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Cartilage Disorders in Dogs and Cats

Cartilage Disorders in Dogs and Cats

Herbal nutrition to help support cartilage disorders and joint problems in dogs and cats.

Natura Petz Organics dog cartilage supplements cat cartilage supplements

The canine and feline musculoskeletal system has many components including bones, blood vessels, joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, and support organs that include the liver, kidneys, and adrenal glands. Age, injuries and wear and tear can undermine your pet’s joints and connective tissue, causing stiff and aching joints, degenerative disease and trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body.

The immune system is a complex array of cells that are found throughout your pet’s body that align to form a fortified defense against unwanted invaders. It is an intricate system that keeps your pet healthy and protects them against allergens, viruses, bacteria, microbes, parasites and toxins.

The immune system is also directed at facilitating normal function and is not intended to be suppressed or stimulated. In cases of dysfunction, an animal’s body requires whole body systemic support. If your pet’s immune system is weakened, every body system is at risk.

Degenerative joint disease, also referred to as osteoarthritis is a very common condition in both cats and dogs, and is often seen in older animals. In degenerative joint disease, the cartilage surrounding the joint changes, breaks down slowly and deteriorates as a result of wear and tear.

The cartilage actually erodes together with areas of bone. The most common areas of the body that are affected include the hip, spine knees, elbows and wrist joints. This is an extremely painful, progressive disease that will continue to worsen.

Dogs tend to be more susceptible to degenerative joint disease than cats but certain breeds, especially large breeds such as Labrador-retriever, German shepherd, or Golden retrievers suffer more from joint and bone problems. As soon as you notice any signs that may indicate that your dog or cat has difficulty walking, consult your vet. Degenerative joint disease is manageable and animals can enjoy quality of life if treated early.

The common symptoms and signs of degenerative joint disease include:

Reduced level of activity

Difficulty getting up and down, running, jumping, climbing stairs or grooming

Stiff-legged gait

Sore or swollen joints

Stiffness

Lameness

Limping

Lagging behind on walks

Cries or whines in pain when the affected joint is touched

Sensitive to cold weather

Lethargy

Additionally, pet parents may notice behavioral changes such as irritability, aggression, nervousness, depression or withdrawal may also be present. The exact cause of degenerative joint disease has not yet been established.

There are various causes that may contribute to secondary degenerative joint disease and these include:

Excessive wear and tear on the joints and cartilage

Trauma

Obesity

Congenital defects from birth, for example hip or elbow dysplasia

Osteochondritis dissecans

Dislocation of the shoulder or kneecap

Underlying disorders such as diabetes, hyper laxity or the overuse of steroid medication

Helpful suggestions:

Manage your pet’s weight by controlling diet. If your pet is overweight, it puts more strain on their joints and exacerbates symptoms

Make sure that your pet receives adequate but gentle exercise. Avoid strenuous activities that involves lots of running such as playing fetch or throwing a Frisbee

Feed your dog or cat a healthy, premium all natural diet that contains all the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients

Give your pet fresh, filtered water daily

Elevate food and water bowls to make eating and drinking easier for pets

Build ramps so that your pet does not have to walk up stairs

Provide a soft and comfortable sleeping environment (like an old mattress) or an orthopedic foam bed for your pet

Keep your dog or cat warm during cold weather when joint conditions usually worsen. Add extra blankets, slip a pet sweater and keep your home heated

Apply a hot water bottle, heating pads or warm, soaked towels on the affected areas to relieve pain and stiffness

Massage your pet or ask your vet to perform physical therapy or try hydrotherapy on the affected area to soothe and promote range of movement

Ensure that your pet has sufficient rest, especially during the recovery period

Organic Remedies - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets for this disease or condition - human grade meets highest safety criteria for pets)

Herbal and marine treatments have been used effectively for millennia to treat degenerative joint disease and conditions, to help to regenerate lost cartilage and connective tissues, to reduce symptoms of pain and inflammation; acts as an anti-inflammatory and immune builder, supporting the joints and skeletal system as well as overall health, in the treatment of degenerative joint diseases, to strengthen and support healthy joints and alleviate pain and inflammation.

Joint Support Meal Topper – (learn more) contains natural glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, vitamins, minerals, essential Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids including ETA (Eicosatetraenoic acids), EPA  (Eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and GLA (Gamma-liolenic acid); amino acids, antioxidants, super foods, adaptogens and digestive enzymes, which may nutritionally and synergistically combine to help support joint problems related to degenerative tissue decline and bone loss; may help support the cartilage matrix; may help promote smooth, unrestricted joint movement and flexibility in the skeletal system; may help address sore, aching joints and help limit inflammation related to all symptoms of arthritis; loss of synovial tissue and reduced collage production; may help promote healthy, strong muscles, joints and bones; may stimulate synovial fluid and promote cellular repair; nutritionally content may help promote balanced immune health; safe for all life stages of dogs and cats.

