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By: Steve Weber
Osteoarthritis is a disease of degenerative joints. In time, most of us and our elderly dogs will suffer from wear and tear of cartilage, protecting the bone. There is no known cure, yet, but there are ways to help your pet and relieve pain. This progressive disease affects joints of the spine, hip, elbow and knee.

If your dog undergoes strenuous exercise or constant jumping, it is likely to suffer tearing of ligaments, especially after a fall or accident. Deterioration happens to the cartilage protecting the bone ends and they will then become rough and later crack instead of being smooth. As the disease progresses, exposed bone remodels itself and develops spurs.

The cartilage will then fray exposing bone. This is what causes the pain. Cartilage cannot repair itself. Liquid glucosamine is a natural supplement which, when taken daily helps rebuild the tissue. It is not a quick fix but may be preferable to prescribed medication which has many side effects, and in some cases is lethal. Ask your veterinarian about this. It has no side effects and depending on the kind of arthritis your dog has, you may well find that in a matter of months or sometimes weeks your dog will show signs of improvement and healing.

There is primary as well as secondary joint disease. Wear and tear is the normal cause for the primary disease. The secondary disease has causes which are trauma, patella, hip dysplasia and the rupture of knee ligaments. Sometimes these can be surgically repaired. It is important to have your veterinarian give the correct diagnosis before any treatment is given. X-rays will also be helpful to determine which kind of joint disease your dog suffers from and whether or not glucosamine may help.

With hip dysplasia, there is a malformation of the joints. The ball does not fit into the socket properly and this causes serious complications. Large breed dogs, like Labradors, St. Bernards, Golden Retrievers, Great Pyrenees, German Shepherds and Siberian Huskys are predominantly at risk for this type of joint disease.

This causes chronic inflammation, muscle pain, tissue breakdown and calcium build-up. Smaller dogs are at risk too, but far less. The Himalayan cat is also known to suffer with hip dysplasia. There is also the possibility of dislocated kneecaps, which occurs with poorly formed leg bones. Some small dogs suffer with this as the kneecap moves out and then back into normal position. You will notice your dog stretching so as to have the kneecap 'pop' back into place.

Poor breeding and an improper diet are also causes for cartilage deterioration, pain and tissue inflammation. It is important to give you dog key nutrients in their daily food. Without this, they will be unable to fight further deterioration. Liquid glucosamine is beneficial and can be given for the life of your pet. It is perfectly natural and enables the body to rebuild tissue surrounding the joint.

Find out the correct weight of the breed of your dog and talk to your veterinarian about decreasing the calorie intake at food times. As with us, they tend to put on weight as they age. This causes increased strain on the joints. Give your dog with arthritis a soft, warm bed and short, regular walks, together with the treatment prescribed.


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