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Dog osteoarthritis: what do do, what nutrition to choose

Characteristics of osteoarthritis

Main locomotor disease of the older dog (but can also affect the young dog), osteoarthritis requires a comprehensive care. In addition to medical treatment for pain control, the importance of diet has been shown to help prevent the progression of the disease.

Osteoarthritis is a very painful condition related to the progressive destruction of the cartilage, the thin membrane that covers the bones at the joints and behaves like a pillow by cushioning shocks and thus preserving bone structures.

Age, certain diseases, conformation disorders (dysplasia of the hip for example), traumatisms…, entail the progressive disappearance of this cartilaginous membrane, which does not play its cushioning role anymore. The movements are then reflected directly on the bones, which is painful. Your pet ends up reluctant to move, to jump, in order to avoid mobilizing the joint that makes him suffer. Sometimes, the signs are discreet and it does not show. In the long-term, we observe a muscular melting on the dog.

Aggravating role of overweight

Among the parameters involved in osteoarthritis, obesity is an aggravating factor. The joints, already sick, having to support more weight, generates additional mechanical stresses.

This is why diet is an essential component in the management of osteoarthritis. Distributing a diet food to lose weight if your pet is overweight is a prerequisite to avoid accelerated breakdown of cartilage.

Favor a diet with a lot of protein to control your dog’s weight, in order for him to keep his muscle mass. In the same way, a regular moderate physical exercise contributes to the conservation of the muscular mass.

 
Importance of an adapted diet

Some nutrients have proven beneficial effects on articular cartilage. Thus, certain vitamins (D, E, C in particular), omega 3 fatty acids, cartilage-specific protectors called chondroprotective agents such as chondroitin sulfate, or glucosamine have beneficial effects on osteoarthritic joints.

These chondroprotectors can also sometimes help reduce the doses of anti-inflammatories administered in parallel.

Dietary foods specifically for OA dogs are often supplemented with these beneficial nutrients and help improve your dog’s condition.

Distributing a food adapted to the arthritic dog is therefore part of the management of the disease.

 

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