Both these conditions are more commonly seen in the older dog or cat, although arthritis can occur in young animals occasionally. The first sign is usually stiffness when getting up after sleeping or exercise with obvious pain in the joints and muscles. Arthritis is typified by inflammation of the joints, usually with swelling, pain and restriction of movement whereas rheumatism affects the muscles and is more noticeable during the colder, wetter Winter months. Both conditions have always be difficult to deal with but herbal medicines given in conjunction with the correct diet is effective in relieving the pain, making movement easier and appears to delay the progress of the condition. Although exercise is beneficial for mobility, it can be painful so should always be gentle and somewhat restricted. Mixed Vegetables tablets should be given daily to reduce acidity, relieve the pain and make movement easier. These should be given in conjunction with Garlic & Fenugreek tablets to provide a comprehensive and effective treatment. Both conditions will usually have developed over a long period of time and improvement therefore will be gradual but should be noticeable within a few weeks of starting treatment. It is recommended that the treatment dosages be given for at least an initial month’s course if starting during the Summer, and a two month course if beginning in the colder, wetter Wintertime. As improvement is made the dosage can be reduced to the lower maintenance dose which can be continued for the rest of the animal’s life if necessary, to control the conditions. Diet is important and the “Cleansing Corrective Diet” described in our Special Diet section should be followed during the initial period of treatment and dairy products and red meat should be omitted from the diet as these tend to aggravate arthritic conditions. Cod Liver Oil Capsules are a useful supplement for stiff joints, particularly during the Wintertime. While looking at the diet, also remember that if your dog or cat is overweight this will lead to more stress being put on the joints. If your pet needs to lose weight, give Kelp Seaweed tablets hroughout the dieting period to assist with weight loss.