The synovial joints are the joints found between bones that move against each other, for example, the joints in the limbs of our dogs and are the most common type of joint in their bodies. They have two functions - they enable ease of movement and provide stability, giving dogs their flexibility and mobility. If a synovial joint becomes damaged it wears down part of the joint and causes pain and a reduction in mobility. When a dog experiences joint problems they tend to fall into two main categories which are either developmental or degenerative.
Developmental joint issues can be present in your dog from birth. Generally caused by genetic issues, causing your pup's joints to develop improperly when they are young. This is when the joint or ligament does not develop correctly causing it to not function as intended.
Degenerative joint disease causes arthritis or osteoarthritis where the ligaments around your dog's joints gradually deteriorate over time. Arthritis is a general description for any condition that causes inflammation in the joints
Diseases that can affect your dog's joints are as follows:
Musculoskeletal disorders affect bones, joints, ligaments, tendons or muscles and are very painful
Joint fractures include lameness, pain, and joint swelling
Congenital conditions that lead to osteoarthritis in the dog
Endocrine disease is caused by an imbalance in hormone levels due to the body producing too much or too little of a specific hormone in the body
Metabolic disorders usually result from your dog’s inability to break down some substance because of partial or complete lack of a certain enzyme in their body.
Joint cancer causes pain and swelling of the affected limb, which can eventually affect your dog's ability to walk
Lyme disease is transmitted to dogs through the bite of a tick and attacks tissues around your pets body, most commonly the joints
Immune-mediated polyarthritis is a disorder of the immune system leading to inflammation in multiple joints
There are three simple ways to help keep your dog’s joints healthy
Glucosamine – is a building block of cartilage and can be found in dog food and supplements
Weight management - overweight dogs place more pressure on their joints
Exercise - is important to keep muscles toned and joints flexible
While we cannot prevent or cure dogs’ joint diseases they can be slowed down and managed using a joint supplement and other means. When you are considering using a joint supplement to help slow down the disease, it can be hard to select the right one as there many different ones in the market all claiming similar things. It is important to ensure the product contains proven ingredients that have properties that will support your pooch and in a form that your dog will actually eat. Some dogs dislike fish flavours while others won’t take capsules. The earlier you support your dog’s health and joints the happier they will be for longer.