What is arthritis?
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Healthy joints allow your dog to run and play without pain. The joint capsule contains lubricating fluid and elastic cartilage encapsulates the ends of the bones. These structures allow the bones to glide over each other as your dog moves. The cells in cartilage use building blocks called glucosamine and chondroitin to maintain cartilage health. Osteoarthritis (arthritis) begins when a genetic or physical trigger causes the cartilage to become abnormal. The cartilage weakens, becomes brittle and with time cracks begin to form.
Fragments of cartilage break off into the joint and trigger destructive enzymes which attack both healthy and damaged cartilage. This causes inflammation and pain for your dog. Symptoms such as limping and stiffness are only present at this final stage. This is why it is important to catch arthritis early before the painful symptoms appear.
Is my dog at risk?
Arthritis is a silent disease- 1 in 5 dogs under the age of seven have arthritis without showing any symptoms and 90% of dogs who reach their senior years will develop arthritis. Large dogs have a high risk of developing arthritis. It is important to keep your dog lean as obesity will aggravate arthritis.
Certain breeds are pre-disposed to developing arthritis earlier in life. Small breeds are also susceptible due to joint abnormalities (Dachshunds, Maltese, Shih Tzus and Corgis). Ask your vet if your dog is a high risk breed.
Dogs who have suffered joint injuries or who have had joint surgery will benefit from a protection program.
These symptoms of arthritis may indicate your dog is in pain:
• Limping or stiffness
• Difficulty getting up after resting
• Reluctance to walk or play
• Difficulty jumping in the car or climbing stairs
We can help relieve the pain of arthritis and keep them comfortable so please contact us before the cold weather arrives.
Managing arthritic pets
Simple lifestyle adjustments (diet, bedding and exercise) and revolutionary treatments can help protect your dog so they can continue to enjoy an active life.
Disease Modifying Osteoarthritis Drugs (We use Zydax Gen II)
These drugs actually slow the development of arthritis while helping to increase mobility and reduce pain.
They work in the following ways:
• Relieves inflammation and pain
• Inhibits destructive enzymes which destroy joint cartilage (this slows down the disease)
• Increases healthy cartilage production
• Improves blood supply to the joint to promote healing
• Increases the volume and quality of lubricating joint fluid
• Reduces harmful micro blood clots in underlying bone
These are generally given as a course of injections, are quite safe and have few side effects. Many clients have been amazed at the change in their dog after starting the medication and some dogs have been able to stop taking pain relief medication. Because they actually slow the development of the disease they are best started before arthritis is severe, although they still can help in severe cases.
GLYDE® relieves the painful symptoms of arthritis and also improves joint quality.
GLYDE® is a daily oral powder that provides essential building blocks to maintain your dog’s joints repair cartilage. GLYDE® is proudly Australian made and it contains a therapeutic dose of three essential ingredients.
Green Lipped Mussel - natural pain relief:
- Green Lipped Mussel contains ETA – a potent, natural anti-inflammatory
- ETA anti-inflammatory properties are similar to aspirin but without the side effects
Glucosamine HCl & Chondroitin Sulfate:
- The essential building blocks of cartilage at the correct therapeutic dose
- Glucosamine HCl stimulates the production of joint fluid & cartilage by 50%
- GLYDE® chondroitin is environmentally responsible and does not contain Shark Cartilage.
Feed your dog a balanced, complete diet to ensure a healthy weight. Obesity aggravates arthritic symptoms and may predispose your dog to developing arthritis. If your dog is overweight please call us to discuss a doggie diet!
Provide your dog with soft, padded bedding and ensure that they are warm at night. Heated bedding may be worth considering in the winter months.
Regular, low impact exercise will maintain a healthy weight, aid joint mobility and increase muscle tone. Encourage gentle lead walks and swimming while avoiding short bursts of high impact exercise and excessive jumping.