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Managing osteoarthritis in pets

By May 11, 2016Blog

Osteoarthritis in dogs and cats is a more prevalent disease than many pet owners may realise. According to the Arthritis Foundation in the USA, one in five dogs suffer with Osteoarthritis. Learn more about osteoarthritis and how to manage this disease in pets.

What is osteoarthritis and what causes it?

Osteoarthritis is also known as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), a common problem affecting young dogs with hip and elbow dysplasia and older dogs with general aging and stiffness of the joints. Progressive degenerative condition (i.e. conditions that get worse over time) affects the joints, leads to pain, and causes inflammation and discomfort.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage matrix in joints deteriorates at a rate faster than the body can replace it. This joint is held in place by the surrounding muscles and tendons that make up the soft tissue. To prevent the bones from rubbing against one another, the bones are capped with a layer of cartilage and surrounded by fluid. The smooth cartilage allows for ease of movement of the joint while the fluid provides lubrication and nutrients to the cartilage. In pets suffering with DJD, the cartilage is worn away. Worn cartilage is rough, hindering the free movement of the once smooth joint. Worn cartilage also exposes bone and nerve endings, causing pain and swelling. In severe cases, pets develop bone to replace the deteriorating cartilage resulting in bony growths that impair the degree of movement of the joint.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of osteoarthritis vary in dogs, depending on a combination of their age, the joint(s) affected and the stage of the disease. These symptoms may include the following:

  • Reduced activity
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty getting on/off a bed/sofa
  • Difficulty getting in/out of car
  • Strained movements that were once easy
  • Stiffness after walks
  • Limping

How can it be treated?

Treatment includes managing the pain and inflammation, encouraging weight loss and exercise, and repairing and regenerating the cartilage in the affected joint. It is advised to seek advice from your vet regarding your pet’s specific needs.
GCS-Joint Care is a high quality joint supplement, which acts as an anti-inflammatory and building block for joint repair.

The active ingredients in GCS-Joint Care products range include:

  • Glucosamine – a building block for cartilage, it stimulates the production of new cartilage and joint fluid.
  • Chondroitin Sulphate – of low molecular weight, not only stimulates the damaged cartilage to regenerate, but also acts as an anti-inflammatory – helping to manage pain.
  • Omega 3 – anti-inflammatory agents that play an important role in the management of pain, giving the patient the best quality of life.

The goals of the treatment are to:

  • Slow the progression of the disease
  • Reduce severity of the signs and symptoms
  • Maintain a good quality of life
  • Control pain and discomfort

The GCS-Joint Care product range offers a powder, a liquid and chews for dogs; and a salmon flavoured gel for cats. The product is administered over food or fed directly to your pet.

The GCS-Joint Care is only available from participating veterinarians and vet shops.