Put the Hop Back in Your Dog’s Hip

By KOURTNEY SPRAGUE

As your puppy starts to age into a senior, you start to notice that your daily game of fetch isn’t so easy and your walks around the neighborhood are getting shorter and shorter. Why is this?

The answer might just be osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis that comes from the inflammation and destruction of cartilage of the joint. It’s also known as degenerative joint disease.

Cartilage acts like a cushion for bones, with less cartilage, there is less shock absorption and results in grinding of the bones. The amount of the cartilage lost will determine the severity of your dog’s pain, but it can range from stiffness to loss of range of motion.

How do you get your senior dog to enjoy the same activities he did as a puppy?

Many owners are looking at glucosamine and chondroitin for the answer.

Glucosamine and chondroitin naturally occur in the body and are the building blocks of cartilage, but as your dog ages or as destruction is happening to joint cartilage, the body isn’t producing enough of these two to maintain upkeep of the cartilage. Therefore, glucosamine and chondroitin need to be supplemented in the diet.

The two supplements work differently in the body to accomplish the same goal, maintain cartilage.

Glucosamine helps produce glycosaminoglycan. Glycosaminoglycan is what helps create new cartilage.

Supplemented chondroitin’s main goal is to fight against destructive enzymes in the cartilage. This is important because once cartilage is damaged, by osteoarthritis or other causes, destructive enzymes in the cartilage increase.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin can be found in nutraceuticals (Dasuquin and Synovi G4) and these can be added to your dog’s everyday diet.

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Sources

  • Foster, and Smith. “Glucosamine & Chondroitin for Hip Dysplasia & Arthritis in Dogs.”PetCoach, www.petcoach.co/article/glucosamine-chondroitin-for-hip-dysplasia-arthritis-in-dogs/.
  • Bhathal, Angel, et al. “Glucosamine and Chondroitin Use in Canines for Osteoarthritis: A Review.” Open Veterinary Journal, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tripoli and Libyan Authority for Research, Science and Technology, 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5356289/.
  • Writers, AKC. “What Is Glucosamine For, and Can It Help Dogs?” American Kennel Club, 23 Feb. 2016, www.akc.org/content/dog-care/articles/glucosamine-for-dogs/.
  • Aragon, Carlos L, et al. “Systematic Review of Clinical Trials of Treatments for Osteoarthritis in Dogs.” Systematic Review of Clinical Trials of Treatments for Osteoarthritis in Dogs | Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association | Vol 230 , No 4, avmajournals.avma.org/doi/abs/10.2460/javma.230.4.514.