Arthritis is a common problem in older dogs, especially the larger breeds, and though there isn’t a cure for the condition, it can often be managed. The goal is to keep your dog comfortable and moving and maintain a good quality of life.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Also known as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), osteoarthritis (or arthritis, for short) is the progressive increase of inflammation in the joints caused by cartilage deterioration. In young, healthy animals, cartilage acts as a cushion in the joints and allows smooth movement through a full range of motion. However, when animals develop arthritis, the cartilage cushion begins to break down, often due to old age, injury, repetitive stress, or disease. Arthritis can occur in any joint, but it is most commonly seen in the limbs and lower spine.
While any dog can develop arthritis, especially as they age, certain factors put your dog at higher risk. These include:
- Large breeds
- Repetitive stress from athletic activities
- Injuries such as fractures or ligament tears
- Infections such as Lyme Disease
- Poor nutrition
- Poor conformation
Signs of Osteoarthritis in Dogs
While arthritis might be difficult to detect in its early stages, middle-aged and older dogs should be closely monitored for signs such as:
- Difficulty getting up
- Reluctance to participate in previous activities
- Weight gain
- Irritability or changes in behavior
- Pain when being touched
- Difficulty posturing to urinate or defecate
- Having accidents in the house
- Loss of muscle tone over the limbs and spine
Dog owners can take preventative measures to support good joint health such as managing their dog’s weight and keeping toe nails trimmed to reduce strain on the limbs and joints.
But even if your dog has already been diagnosed with arthritis, continue to take him for walks and make sure he has plenty of outdoor time, as movement can help to reduce stiffness. Just be sure to watch for signs of lethargy or pain to make sure you aren’t overdoing it.
Since nutrition plays a key role in joint health, feeding a species appropriate diet is important. Adding joint-supporting supplements may also make a noticeable difference in your pet’s comfort level. Glucosamine has been well studied and is a proven joint supplement that can help to heal damaged connective tissue and relieve pain. Our Su-Per Glucosamine Powder for Dogs is a readily absorbable form of glucosamine that provides key nutrients for the production of natural body lubricants.
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is another well-documented supplement for arthritis, and our MSM Ultra Pure Powder for Dogs is made from 99.9% pure MSM Sulfur, derived from DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide). This supplement reduces inflammation and enhances circulation, making it a great option for managing arthritis.
A third option is our Su-Per MSM Blend Powder for Dogs which comes as an organic compound. For added support, consider using one of our MSM supplements in combination with our Glucosamine product.