Joint Ease Super Dog & Cat – (learn more) contains a synergistic blend of plant and marine extracts that promote preventative and reparative support to rebuild tissue, joints, bones and muscles; supports balanced immunity and limits whole body inflammatory response while promoting systemic healing; as a holistic, natural treatment for rheumatism; for arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatism, Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), Intervertebral Disk Disease (IDD), Degenerative Myelopathy, arthrosis and related inflammation and pain; for muscle pains, strains, injuries and other degenerative joint related diseases; as a pain reliever for swelling and lack of mobility; for overall optimal health and function and as a natural alternative for tumors and cysts. Contains herbs and marine extracts recognized by the World Health Organization as some of the most important ingredients in the natural treatment of all forms of arthritis.

I Feel Good –  (learn more) promotes healthy immune response, reduces all types of inflammation, provides dermal support and growth of healthy cells and tissues in the body’s defense mechanism, reduces the histamine trigger for contact allergies, seasonal and chronic allergens, pathogens, skin rashes, infections, hot spots, inflammation, swelling, hair loss, itching and geriatria (dull coat, lethargy), for all types of arthritis, including Degenerative Joint Disease, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and symptoms associated with rheumatism, including pain, strains, injuries, muscle pain, swelling and lack of mobility; plus contains prebiotics and probiotics useful in balancing digestive health and function plus much more. Recognized as one of the most important medicinal plants of the whole world, particularly related to supporting balanced immunity and limiting inflammation and inflammatory conditions.

Bionic Body – (learn more) is used holistically for its adaptogenic (read, repair and restore functions) for its immune boosting and anti-inflammatory support; as an antioxidant and for its free radical scavenging (disease preventing) actions; for its nutritive content which may help to nourish the body and strengthen and revitalize bones, eye, teeth, skin and coat; works to stimulate collagen production, a primary building material of bones; may help prevent dental disease; for its plant actions to help strengthen bones, cartilage, joints, muscles, connective tissues & blood vessels & helps to reduce joint inflammation, while activating a cartilage-protective biochemical, potentially helping to preserve healthy cartilage in aging joint; for its anti-allergen natural plant chemicals which may help to fight off allergies and infections; for its prebiotic and probiotic content to help support native gut flora and healthy digestion.

That’s A Nice Looking Bone – (learn more) used holistically for Heart Disease (Cardiomyopathy, Valvular Heart Disease, Congestive Heart Disease), for all types of arthritis, osteoporosis, Degenerative Joint Disease and Intervertebral Disk Disease; for its genistein and daidzein isoflavone content which has a stimulatory effect on osteoblastic bone formation and an inhibitory effect on osteoclastic bone resorption and for bone mineral density, thereby increasing bone mass, for its ability to help restore lost cartilage and to support veins and arteries and to help increase vascular elasticity.

Conventional Remedies:

The diagnosis of degenerative joint disease is based on the symptoms, a thorough orthopedic exam and review of the pet’s history. Certain tests such as x-rays, contrast studies, a force plate or aspiration of joint fluid may performed to determine the diagnosis of degenerative joint disorders.

Depending on the cause, severity of degenerative joint disease and your pet’s overall health, there are various treatment options available to alleviate symptoms. Your vet may prescribe anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications which include acetaminophen, NSAIDS, and corticosteroids to control pain and reduce joint swelling.

Treatment for arthritis may be medical or surgical. Nonsurgical therapies include weight reduction (never underestimate the importance of this), controlled exercise on soft surfaces and/or hydrotherapy, and applying warm compresses, such as hot water bottles to those aching, stiff joints.

Conventional medicine also makes use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, meloxicam, carprofen, phenylbutazone and corticosteroids. These act by blocking certain pathways in the pain response but long-term use must be carefully considered as adverse effects include gastro-intestinal problems such as poor appetite, vomiting and gastro-intestinal ulcers.

Certain NSAIDs can also cause damage to the kidneys. Great care must be used when treating cats with NSAIDs. Surgical options include joint fusion, joint replacement such as hip replacement, joint excision and amputation.

There’s no way to prevent arthritic changes whether they’re simply due to the ageing process or because of earlier trauma to the joint. Certainly prompt treatment of any suspected joint or bone injury is highly recommended and making sure that your pet doesn’t become overweight will minimize the chances of arthritis developing.

More serious cases of arthritis or osteoarthritis may require surgery such as joint replacement or removal as well as reconstructive procedures to repair or rebuild joint cartilages. Alternative treatments such as physical therapy, hydrotherapy and massage may also be beneficial in increasing range of motion.

A few things that you as a pet owner can do at home is to ensure that your pet maintains a healthy weight, eats a well balanced, premium diet to boost the immune system and encourage gentle exercise such as walking and swimming.

 

 

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