Arthritis and Joint Health in Dogs

Can dogs have arthritis?

Arthritis is a disease which afflicts the bones and joints, it’s a condition where the joints get inflamed and cause a great deal of pain as the dogs get older. Dog owners as well as the veterinarians rarely notice the early symptoms as dogs hide their soreness and discomfort until it is very late to treat the condition. Glucosamine, chondroiton sulfate and many other such supplements are used to treat arthritis in dogs.

It is important to remember that no nutritional supplement can correct any structural damage that’s present in the dogs bones and joints. This is true in case of humans too, any type of abnormalities in the bone, tissue, cartilage and joint will remain as they are, nutritional supplements cannot rectify these defects.

Supplements given in a dogs diet like glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, omega3-fatty acids, vitamin E, MSM(methylsulfonylmethane) assist in decreasing the swelling and improving the bodys ability to heal and strengthen itself as much as possible.

What are medicines are given for arthritis to dogs?

Medications for arthritis disease like steroids, NSAIDs and other pain relievers are similar to human medicines. These are very strong medications and have a lot of side effects after long term use. They can cause additional joint damage and breakdown like corticosteroids react badly with other medicines given to treat arthritis in dogs. NSAIDs like etogesic, rimadyl, metacam and dermaxx have been specially designed for dogs, they are much safer than drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin. Even these doggy NSAIDs cause digestive system upsets and in some rare cases even kidney and liver dysfunction.

Nutritional supplements or nutraceuticals are consumed orally in addition to a normal diet, these substances are much safer and can be considered a form of food. Only stomach upsets are possible depending on the quantity given to the dog. No side effects at all. Commonly used nutraceuticals, Glucosamine a natural compound that may improve the production of joint lubricants and health of shock absorbing cartilage in the dog’s body. It is helpful to the body structure, joints, nails, tendons, skin, eyes, synovial fluid, bones, ligaments, heart valves, mucous secretions in the digestive, respiratory and urinary tract. Chondroitin Sulfate is helpful in preventing stress injuries to joints, repairs damaged connective tissue and the bone situated under the cartilage within joints, reduces joint pain, stops destructive enzymes in the joint fluid and cartilage, protects existing cartilage from premature breakdown and keeps cartilage tissue hydrated. Perna Canaliculus the green lipped mussel is a rich source of chondroitin and beneficial nutrients. MSM methylsulfonylmethane provides sulfur compounds to stop pain. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties for arthritic dogs.

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