Degenerative joint disease (DJD), which also refers to arthritis or osteoarthritis, is a growing challenge for companion animals. While weight can play a role, age – and the accompanying gradual deterioration of articular cartilage within one or more of the joints – is most often the cause. Over time, the smooth cartilage breaks down and can release substances that cause inflammation, thereby causing pain and further damage to the cartilage.
Signs of Degenerative Joint Disease in Dogs
While the most obvious sign of joint disease in dogs is lameness, pet owners will see many other signs of arthritic pain first, such as:
- Slower walks and difficulty standing up
- Increased sleeping
- Sensitivity to being touched
- Difficulty jumping on beds or into the car
- Sitting with their hind legs stretched out
It’s recommended that pet owners focus on promoting healthy joints before onset of the disease, as once done, most of the damage is irreversible. At that point, multimodal treatment focused on delaying progression and improving the quality of life by minimizing pain and discomfort are encouraged.
Pet Food Formulators Can Promote Cartilage Health and Repair through Strategic Formulation Choices
While the body has natural mechanisms to rebuild damaged cartilage, they require raw materials to do so. In early stages, this can often be accomplished through nutrition, though it’s important to note that it takes time to see the effects of nutrition as well as supplements.
Chondroitin sulfate is a sulfated glycosaminoglycan and important structural component of cartilage.1 The substance’s focus is cartilage repair and works to reduce pain, improve joint function and mobility, and reduce arthritis progression.2 It works by promoting water retention and tissue elasticity, which works as a cushion or shock absorber.
Acute Care for Joint Pain
Once proactive measures have been implemented and then exhausted, it’s important to encourage pet owners to talk to their vet about other ways to slow the progression and treat the disease, which may focus on:
- Improving the blood supply within the joint
- Promoting cartilage repair
- Encouraging the formation of fibrous tissue to help heal damaged areas3
- Treating pain and inflammation with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone-type drugs
One popular injectable treatment contains a polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (mostly chondroitin sulfate), which serves as an anti-inflammatory agent and a cartilage component for healing.
Give Pet Owners a Value-Added Product
As pet owners demand more for their furry loved ones–including from their food–formulators can create additional value by including SBS Pet™ in the formulation. It is an acidifier that can replace phosphoric acid to help quickly lower pH (at a relatively low addition rate). A low-pH environment controls the microbial growth of pet food products that contain sufficient moisture, preserving it for maximum shelf life.
Explore other reasons to replace phosphoric acid with SBS Pet™ in your formulation.
Contact us today to request a sample and learn how using SBS Pet™ in your formulation can help your product stand out.