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Managing Arthritis Symptoms And The Benefits Of Using Glucosamine For Dogs And Cats

Date: 19th October 2012 | Created by: Troo Healthcare | Tags: glucosamine for dogs,glucosamine for cats,arthritis,glucosamine,dysplasia,glucosamine sulphate
Arthritis is a problem in the joint where smooth cartilage lining the bones of the joint has become damaged and thinned, causing extra friction and inflammation. It can be a painful condition that affects both humans and animals and for which there is currently no cure. Treatment usually revolves around managing the condition with pain management and anti-inflammatory medication. Additionally there are also more natural alternatives for help with joint health maintenance such as glucosamine for dogs and cats, which can be used either on its own or alongside prescription medication.

Although there is no cure for arthritis, there is significant evidence to suggest that synthesized glucosamine, a natural component of cartilage, may provide excellent support for the long term health and maintenance of joints and ligaments. At this stage it should be noted that pets should never be given medication or supplements manufactured for humans as it is important that the correct dosages are given. If your vet is already administering pain or anti-inflammatory medication then you should ensure that the glucosamine supplement you wish to use is suitable for the management program.

Arthritis is most commonly found in the hips and elbows of older pets, though it can also develop in younger animals who have sustained an injury to the joint. Risk is higher for pets which are overweight, whilst over-exercising younger animals can also lead to problems later. Taking a few short walks is much preferable than one big walk for puppies which are still developing. Larger breeds of dogs are also naturally more susceptible than smaller breeds.

Due to the nature of arthritis and the slow-paced manner of its development diagnosis can be very difficult, especially in cats. The differences in diagnosis between cats and dogs arises due to the differing manners of the animals. The each have their own ways of moving and expressing themselves so looking for physical and mental trauma isn't always straight forward.

Generally cats are good at hiding pain so you need to look for other symptoms, such as a reduction in activity and an increase in sleeping. Some cats may demonstrate difficulties in resting or sleeping comfortably, or even an inability to get into their litter tray. They may stop grooming themselves and start eating less. Other signs to look out for are irritability, anxiety and reluctance to be handled.

For dogs the symptoms of discomfort such as stiffness and lameness are likely to be more obvious, though some breeds have a higher threshold to pain than others. You may start to notice difficulty getting up, climbing up stairs, getting into cars or onto furniture, especially when the weather is cold or damp.  They are most likely to develop problems in hips, elbow, shoulders, knee and ankle joints. Dog's emotional triggers may also be more obvious as their reaction to pain manifests itself in irritability, withdrawal or aggression, such as growling if the affected area is touched.

Arthritis can also develop as a result of a separate existing condition, such as congenital abnormalities. An example of this is hip dysplasia (canine hip dysplasia in dogs and feline in cats). It is a deformity of the hip joint from birth which can lead to the ball and socket of a joint becoming dislocated.

When looking at treatment for arthritis and related conditions it is obviously important to first of all get accurate diagnosis before looking towards a management plan. Glucosamine supplements are a good addition to any long term management plan for cats and dogs looking to maintain quality of life for as long as possible. Glucosamine supplements have been successfully used to help maintain healthy joints and thus provide support with related conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, disc degeneration and hip dysplasia. It has also been successfully used for sciatic nerve and inflamed disc disease.

Before placing your pet on a course of glucosamine it is important to ensure you have made a correct assessment of yourPetAlive Muscle and Joint Support requirements. The dose your pet needs will be determined by their weight and condition, though good supplements will have dosage guidelines. You also need to consider which one of the three types of available glucosamine to use, with studies demonstrating that glucosamine sulphate is the most effective form. Some specialist supplements may also contain other herbs and ingredients for further targeted support. PetAlive Muscle and Joint Support is an example of such a supplement, providing a specially formulated blend of glucosamine sulphate, Calc flour, Devil's Claw, Lecithin, Nat phos, Nat sulp and Spirulina for overall skeletal support.

As opposed to medicinal products that work to address symptoms quickly, glucosamine and other natural supplements look to support the body from within. For this reason you are not going to see an overnight improvement when you cat or dogs begins glucosamine supplementation. Depending on the animal and the severity of the condition some pets will react quicker than others. However you should try to consistently use glucosamine for 1-2 months before assessing what progress is being made. Research tells us that the earlier in the development of joint problems glucosamine is administered the more the pet will benefit.

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