Canine Osteoarthritis – What Is It?
The word osteoarthritis is derived from three terms : “osteo” meaning bone, “artho” meaning joint and “itis” meaning inflammation. So, osteoarthritis basically means inflammation of the joint caused by an underlying issue with bone.
There are other forms of arthritis that should not be confused with osteoarthritis, including immune mediated arthritis and infectious arthritis.
Structure Of The Dog Joint
Whenever a joint bends or straightens, the bones within the joint rub against each other. To protect these bones from this constant rubbing, their ends are covered with a very tough cartilage called articular, or joint, cartilage.
Joint cartilage does not have a blood supply or nerves but it does have living cells. These cells are fed by nutrients from joint fluid. Healthy joint cartilage gets replaced over time, but this occurs slowly.
How Canine Osteoarthritis Develops
More often than not, it is the deterioration of joint cartilage that is the starting point of osteoarthritis. Gradually, the joint cartilage is worn away to expose the underlying bone. Since bones have a healthy supply of nerves, this exposure causes pain and inflammation.
The increased blood flow associated with inflammation raises pressure in the joint and over time, the body reacts by increasing bone formation around the joint. Tiny pieces of bone may break off into the joint, and float freely in the fluid. The result is reduced mobility and pain.
Why Does Canine Joint Cartilage Deteriorate?
There are many causes of joint cartilage deterioration, some relatively obvious, others less so.
For example, lifestyle factors. Overweight individuals are more likely to develop osteoarthritis. In other words, excessive pressure on the joint appears to be a triggering factor.
Inappropriate exercise at a young age. Too much of the wrong type of exercise may also cause the initial damage to the joint that can start the downwards spiral into osteoarthritis. One example is dogs jumping agility obstacles before they are physically mature.
Injury. Any injury to the joint will dramatically increase the possibility of osteoarthritis to that joint. Examples of such injuries include ligament tears and trauma. The probability sky rockets if the injury is not treated properly and promptly.
Developmental abnormalities. There are some unfortunate developmental issues that can predispose an individual dog to osteoarthritis. One well known example is badly formed hip joints in German Shepherds.
Canine osteoarthritis is not life-threatening, but it is progressive. There is no known cure for it as yet. However, treatment options can help control its progression and have the potential to greatly improve your dog’s quality of life.
What Should You Look For In A Supplement To Treat Canine Arthritis
Joint supplements, such as Supleneo flex, are commonly used to support joint and cartilage health. When used alongside appropriate nutrition and exercise, these supplements can help your dog to stay fit and active.
Supleneo flex, developed specifically for dogs, is a daily supplement that contains the following high-quality ingredients to support joint health:
One of the most popular supplements used for joint mobility, glucosamine is one of the natural building blocks of healthy joint cartilage, and can help prevent degeneration of essential connective tissue.
Increasingly found in joint health supplements, chondroitin is involved in the production of synovial fluid and cartilage, which can help protect joints from the damage of wear-and-tear.
The components of vitamin E, have been shown to have anti-oxidant properties.
Natural flavours that dogs love:
The natural liver flavour in Supleneo flex means dogs love the taste, so it’s easy and fun to give them their daily supplement.
Many owners find that nutraceutical supplements can help keep their dogs lively and healthy for many years. Supleneo flex is suitable for all breeds, sizes and ages, and can be given alongside other treatments. It’s important to remember that human supplements with similar ingredients may not be suitable for pets, so it’s best to choose a product that has been specifically developed for dogs.