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.
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.
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.