Pet Arthritis: Understanding WHY it hurts, and what you can do to help.
Arthritis affects most of us as our bodies age. Sadly, pets are not exempt. Understanding how arthritis happens is an important first step in treatment. Knowing what can be done and what to expect can give loving pet parents peace of mind when choosing the right treatment.
Of course we hope you will try our arthritis and joint formula for your pet, but even more we want to be sure you have the understanding you need as you decide just what to give for natural pain and inflammation relief.
Osteoarthritis occurs on joint surfaces at the point where contact is most prevalent. Over time, hyaline cartilage which cushions joints can completely wear away. As animals age, they also stop producing an adequate supply of synovial fluid which lubricates the joints. The result is that the affected joint no longer has adequate cushion or lubrication, and it begins to rub bone-on-bone. This can cause significant pain and loss of motion.
Cartilage consists mainly of the glyco-protein material chondroitin and also the amino sugar glucosamine, a natural compound also found in connective tissue, bones and bone marrow.
But WHY, and what can help?As animals and humans age, the amount of moisture in healthy cartilage decreases drastically. This is partly because proteoglycans, which help retain necessary water, are also in short supply as animals and humans age. This can occur earlier in some pets if they experience an orthopedic injury or are born with early onset of degenerative joint disease. Glucosamine is a major building block in the production of proteoglycans. So adding glucosamine will not only help in proteoglycan production, but will also encourage collagen production. Collagen is a good thing; it helps hold beneficial proteoglycans in place. Glucosamine can also speed up production of these necessary elements, thus bringing further degeneration to a virtual halt.
Now what about attracting moisture to the ready and waiting chains of (thank you glucosamine!) proteoglycans? Chondroitin is a negatively charged molecule. This is important because as it comes into contact with proteoglycans, this causes a negative push. Nice spaces are created between proteoglycans, creating spaces for fluid flow.
So what about that fluid?
Most of our joints, and those of our beloved dogs and cats, are synovial joints. All synovial joints have synovial cavities. These cavities are filled with synovial fluid. Synovial fluid works to lubricate and to reduce friction between cartilage contact points during movement. It’s a beautiful thing, really. If you don’t think so now, just wait until you experience life without adequate joint lubrication. Seriously, this is great stuff. Anyway, synovial fluid primarily contains hyaluronic acid, or HA. As HA concentration depletes, so does the ability of synovial fluid to do its job. When synovial fluid is in short supply, cartilage damage occurs. When cartilage damage occurs, cushioning is depleted, and when this happens, pain of bone-on-bone contact, painful inflammation and sluggish circulation all take place.
When choosing a natural joint formula for your beloved pet, here are some things to keep in mind:
As I said earlier, we sincerely hope you will choose to use Mobility Plus for your pet's hip, joint, and orthopedic pain. We have done the work for you and we can make the promise that our ingredients are chosen for purity and safety, manufactured responsibly and safely, and that our combination is one which will go furthest for your pet. That said, we understand that you might want to do some research on your own. Using the following guidelines will help ensure that you are not only getting what you pay for but that you are giving your pets something which is safe for their precious bodies:
- Is the company willing to talk with you and can they answer questions about their ingredients and manufacturer?
- Does the formula include ingredients for optimum uptake?
- Does the formula contain a therapeutic dose of all ingredients?
- Are all ingredients sourced to ensure safety?
- Does the formula include antioxidants to combat free radical damage and to enhance circulation?
- Is the formula safe for use with NSAID prescription medications like Rimadyl, Metacam, Deramaxx and others?
- Know your ingredients: Not all natural ingredients are safe for all pets! If you see ingredients like Bosweilla and Devil's Claw, please make sure you do not give the formula to pets who are liver or kidney-compromised. Also please know that these ingredients, while great for inflammation in some pets, are not recommended for pets who are currently taking NSAID prescription drugs.
Remember that there is truth to the old saying that you get what you pay for. My advice is to avoid the unbelievably cheap formulas found in grocery and big box stores for the most part. When you really look at the ingredients in these formulas you will be disappointed. Of course there are a few exceptions, and when in doubt, I encourage you to call the company and talk to their animal health representative. For the most part though, cheap is...well...cheap. On the other paw, there are always boutique brands which may not be worth the extra high price tag. Knowing what natural ingredients are helpful and how they work can help you to make the very best decision for your best friend.
Here are the ingredients I chose for Mobility Plus, and why I chose them:
The chondroitin and glucosamine in Mobility Plus will help ensure that your pet’s body is well equipped to produce adequate proteoglycans, and that there is enough space for synovial fluid to flow as needed. Hyaluronic acid works to help synovial fluid supply. We add Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) to tackle muscle pain and inflammation. A powerful source of elemental sulfur, MSM is especially helpful when used in conjunction with glucosamine and chondroitin. Yucca acts as a powerful natural anti-inflammatory agent. It contains polyphenols and saponins, is a terribly efficient antioxidant (free radical scavenger) and compliments our other ingredients beautifully. Omega-3 oils (DHA) are great for skin and coat, immune function, and also inflammation. This is why we add a healthy dose to each Mobility Plus tablet. DHA is also important for cognitive health, and with older animals, this is surely a good thing to preserve in any way we can! We use vitamin c and zinc for uptake and immune system support, and this brings us to the ingredient you probably don’t hear a lot about: Pine bark extract. In a nutshell pine bark extract is what brings all of our other ingredients together and makes them into something truly fabulous and one-of-a-kind... A powerful anti-inflammatory agent and source of Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin Complexes (OPC’s), our pine bark extract contains 95% proanthocyanidins. This is important. OPC’s act as powerful anti-inflammatory agents by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase, and is beneficial for your pet's circulation. In addition, OPC’s enhance T-helper cells (T-lymphocytes), which are essential to fighting autoimmune diseases as well as cancer.
Mobility Plus is intended for daily use, and unlike common prescription medications, will not negatively affect your pet’s internal organs. If anything, it will work to fortify and improve circulation and function for all body systems. While we hope you will be able to eliminate prescription arthritis medications altogether, it is safe to give Mobility Plus with prescription NSAID and steroid drugs from your veterinarian. Safe, natural and effective. It’s a win/win and that makes us happy.
All my best,