Canine osteoarthritis starts because of deterioration in the joint cartilage. In young dogs, such deterioration is usually because of either injury or structural defects such as hip dysplasia or osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD).
Assessing Your Dog’s Risk Profile
There are a number of factors that define whether or not your dog is at risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Although osteoarthritis can strike any dog, some breeds are at higher risk than others. Such breeds include German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and Rottweilers. Also, in general, large breed dogs are more prone than their small breed companions.
Osteoarthritis has a significant genetic component. If at all possible, find out as much as you can about your dog’s parent’s medical history. Responsible breeders also x-ray their adult dogs before they are mated and you should be able to see the results of these x-rays. By doing this, you can reduce the chances of your own pup growing up with osteoarthritis.
If your dog is a working dog or is involved in other strenuous activity, the chances of injury and associated osteoarthritis increases. At the other extreme, if your dog does not get enough exercise and his weight drifts above normal, his susceptibility also rises.
Weight is a simple matter to control, but it does demand that you remain on the ball. Moderate, regular exercise and careful control of your dog’s food intake will help to keep him safe.
Diet, especially in the growth phase of large-breed dogs, is very important. Too many or too few nutrients can result in growth abnormalities that will predispose your pet to injury and later, osteoarthritis.
Whatever the age of your dog, you can give them the freedom to move easily, by caring for their joints. Joint supplements, such as Supleneo flex, are commonly used to support joint and cartilage health. When used alongside appropriate nutrition and exercise, these supplements can help your dog to stay fit and active and are a great canine arthritis treatment.
Supleneo flex is a daily supplement, which is suitable for all breeds, sizes and ages of dog and contains the key ingredients that can improve joint health, such as glucosamine. In addition, Supleneo flex’s natural liver flavour means dogs love the taste, making it’s easy and fun to give them their supplement every day. It is low calorie, so you can give it to your dog, instead of a treat.
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Get Your Veterinarian’s Advice
Talk to your veterinarian about your concerns. They have been trained to look for specific markers of osteoarthritis. In all likelihood, besides going over what we have just discussed, they will examine your dog with both a physical check and by taking radiographs. Having said that, bear in mind that it is somewhat difficult to assess the risk of osteoarthritis using such tests.
The fact that you are reading this already suggests that you are responsible owner. Great! Owner knowledge and watchfulness are the keys to your dog’s joint health, so you are already on the right track. The earlier you detect signs of osteoarthritis, the better your dog’s prognosis.