Arthritis in dogs is one of the most common chronic conditions, especially in older dogs. This disease is characterized in people and dogs, by the inflammation, stiffness and pain of one or more of the joints.
It is possible, if you know people who suffer from arthritis or joint problems, that you have seen some of them wearing a copper bracelet. People who use such devices say they help a lot to relieve the pain and stiffness associated with their disease.
What does copper do in the body?
Copper is an essential trace element. It has been known for decades that copper derivatives are effective anti-inflammatory agents.
We could not live without copper: among its tasks, is to form a respiratory enzyme complex, which is common to all plants and animals. It is also a component of the liver, muscles and bones.
Copper in the production of collagen and joint preservation
It is important to highlight that copper plays an important role in the maintenance of collagen and elastin, the main structural components of our bodies.
Without enough copper, the body cannot replace the damaged connective tissue or the collagen that forms the bone scaffold. This can lead to a variety of problems, including joint dysfunction, as body tissues begin to break down.
Thus, contrary to what is found in many non-scientific press reports, copper may have a role in relieving arthritis symptoms. In fact, some animal studies have indicated that copper – in small doses and orally – may help prevent or delay arthritis. For that reason, people wear copper bracelets for this purpose. Nevertheless, No human studies have confirmed these benefits.
How to get adequate levels of copper?
Like people, dogs usually get the traces of copper they need from their food. High copper foods include liver, shellfish, whole grains, beans, nuts, potatoes, green leafy vegetables, nuts, black pepper and yeast.
Additionally, some water supplies have high levels of copper that can add up to 45% more copper than is obtained through the diet.
On the other hand, there is experimental evidence that copper can be obtained through the skin. Let us keep in mind that, given the dogs’ fur, their collars are not in direct contact with their bare skin, so that copper would not be absorbed through the skin in the same way that people could.
Can a copper collar help relieve arthritis in dogs?
There are no studies that support the use of copper collars as an adjunct in the treatment of arthritis in dogs. However, there is no reason not to wear a copper collar on your dog if you wish, since they are not dangerous or harmful.
The collar does not interfere with the actions of the medications that your dog may be taking. Therefore, there is no medical reason to discourage its use.
Are there other non-pharmacological alternatives to relieve arthritis in dogs?
In general, it is not recommended to replace the pharmacological treatment of your dog’s pain and stiffness with alternative treatments. The latter should be adopted as adjunctive measures in the treatment.
Like the copper collar, there is no harm in trying a magnetic collar on your own dog if you wish. And, if you are determined to try one or the other, it is likely that other options without medications, such as cannabis oil, hydrotherapy or physiotherapy, are also useful.