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The Relationship Between High-Impact Exercise and Osteochondritis

Findings from a study on hip dysplasia and elbow arthrosis in Labrador Retrievers [Sallander, Hedhammer, and Trogen: J Nutr July 2006: 136(7 suppl):2050S-2052S] support the hypothesis that high-impact exercise such as ball chasing and fetching can lead to a higher incidence of osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) lesions. OCD is an inflammation of the cartilage on the end of a bone in the joint that causes the cartilage to separate from the underlying bone (creating a lesion). This disease occurs during the rapid growth period (ages six to nine months) in medium- to large-breed dogs.

Although we know our patients like to play fetch and our clients use this activity as a way to burn off energy, this high-impact exercise isn’t good for puppies.

This study looked at two groups of puppies—those six months of age and those that were nine months. Puppies in each group were of the same size and were fed the same kind and amount of food. The only difference was the amount of...

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Which Dog Breeds are Most Susceptible to Joint Problems?

Joint problems are unfortunately common in dogs as they grow older, especially those that were not bred by respected and capable breeders. For some dogs these issues are only a minor nuisance. For others, however, these problems can get to the point where, over time, they become nearly incapable of performing any type of physical activity.

Dogs who suffer from osteoarthritis will experience varying levels of pain and inflammation around their joints through out their lives. Larger, heavier breeds of dogs in particular are more likely to suffer from this condition. As we see more and more disease of over nutrition, this can be a big problem for larger breed puppies as their bones can grow more quickly that their bodies and they are more likely to participate in more intense physical activity at a early age before there joint shave stopped developing. These are two big factors that influence osteoarthritis development later on in life.

Here are the top ten breeds of dogs (in no...

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Weight Loss Tips to Help Get Your Dogs Get Healthy Again

One of the most common causes of conditions like osteoarthritis in pets is obesity. If your pet is over weight this includes cats as well you are putting your pet at risk of developing joint disease latter on in their lives.

There are a number of treatment options available to you, but as long as your pet is overweight, there is a real and high probability of them developing joint and bone problems.

Some of these tips to get your pet back to a health weight could include:

  • Cut back on the amount of food given to the dog. Just like in humans, too many calories without enough exercise means weight gain. Therefore, one of the first steps in reducing the pets’s weight should be reducing caloric intake. Chances are, your pet does not need as much food as you thinks they do. In fact, most of the popular commercial dog foods are full of filler ingredients that lead to more calories but don’t have a whole lot of nutritional value. You might think about not only reducing the...
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The Most Common Indicators of Osteoarthritis in Dogs and Cats

Most Common Indicators in Dogs:

Osteoarthritis in dogs is typically much more obvious than in cats. We see our patients limping, having difficulty walking, or there is visible stiffness in the legs when getting up. This stiffness is often resolved with mild to moderate activity and worsens after rest. We also hear from our clients that our patient is having difficulty going up or down stairs. Difficulty going up stairs indicates osteoarthritis is present in the hind limbs, and difficulty going down stairs suggests osteoarthritis in the forelimbs.

The Most Common Indicators in Cats:

Let’s talk about our feline patients specifically for a moment. One of the first indicators of osteoarthritis in cats is difficulty getting into the litter box. Another sign is urinating or defecating outside but near the litter box. An unwillingness to jump or obvious trouble in doing so is another symptom. Most owners just call this “old age.”

Pain and disability in cats is more...

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