Monthly Archives: October 2014

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My Dog has Osteoarthritis – Now What? Part Two

Osteoarthritis is a common problem in dogs. Dr. Mychajlonka, also known as Dr. Mych – a veterinarian at Las Vegas’s own Craig Road Animal Hospital, in this second in an on going series of posts, discusses nutraceuticals and their use in the treatment this debilitating disease. Part one of this series on Osteoarthritis can be found here.

Dr. Mychajlonka

By Kurt Mychajlonka, DVM

3: What are Nutraceuticals, and how can they help?

Nutraceuticals is term combining the words “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical” and refers to a food, or food product, that provides health and medical benefits including the prevention of disease. Omega 3 fatty acid “EPA diets,” Glucosamine and condroitin sulphate suppliments, Avocado soybean unsaponifiables, and Manganese Ascorbate. Are all examples of nutraceuticals that may be recommended as separate supplements to be used in combination with other medications / treatments. For example, your veterinarian may want your dog to be fed Hill’s Metabolic diet to encourage weight loss, but then add a Glucosamine and condroitin sulphate supplement that also includes Avocado soybean unsaponifiables to help treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Not all nutraceuticals are created equal!

4: There are so many Nutraceuticals for osteoarthritis, including ones sold at my local supermarket – which ones are right for my dog?

Veterinarians use a system called ACCLAIM (see below) to evaluate drugs, but nutraceuticals in particular. You can use it also! There are always lower cost nutraceuticals, but they not all created equally.

A = A name you recognize? Products manufactured by an established company that provides educational materials is preferable to equivalent products manufactured by a new, unknown, company.
C = Clinic Experience Companies that support clinical research and have their products in clinical trials for safety, efficacy, or bioavailability that are published in peer reviewed journals are more likely to have a quality product.
C = Contents All ingredients should be clearly indicated on the product label.
L = Label Claims Label claims that are too good to be true probably are. Products with realistic label claims based on results of scientific studies, rather than testimonials, are more likely to be reputable.
A = Administration recommendations Dosing instructions should be accurate and easy to follow.
I = Identification of Lot A lot identification number or some other tracking system indicates that a pre and / or post market surveillance system exists to ensure product quality. In addition, companies that have instituted good manufacturing practices and other quality control techniques (such as tamper resistant packaging) provides evidence of a long-term investment in their product and company.
M = Manufacturer Information Basic company information should be clearly stated on the label. Preferably, this should include a website and / or details for contacting customer support.

Oct 28, 2014 0 1824 Views

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My Dog has Osteoarthritis – Now What? Part One

Osteoarthritis is a common problem in dogs. Dr. Mychajlonka, also known as Dr. Mych – a veterinarian at Las Vegas’s own Craig Road Animal Hospital, in the first of a series of posts, discusses what options are available to pet owners to treat this debilitating disease.

Dr. Mychajlonka

By Kurt Mychajlonka, DVM

Your dog has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis – welcome to a large club.
Osteoarthritis is prevalent is 1 in 5 dogs over 1 year of age. The good news that there are a lot of medications, treatments, and products to help.
Your vet will undoubtedly use a multimodal approach – which essentially means they will use multiple types of medications and treatments to help increase your pet’s mobility and decrease their pain. You can always ask your vet specific questions about your pet’s treatment but below, and the following posts, you will find answers to some of the most common questions about treating osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis, also know as degenerative joint disease, is a collection of painful symptoms revolving around the degradation of the joints which can significantly impact your pet’s ability to move about and level of activity.

1: Why does my pet need blood work to treat a joint disease?
One of the main types of medications to help treat the pain associated with osteoarthritis are NSAIDS.
Like most medications, NSAIDS can have side effects. Gastro intestinal upset and liver damage are the more serious side effects that your vet will be worried about. A baseline set of blood work will tell your veterinarian if your pet has any issues before treatment starts.
Your vet will then want to recheck the blood work periodically (typically at 3 weeks and then at 9 months) to ensure that problems are developing.
Testing may include any or all of the following, depending on your pet’s medical history; CBC, chemistry, urinalysis, and thyroid.

2: Why does my pet need to lose weight?
The single most effective thing to improve a dog’s quality of life when they are overweight, and have osteoarthritis, is to lose weight. Osteoarthritis is a disease of the joints, and being overweight puts additional strain and pressure on those joints.
Your veterinarian will use a computer modeling program to tell you how much your dog is overweight. Pets that are greater than 10% overweight can use a specific weight loss food such as Hill’s Metabolic diet.
Pets that are less than 10% overweight can use a High EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) diet such as Hill’s J/D which is specially formulated for treating dogs with Osteoarthritis. Please ensure that you follow your veterinarian’s instructions for how much to feed of a specific food.

Oct 22, 2014 0 2730 Views

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