My Labrador is 12 years old and has pain in his joints. Would acupuncture be helpful? Please advise me some solutions.

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Current estimates suggest osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the main causes of joint pain in dogs, particularly in senior dogs. Firstly, please get confirmed by your vet that your pet has developed OA by thorough work-up and then your vet will be able to score and assess the dog’s pain state. The management of OA (and pain) is generally multimodal but also patient specific as OA is a non-curable, long-term and progressive condition. OA is most commonly managed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), intra-articular injections and formal rehabilitation therapy. The complementary medicine is great to start with nutraceuticals including omega fatty acids in addition to weight control, daily exercise and lifestyle changes. Newer approaches under validation include depositing using platelet-rich plasma and stem cell medication into joints. Acupuncture has been attempted but scientifically not well validated at the moment. However, it may be tried with a qualified vet as a very low risk therapeutic approach.

Question by – Arshieya, New Delhi

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