Glucosamine and Joints
There are countless different commercially available products all claiming to have amazing abilities to resolve your dog's joint problems. So it is worth looking at each component individually to assess their usefulness. Of the oral products marketed there are four main compounds (Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM & HA) that are completely justified for use in maintenance of healthy joints.
It is a mistake to assume that a product which contains more component compounds is better. Although many commercial products do contain additional compounds such as vitamin C and manganese there is little evidence to suggest that they are significantly beneficial in the treatment of joint disease and if your dog already has a nutritionally balanced diet it is unnecessary to supplement with these at high levels. Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM are virtually completely absent from a dogs 'normal' diet, thus making them an important addition to an already balanced diet.
Glucosamine (HCL) is an amino sugar used as a building block to form tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and synovial fluid (joint lubrication). It gives cartilage its strength, structure and shock absorbing qualities.
Glucosamine is a natural substance whose effectiveness has been demonstrated in countless scientific studies. It has been said to be superior to conventional choices as it does not merely mask issues but instead works on a cellular level to target the origin and actual cause of the problem.
Chondroitin is a natural source of essential amino acids that the body needs for cartilage synthesis and inhibiting the enzymes that destroy cartilage molecules, thereby promoting cellular nourishment. This facilitates the creation of watery spaces within cartilage, giving it back its elasticity. By restoring fluid to the cartilage, Chondroitin supports the repairing action of Glucosamine, working at a cellular level to alleviate the actual cause of joint discomfort and stiffness.
MSM is a natural form of bio available sulphur essential for the health and elasticity of tendons, ligaments, and muscles. The sulphur found within MSM is needed for the proper repair and maintenance of collagen, such as that found within the connective tissue of healthy joints. It also helps to maintain the natural anti-inflammatory actions of the metabolism.
HA (Hyaluronic Acid)
HA is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG), which is a substance that attaches to collagen and elastin to form cartilage. HA not only helps keep the cartilage that cushions joints strong and flexible, but also helps increase supplies of joint-lubricating synovial fluid.
Each of these compounds is a synergist, which means that when administered together they help each others effects, providing a more powerful joint supplement.
What levels should joint components be fed at in order to be effective?
In order for your joint supplement to be fully effective it is vital that you feed your dog with the correct levels. The body of scientific literature indicates that the most effective product is one that provides high daily levels of the active compounds per kg of body weight.
For a medium sized dog (15-40kg) the optimim daily level rate would be:
- 1500-2000mg Glucosamine Hcl
- 1500-2000mg MSM
- 800mg Chondroitin
Levels that are substantially lower than this will give reduced benefits, and minimal levels are likely to be completely ineffective especially in dogs that are competing or working hard.
Why should your dog take joint supplements?
The dog is prone to a number of joint problems, and whilst most cases occur in older animals, joint problems can affect pets of any age, breed, or size. Years of active life causes inevitable wear and tear. Larger breeds, including the Labrador and German Shepherd, may exhibit a reluctance to move at around 5 months old. This can also be seen in short legged dogs such as terriers where poor growth leads to muscle weakness and discomfort. It is thought that cartilage is the first part of the joint to suffer under increased pressure and it is therefore imperative that cartilage health is supported to enable your dog or cat to enjoy a long, active, and comfortable life. Canine Joint Plus represents the premium joint formulation available for supporting joint health by increasing the natural joint repairing substances in the body.
- Any form of exercise, especially over a prolonged period, causes micro-damage to muscle and bone.
- For the dog, a heavy work load or competition is essentially traumatic and physiologically unnatural, causing joint damage.
- Specialisation in a particular discipline causes the same muscles & joints to be used repeatedly, causing damage beyond natural repair (similar to repetitive strain syndrome in humans).
- Advancing age, as well as exercise, can lead to a breakdown in the natural regeneration process, where damage starts to out weigh repair, resulting in joint pain, stiffness and other joint problems. By feeding a joint supplement you are helping to rebalance this process allowing your dog to stay more comfortable for longer.
For your dog to be able to perform to his full potential or lead a long and comfortable life it is vital that his joints are given the best possible care. The most effective way to do this is by feeding a joint supplement. Riaflex products are the canine specialists solution to long term joint health - we make no extravagant claims nor do we market anything that we do not have complete confidence in. Your dogs health and working career is paramount which is why Riaflex products have been formulated with this as their utmost priority.
How long does it take for my joint supplement to work?
This varies from dog to dog and is also affected by your personal situation. In most dogs, if fed at the correct levels, the effect of Riaflex products is noticed after about two to four weeks of administration. You will notice your arthritic friend becoming happier and a little easier in doing what he has always done, the hard working dog and competition dog becoming less likely to damage or degrade his weight bearing joints and the dog who has had arthroscopic surgery is likely to recover in a better fashion.
Why are Riaflex products any different?
Riaflex products are formulated by a qualified therapist, ensuring that only components that are of significant benefit are included. This guarantees that you are not paying extra cost for unnecessary ingredients. You can also be safe in the knowledge that our products are provided with exceptional levels ensuring maximum impact and the best possible care for your dogs' joints.
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