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Mobility Problems in Dogs: Causes, Treatments, and Preventions

Keeping your dog mobile is a key part of your dog’s overall health. TRI-ACTA and TRI-ACTA H.A. premium health supplements have been specifically designed to provide a proactive approach to support your dog’s ongoing joint health.

Caring for an Aging Dog

An old dog gradually becomes more susceptible to injuries and painful issues with its joints, muscles, and cartilage. Your once-energetic pooch might also start avoiding strenuous activities they used to love, like playing fetch.

The natural production of glucosamine in dogs starts to slow down quite early in their lives, from around four or five years old.

This leaves our canine friends with plenty of time to develop joint issues and other unpleasant, painful conditions that can really harm their welfare.

Below we'll cover some of the common health concerns an older dog may face, along with some treatments, and prevention methods.

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Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Hip dysplasia is a common condition that primarily affects large breed dogs but can affect dogs of all shapes and sizes. It can cause minor or extreme mobility issues and pain that can compromise your dog’s quality of life and get worse over time, especially without effective treatment.

Hip dysplasia tends to be caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors.

Large dog breeds (like Retrievers, Mastiffs, and St. Bernards) are more likely to develop hip dysplasia, as these dog breeds tend to grow quickly, which is a major factor in their increased risk for the disease. Small breed dogs may also develop hip dysplasia due to environmental factors.

Often, hip dysplasia starts to develop at a fairly young age, typically around four or five months, when the hips don’t set properly during development. Hip dysplasia can cause osteoarthritis later in a dog’s life, as the hip joint deteriorates. Sudden weight gain and obesity are also factors in the progression of hip dysplasia as excessive weight adds stress to the pelvis.

Hip Dysplasia Prevention & Treatments

Providing quality joint supplements for your dog can go a long way in preventing hip dysplasia from occurring. TRI-ACTA is a great option, as it is made with all-natural ingredients and comes in a powder format, making it easy to mix in with your dog’s regular food. The earlier you start taking the measures needed to prevent your dog from developing hip dysplasia, the better chance your dog has to avoid the disorder altogether or at least avoid severe outcomes.

Treatment for severe hip dysplasia in dogs can include surgery (including the potential for full hip replacement), a combination of physiotherapy, a healthy diet, and supplements like our extra-strength TRI-ACTA H.A can help decrease the severity and overall discomfort caused by the disease.

Learn More: Hip Dysplasia Dogs – Top Prevention & Treatment Tips

Arthritis in Dogs

Arthritis is a degenerative joint condition that causes your dog’s joints to become unstable, inflamed, and painful. When a joint becomes unstable, the bones making up the joint move abnormally resulting in the cartilage being worn away. When there’s no cartilage to cushion the movement of your dog’s joints, then bone-on-bone friction occurs, resulting in pain. 

The main causes of arthritis in dogs include age (older dogs are more prone to developing arthritis), genetics (certain dog breeds are more likely to develop arthritis), environmental factors (exercise level, diet, etc.), obesity (excess weight can put additional strain on joints)

While arthritis is a condition that is typically associated with older dogs, that doesn’t mean that younger dogs can’t develop it as well. After all, the natural regeneration of cartilage begins to decline at relatively early stages in a dog’s life.

Arthritis Prevention & Treatments

Your veterinarian will help you create a treatment plan that works for your dog, and includes considerations for his breed, age, and severity of arthritis. Your vet may even recommend giving your dog NSAIDs to help treat the pain. However, one easy and effective first step you can take is to incorporate a high-quality joint supplement into your dog’s diet, if you haven’t already done so. For dogs that are currently suffering from arthritis, TRI-ACTA H.A is recommended, as its extra-strength formula provides higher levels of glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid, all essential components for joint support to help lubricate and heal your dog’s joints, aiding in reducing pain and helping him feel more comfortable over time.

While some dog breeds are prone to arthritis and the development of arthritis can be pretty much inevitable later in life, doing what you can to help prevent the disease from occurring or becoming severe is never a bad thing. 

Providing joint supplements, helping your dog maintain a healthy weight, and providing regular, light exercise to warm up your dog’s joints go a long way keeping your dog comfortable and happy, even if they do end up developing arthritis in the future.

Luxating Patella in Dogs

In dogs, the patella (or kneecap) is located above the femur and just above the knee bone itself. Luxating patella means that the patella regularly moves out of its normal position, causing the dog to move abnormally.

The main causes of a luxating patella in dogs include genetic factors, such as type of dog breed (smaller breeds can be more susceptible), abnormal development of the patellar ligament (if the patellar ligament is not located in the centre of the shin bone, then it could cause the patella to shift out of position), traumatic overstretching or tearing of the knee joint can lead to problems with luxating patella in the future.

If your dog has a dislocated patella, you’ll notice abnormal movements as your dog walks, such as raising their hind leg for several minutes, limping, sudden lameness, or occasional “skipping” (when your dog lifts one leg up while running or walking for a period of time, then places it back down and proceeds normally as if everything’s fine). Your dog only feels pain as the patella slides out of the joint, not once it’s out of position.

