Sometimes we can notice that little by little our dog is no longer who it was before. Active dogs that used to like to go for long walks and play suddenly begin to experience discomfort that slows down their pace of life and activity in general.
These furry ones – who are not few – suffer from arthritis, the most common orthopedic disorder that veterinary clinics come up to. Specifically, 25% of dogs suffer from this condition according to the Arthritis Foundation. Although it is more frequent in adult and senior dogs, it can also appear in young dogs, as well as in cats.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a disease that affects the joints of our best friends, triggering a degenerative inflammation of them. Over time, the cartilage that joins the joints wears down, increasing friction between the bones. As a consequence, the movements of the animal are limited, causing a lot of pain.
It is a degenerative disease, and it is not curable, but it can be treated so that it progresses as slowly as possible, especially if it is diagnosed in the early stages. It is important to be able to detect it as soon as possible to help our dog have a good quality of life. To do this, we must be alert if there is minimal symptomatology, so we can take them to a specialist to confirm if our dog is suffering from arthritis or not.
Common symptoms of arthritis include stiffness in our dog's joints, especially after resting, difficulty getting up, lameness, or avoiding the use of a specific leg. Dogs with arthritis are also less active, being reluctant to go up or down stairs, as well as getting in or out of a vehicle. Animals that suffer from this disease can have a hard time going for a walk or even playing in the garden or in the park.
Arthritis in dogs and cats isn’t so different from what occurs in humans, and the degenerative process is very similar. Although it usually becomes more noticeable as our dog gets older, it can also show up in young dogs or after an injury. It can impact all the components of the joint, although the most affected is the cartilage.
How is it generated?
Arthritis, as with people, is usually associated with age-related changes in the joint. Very active dogs may be more susceptible to injuries that will lead to arthritic joints over time.
On the other hand, there is also the hereditary factor, which will already determine this disease as the animal gets older. There are dogs that are more likely to suffer from arthritis, such as German shepherds, golden retrievers or rottweilers, since they are susceptible to hip dysplasia, which involves a "poor fit" of the bones, affecting the joints in the area.
There are risk factors for which we cannot act, such as age, or hereditary factors, but there are also risk factors where we can do something. Being overweight or obese, injuries or excessive activity can also contribute to the development of the disease.
When we suspect that our best friend may suffer from this disease, we must take him to the vet, since they will be who will confirm whether or not it is indeed this condition. Normally it will be done through an x-ray that will confirm or not the omen. Once the disease is diagnosed, our veterinarian will inform us of the most appropriate treatment for the specific patient.
Although there is the option to operate, most veterinarians prefer to avoid the operating room. The dog can be treated through a series of cares that will help them have a good quality of life.
Treatment for a better quality of life
As we have previously mentioned, unfortunately arthritis today doesn’t have a cure. It is a degenerative disease that currently has no remedy, but what we can do is carry out treatments for our dog that will significantly improve their quality of life during the years they live.
Diet and supplementation
The diet is the basis of the health of any animal and taking into account certain aspects when feeding our dog will help them greatly. A diet adapted to dogs with joint problems can reduce the effects of this condition and significantly improve their quality of life.
At Gosbi we make 100% natural food with top quality ingredients. This grants that all our recipes contain ingredients that naturally provide chondroprotectors. To complement the diet and reach the preventive doses of this supplement, it is recommended to add Vetsbi C or C+ to the diet.
Chondroprotection is the treatment of joint cartilage deterioration using chondorprotective molecules with the aim of combating arthritis and osteoarthritis through natural mechanisms of action. The goal of treatment is to slow down the progression of the disease, reducing inflammation, relieving joint pain, and improving joint function.
We must take into account that chondroprotective molecules do not regenerate cartilage, but rather stimulate the synthesis of the extracellular matrix, inhibit its degradation, and promote anabolic and catabolic balance, which implies a proper functioning of cell metabolism.
The components of Vetsbi C and C+ include chondroitin, glucosamine, and in particular, Vetsbi C also includes Boswellia Serrata, Viamine E and manganese sulfate, while Vetsbi C+ contains hyaluronic acid, collagen, MSM and vitamin E.
Vetsbi C is indicated for animals that are growing, favoring the closure of the growth cartilage, as well as helping injury prevention that may appear during the puppy's growth phase. Also, for obese puppies, helping to prevent osteoarticular diseases associated with this condition. And finally, it is also recommended for dogs that carry out sports activities with a high level of demand.
On the other hand, Vetsbi C+ is intended for animals with chronic osteoarthritis and degenerative processes of joint cartilage, to be administered before and after osteoarticular surgery, and adult and elderly animals with obesity.
Apart from a rich and balanced diet with a supply of chondroprotectors, it is also important to keep our dog at its ideal weight, since factors such as obesity can be an important and avoidable risk factor. Being overweight will cause our dog to lose muscle mass and gain weight in the form of body fat. This will put extra pressure on the joints being able to harm them.
To maintain your furry friend's weight, we recommend being careful with snacks and monitoring caloric intake. If we let ourselves be advised by our veterinarian, he will recommend the best strategy to follow to reduce the extra kilograms and consequently, the discomfort of our dog.
Exercise can also be a good ally to keep control of our dog's weight, as well as good maintenance of its joints. Low-impact exercise, such as leash walks, swimming, and light jogging, is important. Always within the possibilities of our dog, without exceeding them.
To know if we are overdoing the activity, we must bear in mind that the walks must be of a distance, time, and intensity where the dog gets home comfortably. In the sense that if your dog is ahead of you when you leave the house, they should stay ahead when you arrive.
We must also be aware of providing adequate rest after physical activity. Just like people, a dog needs rest to recover after intense physical activity. We must observe our dog and provide adequate levels of activity and rest, without overdoing it.
Finally, if we are dealing with a case of an arthritic dog, we can provide them with rehabilitation to improve their condition. There are specific exercises for dogs with arthritis that will help them gain muscle and regain joint movement. There are specialists who can help them during the process, providing us with a good rehabilitation plan.
Arthritis, a common but treatable disease
Arthritis is one of the most common bone and joint related diseases among our four-legged companions, affecting 25% of dogs. Although it doesn’t have a cure, we can carry out a series of guidelines in order to guarantee a good quality of life for our dog. These guidelines include an adapted diet rich in chondroprotectors, which can be obtained through specific recipes, as well as supplements focused on protection, such as the C and C+ ranges from Vetsbi. Weight control and exercise will also play a fundamental role in improving your dog's joint health, as well as a rehabilitation treatment by your trusted veterinarian.