Increasingly, the prevalence of degenerative joint conditions is noted in both young and older dogs as well as older cats. Degenerative joint conditions, such as Osteoarthritis, cause pain and inflammation, and reduce the natural activity of pets.
More specifically osteoarthritis is the progressive and long-term degeneration of the joint cartilage. Whereas arthritis refers to the inflammation of the joints, osteoarthritis refers to the chronic and progressive degeneration of the joints. The cause of osteoarthritis disease in the hips, elbows and knees of dogs and cats can vary. Some are born with a genetic disposition, such as dysplasia (displacement of a joint or bone deformity) or patella luxation (abnormal kneecap location). In other cases it can be caused by a physical injury or trauma, or over time by the general aging of the joint.
Recognising the signs and symptoms in cats and dogs:
The signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis is obvious in dogs. Cats tend to hide the pain well whereas dogs show signs of pain and discomfort. Signs that your dog may be suffering with osteoarthritis include limping, stiffness after walks or when getting up from lying down, difficulty getting in and out of the car, climbing up or down the stairs or on and off the bed.
Cats are less likely to show their pain and will quite simply just decrease the use of the sore joint. Signs that your cat may be suffering with osteoarthritis include difficulty getting in and out of the litter box, an unwillingness to jump onto furniture that it previously used to, a decreased range of movement or perhaps even difficulty grooming. A scruffy-looking coat could be an indication that some areas are just too painful or difficult to reach.
Managing the disease:
It is important to aid in managing the lives of cats or dogs living with osteoarthritis in order to increase your pet’s general comfort. Here are some suggestions:
- It’s important to control your pet’s weight as too much weight on the aggravated joint can damage it even more.
- It is also recommended that pet owners should not push their dogs to do overly-long walks. Instead, shorter, more frequent walks are suggested.
- Animals suffering with osteoarthritis should also be allowed to rest, undisturbed. This might mean some time away from young children, or even more playful, active pets that may want to engage in physical activity.
It is highly recommended to seek the advice of your regular veterinarian in order to discuss the best treatment plan for your pet. Ask your vet about the GCS-Joint Care range.
GCS-Joint Care is a premium joint supplement, which acts as an anti-inflammatory and provides the building blocks for joint repair. The active ingredients in GCS-Joint Care products range include:
- Glucosamine – a building block for cartilage, it stimulates the production of new cartilage and joint fluid.
- Chondroitin Sulphate – which stimulates the damaged cartilage to regenerate and acts as an anti-inflammatory helping to manage pain.
- Omega-3 Fish Oil – an anti-inflammatory agent that plays an important role in the management of pain.
The GCS-Joint Care product range offers a powder, a liquid and chews for dogs; and a salmon flavoured gel for cats. The product is administered over food or fed directly to your pet. The GCS-Joint Care is only available from participating veterinarians and vet shops.
As osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease, meaning it gets worse over time, it requires management. The goals of the treatment, therefore, are to manage the pain and inflammation and repair and regenerate the affected joint(s). Through attaining these treatment goals the general comfort and quality of life of osteoarthritic pets is improved.