing the results, I'm going to continue adding it to my dogs' bone broth and veggie mix as well as creating the golden paste (recipe below) each month.
- Natural detox
- Natural antibacterial
- Promotes heart and liver health
- Reduces blood clots that can lead to strokes and heart attacks by thinning the blog*
- Promotes digestive health
- Acts as an antioxidant AND it’s believed to be able to prevent cancer**
- Offers allergy relief
- Helps to prevent cataracts
- Has been used in the treatment of epilepsy
- Natural pain relief
- Natural treatment for diarrhea
- And more (link to Dogs Naturally Magazine)
CLICK HERE to read my post that is all about turmeric paste.
CLICK HERE to join the Facebook Turmeric User Group.
Recipe for Turmeric Paste for Dogs
The following is what I do for my dogs; I make my golden paste in large batches, storing the excess in the freezer. It is good in the fridge for 2 weeks.
- 3 cups of turmeric powder (sourced through our coo-op)
- 6 cups of water
- 2 cups of organic coconut oil (or 1 cup of coconut oil and 1 cup of bone broth)
- 3 tablespoons of freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of Ceylon cinnamon
Step 1: I slowly warm the water on the lowest heat while I ground the pepper I need.
Step 2: I mix the turmeric powder in with the water and stir until it begins to get thick.
Step 3: I mix in the coconut oil and bone broth, and, finally, the pepper. I turn off the heat and continue to stir.
Step 4: I allow the turmeric paste to cool and transfer into Rubbermaid containers to freeze.
Dosage of Turmeric Paste for Dogs
I've read different dosages on several sites. Many people advise to start with small amounts and build up because it can cause loose stool if you feed too much to your dog. Turmeric paste leaves a dog's system quickly, so it should be fed with each meal (more than once a day). I started my dogs off with 1/4 teaspoon in each meal and worked up from there to gauge their tolerance. Ultimately, you want to do 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight.
- Start by adding 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of golden paste to each meal
- Every 5-7 days, increase the dosage a small amount
- Once you notice pain relief, increased mobility, or a decrease in tumor size (yeah, I read this could happen and I'm blown away) – you've found your maintenance dosage
- For our healthy dogs, I stick with the lower dosage of 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon per meal, because more gives them diarrhea
Some dogs start getting this cat pee smell. In the beginning, Sydney gets it on the top of her head. I add a dash of cinnamon to her meals to prevent the smell. After a year of being on golden paste, the smell has gone away.
My Joint Supplement Blend for Dogs
So this was a ton of information for one post. I try to keep my blog posts to 500 words, this one is over 2,000 because it wasn't enough to tell you what I'm adding to Sydney's diet, I needed to show you why it works. I hope I did just that in this post.
If you're interested in trying this yourself, here are links to products that you can order on Amazon for your dog:
- diatomaceous earth – 1/2 teaspoon in one meal per day
- turmeric paste – 1/2 teaspoon in each meal per day
- Nupro joint and immunity support for dogs – 1 scoop per meal, 5-6 days per week or 2 In Clover Connectin chews per dog, 5-6 days a week
Now that Sydney is feeling better, she will have days where she over does it and I alternate between two products to provide her with relief:
- Duralactin – these are anti-inflammatory chews that my dogs take willingly and help Sydney get a good night's sleep (they don't cause drowsiness; just alleviate pain).
- CBD Oil for Pets – I order CBD oil from brands who do their research and testing to provide a safe product for both humans and pets. CBD oil is extracted from hemp plants (this is not THC, which is toxic to dogs) and soothes anxiety, pain, and tummy issues. I add 14-15 drops to Sydney's meal on days when she's been more active than usual.
Sydney – Three Weeks Later
I'm returning to add a video of Sydney. This is three weeks into her new supplement regimen and I'm completely blown away!
This is Sydney (the nearly solid black dog) after a few weeks on her joint supplement regimen. 3 weeks ago she was barely walking. Look at her now. To learn more about the joint supplement regimen I created for her, check out this blog post: https://keepthetailwagging.com/3-natural-supplements-for-healing-my-dogs-joint-injury/ #lifewithdogs #keepthetailwagging #rawfeddogs #barfmodelrawfeeding #speciesappropriate #rawfeedingcommunity #mydogseatbetterthanido #itsgoodtobeadog
An Update on Sydney – June 2017
Canine System Saver
Sydney is still doing great! I've replaced her joint supplement with Canine System Saver (I add 3-4 capsules to her meal every other day) and it's been wonderful to see her continue to improve. She still gets Nupro Joint and Immunity Support, I add it to her food a couple days a week to make sure she's getting the glucosamine and chondroitin, however, I'm trying to give her as much fresh food as possible.
The following foods are great sources of glucosamine and chondroitin:
- duck feet – I can buy them by the case and add or two to her meals a couple days a week.
- mussels – I finally found a good source of mussels that aren't soaked in garlic butter and will be picking adding them to her diet soon.
- emu cartilage – I buy a case a year, grind the cartilage and mix it into Rodrigo and Sydney's meals.
- beef trachea – I purchased a case of ground beef trachea that I'm adding to Rodrigo and Sydney's meals one week a month; otherwise, they get dehydrated beef trachea along with similar treats each weekend.
Sydney is losing weight gradually and her mobility is improving. And it's amazing!!!