Days of Yore

Oh, those baby days! Or, those teenager-ish and young adult days. Whether we’re talking about people or pets, “Youth,” as Mark Twain observed, “Is wasted on the young.” We don’t appreciate our flexibility and mobility until we have to work to retain them. Our pets likely don’t realize they’re no longer young, they just can’t romp around, jump, and make mischief as much as they did in the days of yore.

If your pet is having difficulty moving around, or just doesn’t have the same spring in their step that they used to, it might be time to consider ways to help them.

Not As Young As They Once Were

If your fur baby has become an adult (or, perhaps you met them when they were an adult), they likely have wear and tear on their joints. They may have even had an injury that could lead to difficulty moving. Most senior dogs have arthritis, although it can develop in pets as young as a year old. Large breeds and those prone to hip dysplasia are more prone to develop osteoarthritis, but hip dysplasia is different from arthritis and requires a different course of treatment. If your pet has discomfort or is less active than they were, it’s important to get the right diagnosis to determine whether they could benefit from the addition of a joint supplement to their diet.

They Might Need Help If…

Your pet can’t verbally tell you they’re having pain or discomfort, but they will give you signs. If your pet displays these symptoms, it will benefit them to see their veterinarian:

  • Excessive panting
  • Favoring one leg
  • Difficulty getting up or down
  • Inability to climb or descend stairs
  • Swollen joints
  • Joints that are sensitive to touch
  • Lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Atypical urination or defecation in the house
  • Limping

There may be other symptoms, too. If your pet isn’t acting typically for them, they may need a check-up.

The Benefits of Joint Supplements

Joint supplements are a very beneficial way to treat and prevent the progression of arthritis in pets. They’re an effective part of an overall treatment regimen that might also include:

  • Weight management
  • Low-impact exercise
  • Physical therapy
  • NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories)

Examples of joint supplements are:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Green lipped mussel (GLM)

Not every joint supplement is effective for every pet, and ensuring proper dosage is important. Too high a dosage of omega-3 fatty acids, for example, can lead to weight gain, which is contraindicated in managing joint problems.

Other Benefits of Joint Supplements

In addition to easing inflammation and slowing the progression of arthritis in pets, joint supplements benefit pets in other ways, too. As a result of taking joint supplements, your pet may:

  • Develop a stronger immune system
  • Grow a thicker, shinier coat that sheds less
  • Have more energy
  • Benefit from improved heart and kidney function

We Can Help

Minnesota Veterinary Hospital, in Shoreview, MN, is available to help your pet enjoy a full, active life. We can confer with you to determine whether your pet might benefit from joint supplements. You can even order them and have them delivered to your home. Contact us to help your pet romp, stomp, and regain mobility and agility.