While osteoarthritis can develop in any breed of dog, it is most often diagnosed in larger breeds, and Great Danes, are among the most susceptible.
But what can you do to help?
Recognizing osteoarthritis in your dog
Stiffness, lameness, or limping after lying down.
- Reluctance to walk up stairs, run, jump, or play.
- Changes in appetite.
- Sudden irritability when touched or petted.
- Loss of muscle mass in the rear limbs
- Difficulty with urinating or sudden accidents in the house.
When you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to take your dog to the veterinarian for a full checkup. The vet will conduct a physical exam, talk to you about what you’ve observed, and may request additional tests to investigate any affected joints.
Treatment for Osteoarthritis in Dogs
Glucosamine - a naturally occurring compound used to alleviate pain and stiffness by suppressing inflammation in the arthritic joint, inhibiting cartilage degradation, and boosting the repair of damaged cartilage.
Chondroitin - Chondroitin sulfate is another natural substance aimed at stimulating cartilage repair and is often used in conjunction with glucosamine. It reduces pain, improves joint function and mobility, and reduces arthritis progression and can be obtained from many sources, such as fish, pigs, cattle, birds, and sharks
Green Lipped Mussel (GLM) - An extract derived from green-lipped mussels, native to New Zealand, is another proven joint supplement ingredient for humans and dogs. GLM contains beneficial nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which have natural anti-inflammatory and joint-protecting properties. Studies have shown that combined with glucosamine and chondroitin, it can help decrease pain and preserve joint function.
Joint Supplements & What to Look For
Ingredients - Many products use the ingredients of glucosamine and chondroitin, but look for ones that include scientifically proven levels of key ingredients to have the best chance of relieving joint pain and maintaining healthy joints.
Manufacturing & Product Requirements - Choose products manufactured to the highest pharmaceutical quality standards.
Dosage - Follow the dosage instructions provided on the supplement packaging. Some supplements will have you start your dog at a higher dosage initially and taper down.
Taste & Smell - Most dogs will readily eat supplements that come in the form of a treat or chew. Other supplements may be in a pill form that you’ll have to administer. Pill-hiding treats or other soft foods your dog really enjoys, like cheese, can help hide pill-form supplements.
Read more and see the entire article at akc.org written by the AKC staff.