Approximately 25-30% of family pets suffer from osteoarthritis. The stiffness, pain and swelling in a pet with arthritis is really no different than what you as a human being would experience. Arthritis in pets, as in humans, is a debilitating disease that greatly affects your pet's health and well being. With the onset of arthritis, also known as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), a happy, playful Fido or Fluffy can quickly turn listless and pain ridden.
Types of Pet Arthritis
- Osteoarthritis is a chronic, slowly progressing condition that is caused by the breakdown and destruction of your pet's cartilage. As that occurs, the bony structures begin to rub against one another causing pain and discomfort.
- Degenerative Joint Disease involves some kind of a breakdown or destruction in portions of the joint, usually cartilage. Just as in the case of osteoarthritis, this condition does not necessarily mean that your pet is experiencing any inflammation.
- Hip Dysplasia is characterized by a malformed "ball and joint" socket in your animal. As you might expect, this ill-fitting combination causes a series of complications. Here, chronic inflammation is common; calcium build-ups occur; there is muscle pain; and the tissue in the surrounding areas begin to break down.
- Elbow Dysplasia is a like condition that is typically hereditary and most generally found in larger breeds of dogs. Bones become malformed and usually results in "bone chips" that are very painful. Typically, your pet will exhibit some lameness when suffering from this condition.
- Knee (dysplasia) is also characterized by malformed bones and bone "chips." It is painful and often obviates itself since the pet is lame and/or limping as the condition progresses.
- Knee (stifle) joint typically involves torn ligaments which cause instability in the joint. Dislocation of the (knee) joint is also a problem. Inflammation is common since this is a joint that is subjected to a lot of stress and strain. In most cases it is a result of poor breeding.
- Osteochondrosis is a condition where you are contending with a medical condition that results from poor breeding. Improper or inadequate diet can also cause this condition (both factors may be at play). It is characterized by cartilage deterioration and tissue is generally both inflammed and painful.
- Hypertrophic arthritis involves excessive bone growth and/or "spurs" on the joints themselves. In such situations, the pet is typically experiencing a lot of pain.
- Shoulder (degeneration) is usually a multi-factorial situation making a clear-cut cause difficult to isolate. An unstable joint, osteochondrosis or even trauma may be the cause.
(Or, a combination of factors).
- Wrist arthritis (carpi) might be compared to "carpal tunnel syndrome" seen in humans. Usually, this area of the pet's body is affected more frequently with pets who are very active.
- Kneecap (dislocation) is usually caused by poorly formed leg bones which secondarily, allows the kneecap to move or "pop" out of its normal position. Usually, this is either an inherited condition or results from poor breeding.
If you are not sure which condition your pet has, or wish to read more information on the specific types, a full description can be found here.
What's really going on to Cause this Pain in your Pet?
The physiological changes that occur in pets are virtually identical to that of the human body. Essentially, it is the "breakdown" of the (protective) cartilage that covers or protects the ends of bones at the joint.
Primary Vs. Secondary Osteoarthritis
Since pets by nature are very active, it follows that they are constantly subjecting themselves to trauma. Where trauma is the cause of the onset of one of many osteoarthritis conditions (as opposed to hereditary conditions), the course of the disease is extremely rapid. While a human may sustain a traumatic injury that does not develop into an arthritic condition for many years, quite the opposite is true with pets. Unlike humans, most of pet arthritis develops almost immediately after trauma to their bodies. The onset can and is often within weeks of even a minor injury as opposed to years for a human. This is referred to as secondary arthritis compared to the more usual primary arthritis in humans.
They can't discuss their Pain
Pet owners often ask if glucosamine can be used to help the cartilage in thier pet's joints even though they do not have a diagnosis of OA from a veterinarian. Studies on both humans and animals show that taking a glucosamine supplement regularly can be beneficial to joint health in humans and their pets.
There are signs, however, that will tell you your pet is at risk.
How Do You Know?
- Reluctance to walk, climb stairs, jump, or play
- Lagging behind on walks
- Difficulty rising from a resting position
- Yelping in pain when touched
- A personality change
- Resisting touch
Does your Pet show these Signs?
If your pet shows these signs, I would highly recommend learning more about Syn-flex for pets. With high quality, pharmaceutical quality liquid glucosamine HCL and glucosamine sulfate plus ten other beneficial ingredients including all the ones mentioned above, we have created a product superior in quality and effectiveness.
J.R. Rogers is the founder and President of Activex America, Inc. makers of Liquid Glucosamine Formula Syn-flex®