Is your beloved dog slowing down? Does he have trouble getting onto your couch or into the car? Perhaps he can’t walk as far as he used to? Does he have problems going up and down steps? If you have seen these symptoms, it may mean your pet is suffering from joint disease.
Joint disease affects up to 25% of adult dogs and is their main chronic disorder. However, studies have shown that less than 14% of dogs who are suffering with this debilitating disease get the care and attention they so rightly deserve. That’s the sad news. The positive news is that there are simple options available that are very effective…if you know what to do.
Symptoms of an unhealthy joint
Symptoms: Lameness, limping and favouring one leg over another.
Behaviour: Your pet doesn’t want to move once he has found a comfortable position.
He’s tired, less alert and loses his appetite. He may yelp if you touch him in the wrong spot.
Symptoms: Favouring one paw over another. Lameness, limping and licking.
Behaviour: Less alert. He’s extra tired. He may yelp when touched on his paw.
Symptoms: Limping. Walking softly. Favouring one leg or side over the other. Behaviour: Reluctant to move once settled. May yelp when touched. Less alert.
When your dog is healthy, his natural joint building blocks act like shock absorbers and reduce friction. These include: synovial fluid and cartilage. Mother Nature allows the body to form these protective elements by creating glycosaminoglycans (GAGs).
GAGs is made up of: Hyaluronic acid, Chondroitin sulfate and Glucosamine.
If your pet’s ability to create GAGs has been affected because of chronic medical problems such as: excess weight, repeated stress, injury, poor diet or the normal genes of his breed, his joints will degenerate as a result. This is a serious chronic condition.
Symptoms of this condition include:
- Decreased mobility.
If you don’t get treatment for your dog as a matter of urgency, it’s unlikely that he’ll recover because he won’t be able to create enough joint building blocks to give him full joint and bone health. If he’s not treated, he’ll suffer with constant pain and swollen joints and his life will be very miserable indeed.
You have multiple options for treating your dog’s unhealthy joints. There are two main categories: medications and natural options.
- COX-2 inhibitors. These target specific points, reduce inflammation and decrease pain. However, they don’t lubricate the joints or improve the biochemical process.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These block the creation of prostaglandins that are related to inflammation and pain.
- If using NSAIDS, always work together with your vet.
It’s essential that you understand that your pet can’t metabolise certain prescriptions and over-the-counter medications that are used for joint degeneration and arthritis in humans. This is especially true of drugs containing aspirin as that’s fatal to animals because it destroys their red blood cells.
NEVER GIVE ASPIRIN TO DOGS AND CATS!
Because there are sometimes bad side effects of NSAIDS, lots of pet owners are using natural remedies instead because they have many safe benefits.
GAGs helps replenish your dog’s joint building blocks and if you add other remedies including flower healing essence and herbs, you can help increase his circulation, reduce inflammation and slow down the oxidative stress, all of which will allow his body time to heal.
After a few weeks, you’ll notice your beloved pet will have a new demeanour. He’ll jump onto the couch with ease, walk around in a happy mood, climb the stairs and get up and down with no pain or stiffness at all.
Main active elements in natural remedies:
- Joint building blocks – GAGs.
- Flower healing essences for pain.
- Circulatory stimulants: celery seed, nettle and ginger.
- Vitamin C.
- Antioxidants: ginger, turmeric and alfalfa.
- Anti-inflammatories: MSM, black cohosh, yucca, cayenne and Devil’s Claw.
Complete versus non-complete formulae.
If your unwell dog is given a formula that only has one or two of the necessary ingredients, his joints may not fully repair or his recovery will be slower and more painful.
However, if he gets the full GAGs formula and the complementary remedies required to boost his circulation, fight the free radicals, reduce inflammation and improve the absorption of all the ingredients, then he can expect to fully recover and be the happy dog you first brought home.