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As I have discussed in other articles – animals are just as prone to arthritis as humans are, and this time of the year as the weather gets colder, your pets can also show more signs of this problem.

One form of treatment for this debilitating condition is to use agents that are termed ‘Chondroprotective’ – this means that the agent plays a role in stimulating good growth of the cells associated with the joint and also inhibit degradation of the joint from by-products of inflammation.

Their main role is the chronic arthritic joint where there has been a degeneration of the structures over a long period. We know that arthritis can be self-propagating – this means that the cells of the surface cartilage dies or becomes injured then they release substances that affect other surrounding cells and then they also degenerate.

These toxic by-products of cellular damage are often called ‘radicals’ or ‘oxygen radicals’. These products that inhibit these radicals are called ‘antioxidants’.

So a good Chondroprotective agent combines two main parts – an agent that will stimulate normal metabolism in the good cells of the damaged joint, and an agent that will act as an antioxidant.

There are a number of these agents on the market and available from your veterinarian and you should contact us for advice on how to use these products on your pet

One of the downsides of some of the orally taken products is that they only work for 24hrs and the animal needs to be given the agent every day for the product to work

It usually takes 3-4 weeks to work and if we see no effect in 30 days then we recommend that the treatment be ceased

There is also one agent that can be given by injection and that involves a simple injection under the skin once a week for 4 weeks, and the effect usually lasts in the animals for 6-12 months

The effect of these agents can be dramatic in a lot of cases and I would recommend that all animals with arthritis be given some form of these agents

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