Arthritis in our canine and feline friends
Could your dog suffer from arthritis?
The answer is yes. About 20% of all dogs in this country suffer from the symptoms of osteoarthritis. As many as 80% of dogs over 7 may be showing signs of degenerative joint disease. Arthritis symptoms develop slowly over time, causing your pet pain and sometimes preventing him or her from doing all the things they wants to do. It can make the simplest movements, like getting up, climbing stairs or walking painful and tedious.
Signs of Arthritis
There are signs of arthritis that every pet owner can watch for as their pet gets older. Our pets never call out to us when they have arthritis pain and complain, they almost never just lay around and whine. We have to be observant for changes in our pet’s behavior.
- Sluggishness or not moving as fast as they used to
- lower activity levels
- they are not as playful as they used to be or if they don’t play for as long
- reluctance to walk, run, climb stairs, or jump
- lagging behind on walks
- withdrawn behavior
- personality or behavior changes
Risk factors of arthritis
Osteoarthritis can affect all breeds of dogs or cats, some risk factors make arthritis more prevalent
- Being overweight is a major risk factor for joint disease. Some dogs and cats just love to eat, those love handles are a contributor to developing joint problems.
- Large or Giant Breeds Big dogs carry a lot more weight and put more stress on those joints.
- Age is not a disease but time is a factor and wear and tear on those joints adds up.
- Inherited traits such as hip dysplasia is common in some breeds of dogs and a major contributor to joint disease.
- Joint trauma or instabilities in the joints such as cruciate injuries may predispose your pet to arthritis.
Bell Veterinary Clinic takes the issue of arthritis pain very seriously. We approach the treatment and management of arthritic pain from multiple angles. If you think your pet has any signs of arthritis call us today and we can discuss treatment options.
The first step is getting is getting your pet to and maintaining a lean body weight and muscle tone and maintaining muscle tone in the affected limbs. A good diet and regular exercise program will help you achieve this. Our approach to helping you manage arthritis is in not only the acute and chronic phase but ongoing maintenance and may consist of joint supplementation, pain management, low level laser therapy, rehabilitation and exercise programs.
Joint supplementation is very important and includes both oral products and products given by injection. The products we recommend at this time include oral products such as the Synovi G4®, Dasuquin® and injectable products such as injectable hyaluronic acid and Adequan®.
Synovi G4® softchews are available from us for your pet, some information from their website is included here:
With Synovi G4®, getting older doesn’t have to mean that pets feel older. Synovi G4® is a unique multimodal formulation developed to help maintain joint health and flexibility in dogs as they age.
• Synovi G4® is based on our established Synovi® support matrix of joint health agents and blend of antioxidants, and it is enriched with Boswellia serrata and Turmeric to support overall joint health
• First step in a total joint health management protocol
• Supports joint health in dogs as they age
• Contains antioxidants and joint health ingredients
• Palatable soft chew
For use in dogs only. Recommended to support joint function and flexibility. http://www.bayerdvm.com/show.aspx/synovi-g4-soft-chews
What is Dasuquin®?
We have combined over ten years of clinical use and research on our joint health supplement Cosequin® with our research in advanced joint health ingredients in developing Dasuquin®, a cost-effective formulation for dogs, available only through your veterinarian.
Dasuquin combines NMX1000®* ASU (avocado/soybean unsaponifiables) and decaffeinated tea with Cosequin’s FCHG49®* glucosamine hydrochloride and TRH122®* low molecular weight chondroitin sulfate to provide the most comprehensive joint health management formula available for dogs.
Dasuquin is a dual synergistic formula: its specific glucosamine hydrochloride and low molecular weight chondroitin sulfate have demonstrated synergy in stimulating cartilage matrix production,1 while ASU also acts synergistically with glucosamine. http://www.nutramaxlabs.com/dog/dog-joint-bone-health/dasuquin-for-dogs
Numerous studies show that Adequan® Canine (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) can slow the cartilage from breaking down and actually supports the repair process. And unlike nutritional supplements, Adequan® Canine is FDA-approved* so you can be assured of its effectiveness. Adequan® Canine (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) is a prescription, water-based, intramuscular, polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG) that helps prevent the cartilage in your dog’s joint from wearing away. It helps keep the cartilage healthy and intact, so that the bone in the joint cannot touch other bones. No other drug for arthritis can do that. http://www.adequancanine.us/about/en/product_description.shtml
Pain Management is an integral part of management of chronic joint disease and for the well being and comfort of our pets. This is usually achieved by the use of a non steroidal anti inflammatory medication. There are many of these and their uses are a matter of preference to the client and practitioner. We won’t discuss individual medications as each case is different and NSAID therapy should be prescribed for the individual instead of the disease.
Class IV or Low Level Laser Therapy
Therapy laser is a modality that uses light to favor and accelerate the body’s natural healing processes. The laser beam is moved over the skin so that the light energy (photons) penetrates the tissue where it interacts with various molecules (chromophores) that cause different biological effects. It produces a photochemical, photothermal and photomechanical effect. When you have chronic joint disease we can use the benefits of anti-Inflammatory effects, analgesic effects, accelerated tissue repair and cell growth, improved vascular activity and increases in metabolic activity to benefit the joint and improve healing. An alternative method of arthritis control is to start laser treatment immediately. The frequency of treatments depends on the extent of the injury and will be recommended to you at the examination and subsequent rechecks.