Arthritis in dogs
It's an unfortunate fact that dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages can get arthritis. Some owners will notice that their dog is less interested in day to day activities or is appearing stiff and sore. Luckily there are some ways for owners to help their dogs stop the progression of the disease, allowing them to live full and productive lives with arthritis.
Arthritis can strike dogs of any age, size, and physical condition. It's still a mystery as to what causes arthritis, but many researchers suggest it is an autoimmune disease -- a disease that causes the body to turn against its own immune system.
Arthritis causes the breakdown of cartilage around the joints, which leads to less protection around the bones within the joint. Areas affected by arthritis can become swollen, painful and difficult to move.Arthritis is most common in the major, weight bearing joints of the body such as the hips and knees.
Symptoms of arthritis in dogs include:
- Difficulty sitting, standing, or getting up from the floor or bed
- Favoring a limb
- Decreased activity, sleeping more, lack of interest in play
- Weight gain
- Attitude or behavior changes
- Appearing to have stiffness or sore joints
- Swelling around the joints
Glucosamine has been identified as a substance that can help dogs who suffer from arthritis. This compound occurs naturally in the body to help cartilage cells produce the proteins they need to hold the joint tissue intact. As you dog begins to age, they are less able to produce this ingredient themselves, causing their cartilage to begin to stiffen and wear down.
Along with glucosamine you may want to consider chondroitin, which is found in cartilage and can help slow down the enzymes that are causing the breakdown of the cartilage. Combining these two components and giving them to your dog regularly can help them create new cartilage and relieve their arthritis suffering.
By jointly giving your dog glucosamine and chondroitin you are not only slowing down the progression of the arthritis by halting the enzymes, you are also giving them more fuel to create cartilage which can actually reverse the affects of arthritis. Best of all, you should be able to find these compounds as a local health store.
Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplements show promise in treating symptoms of secondary arthritis in dogs. This type of arthritis typically occurs after an injury or surgery. A study suggests this combination can significantly reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis in dogs.
There hasn't been any studies so far that show any negative effects of giving your dog these supplements, however you still may want to consult your veterinarian before proceeding.