Osteoarthritis in dogs
It is very common for dogs to suffer from osteoarthritis, especially as they get older. We usually notice it by them becoming stiffer, reluctant to run and play, finding it harder to jump in and out of the car or simply by a noticeable limp.
The condition occurs as a result of wear and tear or damage to the joint. It may be due to a congenital abnormality or to natural ageing. If there is damage to the joint surface, the joint cartilage and capsule are damaged and this causes the quality of the joint fluid to deteriorate. It becomes more watery than viscous and inflammation is created. As the inflammation progresses, the articular cartilage, which protects the bones in the joint, breaks down and, in the worst case, may disappear completely, leaving the bones lying against each other. A destroyed cartilage cannot be rebuilt.
How to avoid osteoarthritis in dogs?
Osteoarthritis is avoided mainly by keeping the dog in good condition and with good muscle mass. It is also important that the dog does not become overweight. Both fitness and weight factors have been shown to play a major role in whether or not a dog will develop osteoarthritis.
There are also indications that joint diseases could be prevented by supplementing the dog with hyaluronic acid. This ensures that the synovial fluid is viscous and jelly-like. The joint is then lubricated and cushioned, protecting the cartilage from degradation. If the supplement also contains glucosamine sulphate, it helps the cartilage building blocks to rebuild new cartilage cells at a rate that keeps pace with degradation.
If a dog has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, in addition to testing joint supplements, you can help the dog a lot at home with exercises, massage and stretching.
Read more about glucosamine as a dietary supplement for dog.