Friday, March 25, 2011

Preventing Canine Arthritis Takes Proactive Action

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
© Carrie Boyko
At 13, Xena Still Sat with Ease
As Xena approached her 14th birthday she began to have an occasional slip as she rose from the tile floor. Having spent a lifetime of energetically joining me for daily walks, it surprised me to see her so suddenly experience a bit of effort getting to her feet. It was almost as if she became arthritic overnight. I knew it didn't happen just like that. It must have been developing over a long period of time, and only then did she show signs of difficulty.

© Carrie Boyko
Xena Rests on the Float
I began a Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplement, added to her food, after consulting with her doctor. Although I understood its use may not make a considerable improvement right away, the goal was to slow the progression. We talked about other measures such as offering soft bedding in all her favorite places to lay, as well as encouraging swimming as a means of exercise that is not weight-bearing on her joints.

© Carrie Boyko
My Master Fetch Machine, Tanner

With Tanner, I've vowed to be more proactive; i.e., I'm working on my plan of action now, as Tanner approaches his 5th birthday. By the time he's officially a 'senior', I'll be on board with all preventive measures. His daily swims are a regular part of his physical activity, and by incorporating 'Fetch' into his swim, it adds a good bit of training and mental work to the activity as well. This makes for a tired Tanner at the end of the day, and a good night's sleep is always a positive result. 

Meanwhile, I've read more on the use of Glucosamine at,  Dr. and Foster's Peteducation, and a couple of books, where I've found some research findings on its use with dogs. I want to share with you a list of signs to watch for:
  • Difficulty or adverse reaction to walking, playing, or going up stairs
  • Falling behind on walks
  • General lethargy
  • Limping
  • Difficulty getting up when laying down
  • Signs of pain when petted or touched
  • Aversive to any contacts
Have you ever reached to pet a dog and had its owner tell you not to pet the hip area? Yup; probably arthritis or hip displaysia. Hopefully if you have a dog that is soon to be a senior, you too will be thinking about how to best prevent problems for your best friend.

At the recent Blogpaws West conference, I was given some samples to try on my pups or to share with readers. I decided to share, since my dogs were only 3 and 4 at the time. Let me know how you plan to care for your senior dog's joints and I'll enter you in a drawing for one of the following 3 giveaways:
  • From GLC 1000: a 2 week Glucosamine/Chondroitin/Vitamin sample for medium to large-sized dogs
  • From GLC 1000: a 2 week Glucosamine/Chondroitin/Vitamin sample sample for small to medium-sized dogs
  • From i Love Dogs: 10 tablets Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplements, plus 10 Multivitamin tablets, plus 10 Reishi Immunity Boost tablets.
Here's how to enter to win:
  • Leave a comment here, telling me about your plan to help your pup age with healthy joints.
  • Comment the same way at my Facebook page, and be sure to hit the "Like" button while you're there. Get into the conversation!
  • Send me an @Tweet to @AllThingsDog asking me to enter you, and be sure to follow me there, as well.


24 Paws of Love said...

Thanks for the info. My dogs are still young but I know it's something I will have to be thinking about in the near future. How does your dog take to the chlorine in your pool? I have always wondered if it was harmful for them. Just curious. I don't have a pool, but would like to get one someday.

Sugar the Golden Retriever said...

Woof! Woof! Golden Thanks for this information. Just went to the VET (why? you can check my blog post today). Anyhow, I am a senior dog and I'm supposed to start taking some glucosamine tablets ... our vet recommended several of them but still undecided. Would LOVE to try the GL100 (large dog) and partake in your giveaway. Happy BLOG HOP Weekend. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Crystal said...

I've been going through some limping with my 3 year old dog. We recently started adding Glucosamine for her, daily, and have always done a good bit of swimming as well. Thanks for the links to some awesome sites about it.

Visiting from the Blog Hop

Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

Dear Paws of Love: My dogs have always enjoyed dips in the pool, and Tanner especially gets a lot out of our fetch games. His doctor has recommended limiting his swims to once daily, since Retrievers tend to swallow a lot of water with their mouth-play games. I rinse the chlorine water from him with a nearby hose, towel him off and then spray him with an enriching conditioner spray, to help keep his fur from getting too dry. So far so good. Thanks for asking.

Doreen said...

Hi Carrie!
Stopping by from the hop!
Doreen, Kiko, Millie and Riley
Doggies and Stuff blog

Lizzi said...

Thanks for the info! I was also wondering how the chlorine effected him.. good to know.

Dawn said...

Sephi will be 10 on April Fool's Day so it is probably time for me to think about this issue. Soft bedding - done. Swimming - out of the question. Not only does Sephi hate swimming but there is no place around here where I can take yer. Glucosamine - Can I start glucosamine tablets before she has trouble? I will have to talk to the vet when I take her in for her hypothyroid re-evaluation.

Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

Dawn: My vet recommended starting long before trouble shows. Apparently the joint degrades slowly over time and the supplement helps to replace the gradually lower amount that their bodies produce as they age. I started Tanner recently; he will be 5 this summer. At 70 lbs, I want to be way ahead of the curve for him.

Happy birthday Sephi!

Patti S said...

I used to give this to Bandit along with Duramaxx for his arthritis pain and I know it helped him! We recommend it to clients at the shop often for those with senior dogs. Great info :)

marconjean09 said...

hi, i had read another blog that is talking about canine arthritis. from they also post a lot of blogs for dog arthritis symptoms and treatment. so that u know what was im talking about just check their sites.

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