Joint issues are extremely common in dogs. Many people believe this is strictly due to old age or only affects elderly dogs, however, this is not the case. Although age is a common reason for poor joints in dogs, there are many other contributing factors. Here are vet’s top 5 key reasons for your dog’s poor joints and how to alleviate it:
1. Age: As stated above, the most well-known reason for joint issues in dogs is age. Glucosamine is a natural compound found in cartilage. As dogs age, the natural production of glucosamine in their body slows. This causes joint pain and stiffness, and can lead to more serious problems such as osteoarthritis.
2. Weight gain: When a dog is overweight, an excess load is placed on their joints. This force impacts the health and mobility of the cartilage within the joint, and as a result causes joint pain and swelling.
3. Ligament trauma: Injury to ligaments is common in dogs, especially damage to the CCL, or cranial cruciate ligament, which is located in the knee. When a ligament is torn, it forces your dog to put more weight on their joints which leads to joint instability and excess wear on the cartilage.
4. Inflammatory joint disease: The most common types of inflammatory joint diseases are Immune-mediated polyarthritis and osteoarthritis. Immune-mediated polyarthritis is a disorder of the immune system, where the immune system is inappropriately activated to send white blood cells to the joints, leading to inflammation. This condition is similar to rheumatoid arthritis in humans. Some symptoms of this disease include pain, swelling, and difficulty walking. This differs from osteoarthritis which is commonly caused by injuries or old age. Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease known for causing loss of joint cartilage, and a thickening of the joint capsule spurring new bone formation around the joint. This formation causes pain and limb dysfunction. Some symptoms include stiffness, lethargy, reluctance to jump or play, and pain when touched.
5. Leaky Gut Syndrome: You might be asking yourself “what does my dog’s gut have to do with their joints?” It turns out many animals suffer from something called Leaky Gut Syndrome, where the gut lining is made so weak that holes start to form. This can be due to artificial, indigestible food and toxins tearing holes in the lining of the gut. Toxins are able to get into the bloodstream through these holes, which causes the immune system to defend the body against these “intruders.” When the immune system goes into defense mode, it causes inflammation to pop up all over the body. The joints are especially prone to inflammation because they are numerous and in constant use.
If you know your dog is suffering from joint pain, there’s many things you can do to help. Here are our top 4 ways to alleviate joint pain:
1. Manage their weight: Make sure your dog is at a good weight for his or her size so there isn’t any unnecessary pressure on the joints which can make the pain worse.
2. Exercise: Regular controlled exercise such as swimming or walking is beneficial to dogs with arthritis because it keeps the joints moving and muscles working. Avoid uncontrolled exercise such as running or chasing balls which can cause permanent damage to the joints.
3. Create an easy environment for your pet to be in: Make sure your pup has a place to stay warm as the cold can worsen joint pain. Install ramps to allow your dog to avoid stairs and make sure he or she has a big comfy bed with extra padding to rest their sore joints on.
4. Try our Joint Strength Chews: Taking care of your dog's joints is extremely important in protecting their health, which is why Felix + Fetch created our Joint Strength Chews. Our chews help dogs with hip and joint aches and inflammation. Created with all natural and carefully chosen ingredients like Glucosamine which helps alleviate pain from arthritis, MSM which helps reduce pain and stiffness and speeds recovery after exercise, and Dried Yucca that helps reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis, inflammation and poor circulation.
Pick up some chews today to get your dog feeling like a puppy again!