Protecting Your Pet's Mobility
Today we’re going to discuss your pet’s joints and cartilage; what they are, how they affect mobility, and ways to treat and prevent this issue.
This post includes:
- How cartilage and joints function in mobility.
- What causes joint degeneration in pets.
- Glucosamine as an agility supplement.
- Practices for your pet’s life maintenance plan.
So, if you love your pets and you want them to stay healthy and strong, read on!
Joints and Cartilage
Mobility and agility of an active dog depend highly on the overall health of the cartilage that forms the protective cushion between bones where they meet at the joint. Cartilage provides a spongy, watery pad where the shoulder, hip, knee, elbow, wrist, and other bones come together. The cartilage acts as a fluid pad that is filled with thick liquid and is wedged between the bones to consume the force of the concussion generated during movement. The cartilage doesn’t have a blood supply, it relies on the motion of the joint to pump nutritive liquid in and out, pulling needed nourishment into the tissue. With age, cartilage can become drier, thinner, and less effective at cushioning the bones in the joint.
What Causes Degeneration?
Your pet starts experiencing joint problems when the rate at which the joint cartilage degrades exceeds the rate at which your dog’s body replenishes it. When the supply of cartilage is inadequate for the needs of the joint, bone rubs against bone, inflaming the bone itself and the surrounding nerves, and producing pain and lack of mobility.
As joints degrade, a vicious cycle begins. When cartilage suffers damage, the joint area becomes inflamed, thereby releasing enzymes into the joint. These enzymes further break down the cartilage and thin the joint lubricating fluid. The absence of healthy cartilage and the thinning of protective joint fluids make joints more susceptible to injury over time. More injuries add to the cycle of joint deterioration.
Cartilage is a very dynamic substance, constantly turning over and renewing itself, especially in young dogs. So, proper nourishment of the cartilage tissue is important at all stages of an active dog’s life, not just when visible signs of joint degeneration appear.
What is Glucosamine?
Every joint cartilage contains an element called glucosamine, which is an essential building block of healthy cartilage tissue and a key ingredient in cartilage metabolism. A naturally occurring compound in many mammals’ bodies, glucosamine is composed of sugar and amino acid, which the body uses in the creation and repair of cartilage. Glucosamine molecules have low compression rates, which makes them excellent shock absorbents. These molecules also attract and hold water, which makes them great lubricants.
In recent years, competitive dog owners and veterinarians have come to accept one kind of nutritional supplement for its ability to meet the challenge of keeping your dog physically and mentally sound, and also to prevent injury.
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are the most popular form of joint treatment for both dogs and people. GAGs are supplements – reproductions of chemicals found naturally in the body. Because glucosamine exists naturally in healthy joint cartilage, the idea behind taking a supplemental dose of glucosamine is that it will slow or halt the destruction of cartilage as the body ages, as it cannot be reversed.
Glucosamine is a nutritional supplement normally extracted from shellfish shells and is available in several chemical forms, including glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. Of the two, glucosamine with a hydrochloride bond is smaller, more bio-available, and yields a higher percentage of glucosamine. Glucosamine helps to improve joint health by supplementing the nourishment of the cartilage with more glucosamine than the body produces itself. The goal is to provide the tissue with plenty of the components the body uses to produce healthy cartilage cells that quickly replace damaged or lost cells.
Glucosamine performs this work by creating an environment that supports cell formation and the thickening of joint fluids. It is the best known and most commonly used in supplements for the prevention of lameness due to osteoarthritis (a.k.a. degenerative joint disease) – a disorder of the joints characterized by progressive deterioration of the articular cartilage.
Your Role as a Pet Owner
Unless your dog is going out in secret, hunting and consuming it’s prey’s joint capsules and cartilage (like they do in the wild), they’re probably not getting enough joint nourishment from food alone. Therefore, supplementing your dog is an absolute must. This must be done with the aim to prevent and not to cure because when signs of joint disease become visible, damages must have already occurred, and glucosamine does not cure joint disease. Rather, it constantly aids in the replenishment of cartilage that decreases irritation, inflammation, and pain.
To fight the onset of joint degradation in your active, high-energy pet, don’t just give them these supplements for some time and stop when you notice positive changes. Rather, place your pet on a life maintenance program by putting into practice the following:
Provide a daily glucosamine source beginning at 1-2 years old.
Provide regular chiropractic adjustments to maintain structural integrity.
Exercise your pet regularly to maintain range of motion.
Feed a healthy diet filled with high-quality nutrients.
Practice regular and holistic supplementing, such as PureForm Essentials to keep them healthy and recover quickly from injuries.
PureForm Pet Health focuses on manufacturing pure supplements to help your pets live a longer, healthier life. Our supplements contain only active required ingredients for a healthy life such as Glucosamine Hydrochloride, MSM, Amino-Acids, Antioxidants, Vitamins, and Minerals. With no added sugars, flavours, fillers, known allergens or preservatives, we only include the essentials. We’ve been doing this for over 20 years, so you can trust our supplements as the best bet for your pet.
Maintaining joints and cartilage are an important key to leading a pain-free lifestyle.
Glucosamine is made in the body but production slows after age 2, it is recommended to add to the diet for optimal joint function.
Find a supplement that works best for you and your pet!
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Until next time, Happy Supplementing!
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