Seems simple enough to some of us, doesn’t it?
As much as I dislike bursting bubbles, I’ll have to. There is very little in the practice of medicine that is simple.
The good news is that with dogs and cats most arthritis is limited to one kind: osteoarthritis.
Regardless of the cause of arthritis the end result is damage to the cartilage lining of the joint. Such damage changes the cartilage from a smooth, low-friction gliding surface to one that is rough. Eventually the cartilage may be lost altogether, resulting in bone rubbing on bone.
Osteoarthritis can be caused by a number of factors, the most common of which is age.
Trauma is the next most common insult and trauma can result from being hit by a car, kicked by a horse or being shot. Trauma may also occur when joints are pounded repeatedly, such as jumping up to catch a Frisbee, high-impact agility competition, hunting or other types of field work.
Joints may also be traumatized by infection, and infection may damage only one joint, such as when a splinter enters the space. Multiple joints may become infected when bacteria circulate in the bloodstream to the joints.
Any level of roughness in cartilage causes a joint to experience heat, swelling, redness, pain and loss of function which are the cardinal signs of inflammation. Because a joint’s heat, swelling and redness are deep inside the body, it’s unlikely you will notice the earliest signs of arthritis. Even pain may be suppressed by a stoic pet whose instincts tell him to avoid showing signs of weakness. But when pain reaches a point that he cries out, limps or even begins to carry a leg it becomes obvious that something is wrong. This is the point at which “loss of function” becomes obvious.
The actual function of glucosamine and chondroitin in arthritis is scientifically complicated, but the bottom line is that they work together as “chondroprotectives”, cartilage-protecting ingredients to lubricate joints and slow the breakdown of cartilage. A joint that has adequate amounts of protective fluid is one that will last longer, work better and hurt less.
So, just run out to the store and get some glucosamine and chondroitin and you’re set, right?
Not so fast.
Analytical studies on randomly-purchased products have shown that some products didn’t live up to their billing. In fact, some products claiming to contain glucosamine and chondroitin contained none of either!What’s a pet lover to do?
Go with the manufacturer who has every product submitted to an independent laboratory for compliance analysis. Nutramax Laboratories is the only manufacturer whose products have been certified to contain the actual amount of glucosamine and chondroitin that the label claims.
Nutramax has for many years made the very effective and successful Cosequin combination of ingredients. Cosequin is still available, but a new formulation called Dasuquin is now in the line. Dasuquin contains additional ingredients that Nutramax Laboratories’ researchers have shown to give outstanding improvements to arthritic joints in dogs and cats.
Success with Dasuquin in our own practice has reinforced those findings, as even our spry 15-year-old family cat, Martha, will testify.
In summary, if your veterinarian has diagnosed your cat or dog with arthritis, ask whether he might benefit from use of Dasuquin from Nutramax Laboratories.