Dog Arthritis Explained


Canine Arthritis - Restore Your Dog’s Inner Puppy

Chondroitin for Dogs Living with your furry best friend entails maintenance of good health and a certain ability to provide preventative care for him at home. There may be times when common conditions such as canine arthritis, otherwise known as osteoarthritis may afflict your dogs, and you may wonder if an effective natural treatment exists. Osteoarthritis (OA) in dogs develops most often in aging dogs, and often results in chronic pain and disability such as lameness. One in five dogs are affected at some stage of their lives, with osteoarthritis striking as many as one out of every two dogs by the time a dog is ten. Arthritis may be the result of certain conditions listed below:

  • Developmental/hereditary abnormalities
  • Injury
  • Infection
  • Dog’s own immune system

Early intervention combined with an effective treatment plan will help your dog beat arthritis, and reduce his pain and suffering.

Early Treatment Plans

  • Losing weight
  • Medication
  • Surgery

What is Osteoarthritis?

Joint Supplement for Dogs Whether your dog suffers from mild osteoarthritis or a more serious problem, he has plenty of company. Osteoarthritis is a most common degenerative joint disease in dogs that can affect any dog at any time, and may become symptomatic in some adolescent dogs as young as one. One in two dogs over the age of ten is affected with osteoarthritis. It is the result of inflammation, breakdown, and the gradual loss of a layer of protein called the articular cartilage. Cartilage acts a shock absorber and covers the ends of bones in a joint. This “cushion” is the shock absorber that prevents your dog’s bones from rubbing against each other when dogs bend and flex their joints during exercise.

When dogs age, there is more water content in the cartilage, and the protein in the cartilage breaks down. Continuous use of the joints over the years can sometimes irritate and inflame the cartilage, resulting in mild to severe pain and swelling in the joints. For these dogs that are affected with osteoarthritis, their cartilage begins to degenerate, flaking and forming tiny crevices. In most advanced cases of osteoarthritis, there is a complete loss of articular cartilage, which leaves the ends of the bones stripped bare of their protective covering. When this happens, there is friction when the bones start rubbing against each other. This results in further damage to the joints when bone spurs start forming.

Osteoarthritis can also be the result of hip or elbow dysplasia. These are the most commonly affected.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Dogs suffering from osteoarthritis suffer from lameness; difficulties getting up, minimally or drastically reduced activity levels, aggressiveness, and irritability. They may favor one limb over another, and also have difficulties climbing stairs, jumping into cars or even onto the bed.

  • Mild or chronic pain after exercise
  • Unable to run up and down stairs
  • Difficulty lying down and getting up
  • Not enjoying walks and slowing down during any form of exercise
  • Limping
  • Swelling of the joints
  • A possible grinding sound in a joint (crepitus)
  • Loss of muscle
  • Unusual aggressiveness or change in behavior
  • Canine depression

Glucosamine for Dogs

Diagnosing Arthritis From an Early Age

Early intervention by screening presents excellent prognosis for minimizing OA. The screening will include checking for developmental orthopedic diseases, most especially in breeds that are prone to these like the German Shepherd and Great Dane. Mostly larger dogs are affected by genetic conditions that result in OA. Screening will also examine possible symptoms of early signs of arthritis in younger dogs. Most pet parents will dismiss these early symptoms based on the age of their dog. Nonetheless, a clumsy gait, lethargic temperament, loss of playfulness, with the occasional bout of stiffness or lameness may be symptomatic of the early signs of joint disease. Lyme disease can cause joint inflammation that may lead to OA.There are also various immune disorders that result in your dog’s immune system attacking itself, resulting in joint damage and OA. Immune disorders cause inflammation of the joints and destruction of the joint surface and cartilage.

If dogs display any of these symptoms, even at a young age, it’s best to seek immediate veterinary care and have an evaluation done with a screening.

Traumatic injuries can also result in joint pain and injury. Joint instability may be caused from repetitive sports such as those performed by working and sporting dogs. Treating these injuries as soon as they occur will often diminish the development of osteoarthritis , as well as the progression of this painful disease. Keep in mind that most dogs with osteoarthritis will suffer from inflexibilty. This is because the muscles have shortened and there is now joint restriction. Glucosamine for Dogs

Treatment Options Relief From Joint Pain

Obesity plays a role in arthritis, and all dogs that are overweight should be put on a diet management program prescribed by their veterinarian. Excess weight increases the weight load on your dog’s joints. This would include restrictions on any unhealthy treats and foods. Feeding your dog the correct amount of high-quality food helps by controlling weight gain.

Your veterinarian will recommend certain exercises on grass or soft surfaces that would help reduce any stiffness, as well as maintain joint mobility. These specific exercise requirements will change according to the severity in each individual case.

Arthritis gets worse with colder temperatures or in damp conditions. Always keep your dog warm and dry, and use the correct type of orthopedic foam beds that are now available. Water-bedding also helps with arthritis.

Swimming is recommended because it’s a low impact activity, and tends to improve muscle mass and joint range motion in all dogs suffering from OS. Veterinarians recommend short walks a few times a day with consistency in exercise being critical to your dog’s improvement. All high impact exercise such as jumping, running, playing Frisbee and jumping should be avoided.

Frequent use of warm compresses on the joint areas to help soothe the pain and swelling is recommended. Acupuncture also helps with arthritis and pain relief. Surgery may be a last resort, yet in some cases of hip dysplasia, OS dogs do well with surgery.

The Benefits of Supplements

For many large breed puppies, controlled growth combined with the correct levels of calcium, phosphorous and essential fatty acids, as well as certain nutrients that will promote development, are all important in reducing the risk of developmental skeletal disease. In adult dogs, maintaining a regular exercise schedule and keeping to a healthy weight throughout life will most definitely be beneficial in minimizing OA.

Certain diets that are supplemented with the below nutrients will reduce inflammation, gradual degradation, as well as promote healthy cartilage repair and provide respite from discomfort.

  • Glucosamine is a primary component of joint cartilage. It has the potential to influence cartilage structure and restore synovial fluid. It is the precursor for glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) .
  • Chondrotin sulfate works in the way that it does by resisting cartilage compression. It is an important structural component of cartilage. Today, chondroitin sulphate is widely used by many pet parents to reduce inflammation of the joints, and for the treatment of OA.
  • Vitamin C is also an antioxidant which dogs utilize by synthesizing enough Vitamin C to meet minimal requirements. Adding Vitamin C may improve antioxidant performance, yet supplementation of this vitamin can contribute to calcium oxalate crystal formation in dogs that would be susceptible.Vitamin C improves the immune system and neutralizes free radicals.
  • EPA and DHA are two components that are found in Omega-3 fatty acids.The both reduce inflammation in canine joints and the associated pain with OA. EPA limits the enzymes associated with cartilage destruction.\
  • There are many herbs that are effective in combating OA.These have anti-inflammatory properties , as well as analgesic properties for pain. These herbs would include yucca root, turmeric, nettle leaf , hawthorn, boswellia, licorice, meadowsweet and willow bark. As always, consult with your veterinarian for safe dosage instructions before use.

Providing your dog with a stress- free environment, and good supportive care will help to increase his quality of life. Include all family members, so that every member, including children understand how important it is to provide a stress-free, caring environment for your furry best friend.

Gl;ucosamine Chondroitin for Dogs

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