How do you know if your dog has arthritis?

Dogs suffer from sore muscles just like people do. If you notice your dog is lethargic after some recent extended physical activity, your dog may be trying to tell you that they are sore. If your dog spends much of the time on a couch or curled up on the floor, but then goes for a long extended run or walk with their human companions – your dog may be simply become overexerted. Long stretches of inactivity coupled with short bursts of activity can play havoc with your dog’s body. So if you see signs of lethargy, this could be a simple case of too much exercise in too short a time period.

However, if you notice that your dog is beginning to show signs of reticence prior to doing exercise, if your beloved friend no longer seems to want to hurry out the door and chase after your ball – you should take some time to analyse what may be happening. If you notice limping, or favoring one or more of legs or any difficulty in moving this may be a sign of the beginning of arthritis or degenerative joint disease. Likewise if you notice some irritability or licking or chewing and biting of limbs or any muscle atrophy – this may be a sign of arthritic changes. Just as in humans, arthritis is one of the most common ailments seen in middle-aged to older pets. Arthritis causes changes within the affected joints can be very painful for your dog.

But arthritis is not only found in older dogs. Even younger dogs, under the right circumstances, can suffer from arthritic changes. Arthritic changes can also occur in the various parts of the spine. These changes may result in a tender or sore neck, an abnormal posture with a hunched back, or lameness of one or both hind legs. If your dog finds it difficult to get into and out of the car or has difficulty going up and down stairs that were previously easily manageable – it may be time to consult your veterinarian for advice.

We all love our pets – but they can’t tell us when they are sore. Keep an eye on your “best friends” and always be proactive when it comes to your dog’s health. Prevention is always better than cure and Joint Performance Canine Joint Support Formula 2 provides the essential building blocks for joint health. Our supplements help maintain, repair and protect the joints and cartilage from damage resulting from wear and tear, ageing and trauma in both senior and younger dogs. This is why Joint Performance products are so effective at improving joint health.

We are very excited about our two new sponsored horses

We are very excited about our two new sponsored horses. Two stallions, Fiderfurst and Premonition owned by Arnage Warmbloods (the amazing stud of Madonna and Lars Hedberg). The Stud is located in the beautiful Mary Valley of the Sunshine Coast.


Both horses are having super charged careers. Fiderfurst is a major dressage competitor and winner. Premonition is also a successful dressage horse. Ridden by Brett Cantle, he is now having many successes in the Eventing world. We are looking forward to watching these two horses throughout their successful careers.
Visit the Stud’s website

News from Sarah Kirkwood

Seeker recently gained his Agility Champion title at only 5 years of age. This is the highest award available in agility in Australia and is something very few dogs achieve. It requires consistent results in the highest level of competition and lots of hard work. He has consistently won and placed in Masters Agility and Masters Jumping classes, allowing him to earn the required points to be classed as an Agility Champion. Thank you to Joint Performance for supporting him from a young age and helping to keep him fit to play the game.

Success at the Clarendon Winter Festival

Congratulations to these two fantastic riders on their results at Dressage NSW Inc Clarendon Winter Festival! Janet Dillon-Smith had a fantastic day on her chestnut Royal Diamond coming 4th in the Prix St George and also 2nd and 4th in the Intermediate I. Jocelyn West also did a rockstar test on her horse Hunterview Rockstar coming 9th in the Prix St George. Janet and Jocelyn use Joint Performance to keep their amazing horses performing at a high level.

Credit must go to Rodney’s Photography for the beautiful photo.

Food for Thought

Essential Insights for Understanding Equine Behaviour

“I figure that no matter how well trained a horse already is and no matter what we are doing with him, we are always training – whether adding new behaviors, modifying an existing behavior or reinforcing an already-established behavior. It doesn’t matter if you are feeding a horse, if you are riding at a lope across a pasture, or if your farrier is shoeing your horse; the horse is learning and is being trained, whether or not you think of it as a formal training session.”

The essential handbook for understanding why horses do what they do.
Cherry Hill / How to Think Like a Horse

So what are articular joints…?

An articular capsule is an envelope surrounding a synovial joint

Joints are a relatively simple structures composed of articular surfaces (moving surfaces) that come together within a capsule called a joint capsule.

