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Muscle and Joint Care in Dogs and Cats

Muscle and Joint Care in Dogs and Cats
Pet supplements to help support, repair and relieve muscle and joint damage.

Natural treatments to help support muscle and tissue health and to help repair and relieve swollen joints in dogs and cats. 

The canine and feline musckuloskeletal 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 army of cells found through out your pet’s body that provides 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, toxins, foreign fells and cellular mutations (healthy cells which have mutated into irregular cells). The immune system is tasked with protecting EVERY cell in the animal body. With so many pet parents wondering why and how to best support immunity in their dogs and cats, this article will highlight its role and provide practical suggestions. 

A healthy immune system is resilient and powerful and up to the task of supporting normal, balanced function. The immune system is not intended to be suppressed or stimulated.  But even an animal with a highly developed immune system can experience dysfunction or failure. In cases of dysfunction, an animal body requires whole body systemic support. If your pet’s immune system is weakened, every bodily system is at risk for disease. 

Like us, our pets are susceptible to muscle and joint deterioration. Age, injury, wear and tear, repetitive tasks and obesity can all cause muscle and joint swelling. Swelling of the joints and surrounding tissues is often associated with symptoms of tenderness, warmth, redness, inflammation, stiffness and pain. It is most likely a sign of arthritis, which is a chronic, gradual degenerative joint disease.

Pets are susceptible to muscle and joint conditions such as swollen joints. Swollen joints can cause intense discomfort and pain, especially during colder seasons. Dogs and cats are both affected, although larger dog breeds such as German Shepherds, Labradors and Golden Retrievers are more prone to swollen joints.

If you notice any swelling of your pet’s limbs, consult your vet immediately and limit your pet's range of motion until your pet is assessed so that more serious health complications do not develop.

The common symptoms and signs of muscle and joint disorders include:

Morning stiffness

Reduced activity

Pain in the joints

Limping

Whining or crying when getting up or being picked up

Joint of the affected limb thickens

Favoring one limb over the other

Lethargy

Difficulty sitting

Difficulty standing

Reluctance to jump, run or climbing stairs

Clicking when walking

Swollen joints in dogs and cats various can be caused by various muscle and joint conditions including:

Arthritis

Osteoarthritis

Trauma or injury to the joint

Sprains

Strains

Hip dysplasia

Spondylosis

Spondylitis

Viral infections

Tumors of the joint

Genetic factors

Degenerative joint disease

Herbal Nutrition - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets - human grade meets/exceeds highest safety criteria for pets)

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

Joint Ease Super Dog & Cat – (learn more) contains a synergistic blend of plant and marine extracts that help promote preventative and reparative support to rebuild the tissue, joints, bones and muscles matrix; 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.

Bionic Body – (learn more) is used holistically for its adaptogenic 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 prebiotic and probiotic content to help support native gut flora and healthy digestion; may help to fight off allergies and infections.

The Daily Paws  (learn more) is used as a multi-system nutritive for daily maintenance of all body systems, with emphasis on a healthy endocrine system, promotes healthy skin and shiny, glossy coats due to its high mineral and vitamin content, and is used to maintain body temperature, (important in immuno-compromised animals), and for a multiplicity of conditions and diseases including for allergies, arthritis, cognitive disorder and cancer, for urinary disorders to alkalinize (higher Ph) acidic urine and for blood purification.

That’s A Nice Looking Bone – (learn more) used holistically to help address all types of 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; for its plant actions to help support bone mineral density, potentially increasing bone mass; for its ability to help restore lost cartilage and bone deterioration and to provide nutritional support for joints, muscles and tissue; for its nutritive content to address mineral deficiency; to help support veins and arteries and to help increase vascular elasticity; for its oestradiol compounds which may help address urinary incontinence.

Other 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. Walking your dog three times per day and swimming will help to maintain muscle strength and movement and playing with your cat will encourage activity and keep weight off. Steer clear of strenuous activities that involves lots of running such as playing fetch or throwing a Frisbee

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

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

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

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

Keep your dog and cat warm during cold weather when joint conditions usually worsen. Add more blankets to bedding, slip a pet sweater on him 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 on the affected area to soothe and promote range of movement

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

Conventional Remedies:

The diagnoses of swollen joints are based on the symptoms presented, and a thorough physical assessment of your pet’s joints. Certain tests such as blood tests, x-rays and fluid samples from the joint may be needed to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions.

The aim of conventional treatment for swollen joints is to manage pain, reduce inflammation and ease discomfort. Your vet may prescribe medications such analgesics and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Prednisone, Palaprin or Dermaxx.

Keep in mind that long-term use of these medications can cause serious side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, damage to the joint and cartilage, liver and kidneys. Resting the joint is very important and treating the affected area with immobilization and medications can also minimize symptoms and speed recovery. In more severe cases, joint surgery, splinting or casting may be necessary.

Taking preventative measures and making certain lifestyle changes such as weight loss, proper nutrition, regular exercise and adding natural supplements (glucosamine, ester-c, msm, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid can make a significant difference to your pet’s joint health. A more holistic approach that includes acupuncture, chiropractic therapy or massage can also reduce your pet’s symptoms and improve overall health and wellbeing.

 

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