THE IMPORTANCE OF EXERCISE

Regular exercise helps keep bones, muscles and joints healthy, but too much exercise for a dog with joint disease may cause further damage. Your vet will advise you on the best level and type of exercise for your dog. If you are able to, taking your dog swimming can be very valuable as this provides good exercise for joints without putting stress on them.

Consistency is important as well, so plan activities that can be done on a daily basis. Consider also modifying the environment so that any activities your dog ¬finds dif¬ficult (for example jumping in and out of the car) can be avoided or minimised – a dog ramp can help.

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Joint disease is one of the most common conditions affecting dogs – it is estimated that as many as one in ¬five dogs over 12 months old are affected with osteoarthritis. Although dogs of any age may be affected, osteoarthritis is more common in older dogs (like in humans), and it tends to be more common in overweight or large breed dogs.

Some dogs are also more likely to develop joint disease as a result of inherited joint abnormalities (such as hip or elbow dysplasia), or as a result of injuries to the joint. Managing joint pain and inflammation is extremely important in preserving the health and vitality of your dog and providing him with a good quality of life.

Understanding joint in¬flammation:

In healthy joints, a layer of cartilage covers the ends of the bones, creating a smooth gliding surface for the joint. A normal joint is surrounded by a joint capsule that is lined by a thin layer of cells (the synovial membrane) that is responsible for producing the joint fluid (synovial fluid) which lubricates the joint and reduces friction as the dog moves.

Damage to these areas or inflammation affecting them will injure the cartilage and interfere with the normal function of the joint. This will cause pain and stiffness, and will weaken the joint. Often, dogs with osteoarthritis have more than one joint affected.

Joint disease, and especially osteoarthritis, tends to be a slowly progressive condition. Early signs will be mild and easily overlooked, whereas later the signs become much more obvious. By observing your dog, you can help alert your vet to any early signs, which may include:

  • Reluctance to walk or walk as far as previously.
  • Difficulty getting up in the morning or after lying down.
  • Stiffness after getting up in the morning or after lying down.
  • Difficulty climbing up or down stairs.
  • Difficulty jumping in or out of the car.
  • Limping or stiffness when walking or running.

Diagnosing your dog’s joint condition:

As uncontrolled inflammation will cause further damage to the joints, an early diagnosis by your vet is important. If you notice any signs that suggest joint disease, contact your vet as soon as possible. Your vet may detect joint pain, swelling or abnormalities in the movement of the joints, and sometimes an X-ray will be suggested to investigate further.

You and your vet can work together to develop the best approach to keep your dog mobile and enjoying life. This usually involves multiple approaches but an important goal is to improve or maintain joint function, through reducing inflammation and maintaining healthy joint cartilage.

Management may include a combination of drugs (to reduce joint pain and inflammation), dietary manipulation (also to reduce joint pain and inflammation), weight management and controlled exercise (along with environmental changes).

THE IMPORTANCE OF FOOD

Dietary therapy in joint disease can be very powerful. Firstly, it is vital that your dog is not overweight as this will signi¬ficantly exacerbate joint disease. Achieving and maintaining a normal body weight and body condition is an important initial step. In addition, we now know that nutritional support can play a major role in supporting dogs with joint disease by providing ingredients which help maintain lean muscle, reduce inflammation and support healthy joint cartilage.

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Joint support

Natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy joints and help improvegait in dogs with reduced joint mobility.

Omega-3 fatty acids

To help reduce inflammation in the joints.

Enhanced antioxidants

Vitamins C and E help protect the joints and reduce damage to cells.

In addition, PURINA® PRO PLAN® VETERINARY DIETS Canine JM Joint Mobility contains a high level of protein to help your dog maintain a lean body condition.

It is recommended that advice from a veterinarian be sought before use and before extending the period of use

Purina ...A NAME YOU CAN TRUST

Purina has been at the forefront of pet nutrition for over 120 years. By working closely with scientists and studying the most up-to-date research, we’ve created PURINA® PRO PLAN® VETERINARY DIETS – a range of innovative and effective formulas designed to help you enhance the health and quality of life enjoyed by your pet.

With Canine JM Joint Mobility, you can be con¬fident that you are providing your dog with optimal nutrition and care for his joints.