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Arthritis in Dogs

Discussion in 'Upland Game hunting, Dogs and dog training' started by ccavacini, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. ccavacini

    ccavacini Super Mod Mod

    Saw this in the paper tonight...thought it might be of interest:

    New steps to ease the pain of canine arthritis
    By Dr. Marty Becker
    Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service

    Arthritis is one of the most pervasive diseases in the United States, affecting as many as 70 million people. And arthritis isn't just a problem for people. Up to 10 million dogs in the U.S. suffer from the condition -- that's 20 percent of the adult canine population. It is the leading cause of chronic pain in dogs, and though not life threatening, it can greatly diminish the pet's quality of life.


    A progressive, degenerative disease, arthritis results in cartilage damage and joint inflammation and affects one in five dogs over the age of 1. This condition often goes undiagnosed because dog owners attribute the changes in their dog's behavior to old age or are not aware of the symptoms of arthritis, which include decreased activity, stiffness, limping, difficulty in rising, or reduced mobility.

    While arthritis is most common in older dogs, it can affect dogs of any size, breed, or age. Some breeds are at a higher risk for developing arthritis, such as German shepherd, rottweiler, Labrador retriever, golden retriever, and sheltie. Canine arthritis can be caused by genetic joint problems, obesity, lack of exercise, aging, or injury trauma. The chronic pain of arthritis is one of the leading reasons pet owners make the difficult decision to euthanize their dogs.

    Tackling arthritis and mobility problems requires a three-pronged approach: exercise, weight management, and nutrition. Success on the whole can only be measured by the strength of the weakest element, so it's important to keep all three in mind to increase the probability of your favorite four-legged friend playing fetch freely again. In addition, there are medications that can be prescribed by your veterinarian to help ease the pain.

    These non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are popular painkillers commonly used to treat degenerative joint disease and arthritis in dogs. NSAIDs for dogs are FDA-approved to treat pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.

    There's excitement about a new product, Previcox. Rather than being a ''human product'' shoehorned into a veterinary use, this arthritis drug was developed specifically for dogs. Research data was recently presented at the ACVIM (American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine) conference by Peter Hanson, DVM, PhD, DACVS about this new medication.

    Eliminating pain in dogs can also help increase the human-animal bond. ''Previcox helps veterinarians ensure the best quality care and lifestyle for their patients so that they can better interact with their owners,'' states Hanson.

    Some veterinarians recommend nutraceutical supplements, instead of, or in conjunction with, NSAIDS. Nutraceuticals like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate can help ease discomfort in dogs with arthritis. Glucosamine is involved with the production of joint lubricants and helps maintain healthy cartilage and joint function. Chondroitin sulfate helps keep cartilage tissue from dehydrating and also cushions joints from impact stress.

    Until recently, these supplements were generally given to a dog in conjunction with their food. However, veterinarians around the country are seeing dramatic results from an innovative new food, Prescription Diet Canine j/d, which contains appropriate levels of both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, in addition to several other ingredients that have been shown to maintain joint health in dogs, including Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), an omega-3 fatty acid found in high concentrations in fish oil. It also contains l-carnitine, a vitamin-like substance that helps maintain optimum body weight. If your dog is slowing down, ask your veterinarian about these exciting new products. For tips on the best exercises to help improve mobility and information about starting a personalized Joint Management Plan (JuMP) for your dog, visit www.jumpfordogs.com .

    ------ (Dr. Marty Becker is the coauthor of the book ''Chicken Soup For The Horse Lover's Soul'' and a popular veterinary contributor for ABC's ''Good Morning America.'' Write to him in care of Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, 700 12th St. NW, Suite 1000, Washington DC 20005.)
     
  2. My friends black lab Buster has arthritis, their vet gave them Previcox about 2 yrs ago when it was in the testing process and it worked wonders on that dog. They even take him back out in the field now. He is a great retiever but he was gettin so slow that he wasnt any good till the gave him Previcox. now he acts like a puppy again.
     

  3. ccavacini

    ccavacini Super Mod Mod

    That's good to hear...my Brittany is only 6 years old but she has some stiffness in her back legs...maybe this will be the miracle cure.
     
  4. We had an old fox terrier Jake- When he was about 12 years old he started to stiff up with arthritis pretty bad. He couldn't jump up on the couch. We started him on a couple of glucosamine chondroitin twice a day and he improved quite a bit. He could even jump up on the couch again!:)
     
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