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Posted on 06-22-2012

When is it the right tBilateral_hip_dysplasia_with_advanced_osteoarthiritis_1.JPGime to start your beloved canine or feline on joint supplements?

The question can have several different answers.           

The number one reason to start your pet on a joint supplement is because of Osteoarthritis. According to veterinarians, it is the most common health condition seen and unlike humans, our furry friends suffer in silence.

Arthritis is inflammation of the joint, which can result in changes to the joint cartilage, joint fluid, and the joint capsule. This is usually accompanied by pain and swelling. Ideally, starting a joint supplement before arthritis begins is best. However, if arthritis is already present you can still give a joint supplement to maintain and decrease more damage to the joints.

Genetics, aging, obesity, and injuries are the most common cause of arthritis. Large breeds and working dogs should be started on joint supplements sooner then the average canine or feline. It is best to discuss with our veterinarians the right time to start a joint supplement.

There are 3 key ingredients that are needed to maintain joint health:working_dog_1.jpg

  1. Glucosamine - Is already found in cartilage and synovial fluid. When given additional glucosamine it is absorbed and distributed to joint tissue, and possesses anti-inflammatory and joint regenerating properties.
  2. Chondroitin - Is part of a protein molecule that helps give cartilage its elastic properties. It may also slow the breakdown of cartilage and restore cartilage growth to better cushion the joints.
  3. MSM (Methylsulfonymethane) - Is a nutritional mineral and a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in every cell of the body. It is used to relieve muscle and joint pain. MSM does breakdown over time due to aging.

The above supplements can be found over the counter because they are not regulated by the FDA. When purchased in a pill form over the counter, they are NOT proven to deliver the correct amount needed for your pet. This can lead to overdosing or underdosing.

There are several products that are formulated just for canines and felines. You will find these products at our Chester Springs veterinary office. These supplements are formulated and tested to be the best for our furry friends and thus most effective at keeping their joints comfortable for a long time.

Contact us at Eagle Animal Hospital to further discuss the need to start your pet on a joint supplement, it's PAINLESS!

Eagle Animal Hospital serves Chester Springs, Downingtown, Exton, Glenmoore and surrounding areas.

Written by Vicki Guy, head veterinary technician

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