In order to diagnose luxating patella in your dog, your veterinarian will carefully feel your dog’s knee area to check the stability of the patella.

Luxating Patella Prevention & Treatments

Treatment for luxating patella in dogs ranges from medical management to surgery.

While there are measures you can take to help prevent luxating patella in your dog, the reality is that some dogs have genetic factors that make them prone to developing this disease. Regardless, exercising your pet responsibly, maintaining a healthy weight, and incorporating joint supplements into their diet are the best ways to help keep your dog’s joints healthy.

For dogs that are prone to joint issues like luxating patella, TRI-ACTA H.A. includes several naturally-occurring components that give extra-strength joint support, including glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid. The addition of hyaluronic acid improves the viscosity of the synovial fluid in your dog’s joints, providing maximum protection.

Learn More: Medial Luxating Patella in Dogs [Types, Grades, Treatment & Prevention]

Ligament Strains and Injury in Dogs

Dogs use a variety of muscles and joints for everyday movement. But as your dog runs, jumps, and plays, they can put strain on their joints over time, which can ultimately lead to ligament strain and injury.

The main causes of ligament strains and injury in dogs include dogs with active lifestyles (such as hunting dogs or dogs that compete in performance sports), obesity, genetic factors (such as breed), previous injury or trauma to the affected joint or muscle.

If your dog is running and jumping and you hear a sudden yelp, that’s a good indication that they have hurt themselves. Even if it doesn’t appear too serious — like they are still able to walk around — it’s a good idea to take precautions and take notice of their ongoing movements.

Another obvious indicator is that they are not putting any weight onto a particular leg or even have a sudden lameness in one leg. If the limping persists more than a day, or the limping reoccurs, it’s best to take them to the vet for a full evaluation.

Ligament Strains Prevention & Treatments

Common treatment options for ligament strains and injury in dogs include rest, NSAIDs, Incorporating joint supplements into their diet (TRI-ACTA H.A. is a good choice for dogs that are currently experiencing a ligament injury), using a brace to support your dog’s joint or muscle, and low-impact physical therapy such as walking on a leash or using an underwater treadmill.

In some cases, surgery may be required to repair a ligament injury, such as a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), which is an essential ligament located inside your dog’s knee. When surgery is required for a torn CCL, tibial-plateau-levelling osteotomy (TPLO) surgery is performed. Animals that undergo this procedure often develop post-traumatic arthritic symptoms later in life. More simply, because there is trauma to the joint, they are more likely to develop arthritis.

Ways that you can prevent ligament strains and injury in your dog include age-appropriate exercise, weight management, proper nutrition, and using joint supplements like TRI-ACTA. 

Just like with humans, strains and sprains can happen to anyone, regardless of the precautions taken. However, taking a proactive approach to caring for your dog’s joints will reduce the likelihood of these injuries occurring overall. 

Learn More: Comprehensive Guide on Dog ACL [Prevention Tips Included]

Why Use a Dog Joint Supplement with Two Types of Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is an important supplement for maintaining healthy joints. It keeps cartilage healthy and may help repair damaged cartilage. Glucosamine is necessary for the production of a substance called glycosaminoglycans which combines with hyaluronic acid to create proteoglycans. Proteoglycans and collagen are the main components of cartilage.

There are two types of glucosamine that are used in our TRI-ACTA for Pets products:

Glucosamine Hydrochloride (HCI): Glucosamine HCl is a highly bioavailable form of glucosamine. This means your dog’s body readily absorbs it, and is efficient in using it. Glucosamine HCI is naturally stable and does not require sodium chloride (an extra ion) to stabilize it, meaning it is a slightly more pure form of glucosamine.

Glucosamine Sulphate: While providing additional support for cartilage repair within the joint matrix, glucosamine sulphate also contributes to the production of collagen within the body. Collagen is one of the three components that make up cartilage and is extremely important to joint health.

These properties help maintain stride length, mobility and overall joint performance in your dog while also supporting the joint capsule as it absorbs and dissipates shock and impact.

Alongside the two types of glucosamine mentioned above, the other active ingredients in TRI-ACTA that support these glucosamine’s positive effects are chondroitin sulphate, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and hyaluronic acid.

Chondroitin is necessary for the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans. But more importantly, it inhibits and neutralises destructive enzymes in the joint. In doing this, chondroitin acts to prevent the breakdown of cartilage. Studies show that supplementing glucosamine and chondroitin together enhances the efficacy of both components individually.

MSM is an organic sulphur-containing compound found naturally in plants and animals. It is a powerful antioxidant and provides whole-body pain and inflammatory relief.

Hyaluronic acid, within the joint, works to increase the supply and viscosity of synovial fluid. The main precursor to joint degeneration and arthritis is a lack of synovial fluid to properly encapsulate and lubricate the joint. When the joint lacks proper lubrication, friction between cartilage and bone occurs, leading to pain, inflammation and decreased resistance to compressive forces.

More Helpful Pet Information

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