In a welcome addition to anti-arthritis treatments, a new product based on medicinal plants and dietary supplements has been developed that relieves pain in dogs with no side effects.
The findings raise the possibility of a new form of treatment for human beings, the study discovered.
"While acupuncture and electrical stimulation are two approaches that have been shown to have positive effects on dogs, until now a few studies have investigated a plant-based approach to therapy," said Eric Troncy, professor at faculty of veterinary medicine, University of Montreal.
For the study, 32 dogs who had been diagnosed with arthritis were selected.
By drawing on existing rodent studies, Troncy developed two formulas for his trial.
The first formula, composed of curcumin, devil's claw, black currant, Indian frankincense, willow bark, pineapple bromelaine and chamomile, was developed to treat arthritis-induced inflammation.
In the second formula, dietary supplements such as omega 3, chondroitin sulfate and glutamine were added.
Half the dogs received the first formula for four weeks and the second formula for the subsequent four weeks.
The other half, acting as the control, received a placebo.
After the eight week course, the strength of the dogs receiving treatment had improved a bit, showed the study.
The dogs receiving the placebo were found to be less active.
"The model of evaluation that we have used is the best for predicting the efficacy of anti-arthritis treatments. We can therefore consider that clinical trials on humans would have a good chance of having positive outcomes," concluded Troncy.
The findings were published in Research in Veterinary Science.