It should be noted that there are no blood vessels, lymphatic channels, or nerves that enter or pass through joints. The two articular surfaces of the bone are covered in a very tough and sheer resistant tissue called hyaline articular cartilage (HAC).  In order for joints to move, the two opposing surfaces need to glide over each other with minimal effort, and lubrication is central to this process. The cartilage covering the bone has a thin layer of hyper-hydrated proteinaceous material adherening to the surface of the cartilage. This proteinaceous material is made of proteoglycans, which is essentially a combination of proteins and a special type of sugar molecule called glycosaminoglycan (GAG).  It is the proteoglycan within the proteinaceous layer that provides hydration and lubrication to the cartilage surface. What this means is that when the joint is ‘functionally normal’, cartilage does not touch cartilage. Instead the layer of hyper-hydrated proteinaceous molecules interfaces with similar material on the opposing surface. Under load bearing conditions this boundary “weeps” water into the synovial fluid thereby dissipating the pressure. When load bearing conditions cease, the water is reabsorbed and the proteoglycans are again hyper-hydrated.

The other aspect to lubrication and protection of the joint is synovial fluid.The synovial membrane is the inner layer of the joint capsule. This membrane secretes a thick fluid called synovia that serves to lubricate moving parts and nourish the cartilage surface. Healthy synovial fluid is essentially a thick viscous substance made up of plasma filtrate (blood) along with synovia, and is the major source of nutrients for the cartilage tissue and its repair.

The Rider’s Series at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre

Joint Performance Team Riders Jade Findlay and Rachael Lee had a fantastic weekend at The Rider’s Series at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre! Their horses all jumped amazingly and we were very proud seeing their great results!

Rachael did very well in the 1.20 Open coming home with a 4th and 5th on Amigo and Zina! Rachael’s new boy Casco deserves a special mention for tackling the 1.05 very bravely at his second ever outing!

Jade also had a successful weekend placing 2nd in the 1.05 under 8 points on Verdasco (his long legs making it look far too easy!) and 2nd in the 1.05 Open on Valentina!

It’s always great to see these two whizzing around the Showjumping courses! Congratulations for a great weekend!

#JointPerformance #Showjumping #RidersSeries

What is Proprioception?

What is Proprioception?

This is a mechanism by which neuromuscular information is fed back to the brain and informs us and our horses where our bodies and limbs are in space.

In a way this is a mechanism by which a 3D image is created for the horse or rider. When you stand on one leg with your eyes open you are likely to be able to manage this and you may wobble a little, when you close you eyes you are likely to wobble a lot or not be able to stand safely on one leg. This is made even worse when you stand on a pillow. When you complete these simple exercises it’s easy to understand how proprioception works. Proprioception is not about ‘seeing’ it’s about ‘feeling’. A normal human or equine brain receives proprioceptive signals from the body through specific cells that are called muscle spindles, Golgi organs and joint angle receptors.

1. Muscle spindles are highly sensitive and can tell our brain about the length of a muscle as we move and the speed of that lengthening process. If this system did not exist we would need to look at our legs as we move.

2. Golgi organs are located in tendons (which join muscle to bone) and monitor muscle tension, thereby allowing us to increase or decrease tension to remain balanced and upright.

3. Joint angle receptors as the name suggest are located at joints and they tell us about how joint angles change as we move along different surfaces, terrains and gradients. They are essential in helping to remain balanced and to protect joints from damage.

So what’s the big deal about proprioception?
It’s pretty clear that without it or when it is not well tuned movement and balance become compromised. The down side is that poorly tuned proprioception prevents joints from loading correctly; in effect leading to micro-damage of the joint. If this continues long enough joints will suffer degenerative joint disease at a greater rate than if this system had been working effectively. When horses are not worked on varied surfaces, terrains or gradients we effectively turn off the protective benefit of proprioception. This highlights the importance of cross training our horses regardless of discipline…not only does it protect your horses joints but it also makes for a better and more balanced equine athlete.

Like proprioreception, Joint Performance Equine Joint Support Formula 2 assists in future proofing your horse’s joint health.