Keenly intelligent and quite the hunter, Caleb moved with feline grace until the age of 17, when he began to show signs of osteoarthritis. About the only thing that surprised me at the time was that it didn't present itself sooner!
Like so many pet parents with cats and dogs who suffer from this ailment, we made adjustments for him, placing makeshift steps near favorite places he loved to frequent to make getting around easier.
|Caleb at 10. Handsome seal point Siamese. You'll read more about him in this fall's anthology, |
"Rescue Me: the Stories of 12 Cats, Through Their Eyes" by FitCat Publishing.
Then our veterinarian suggested we try glucosamine. Humans have been taking glucosamine for decades, and the debate has raged as to whether there is actual benefit, or people are experiencing the placebo effect.
Within a week, I was able to put that debate to rest. It worked. And no one told Caleb the powder we were sprinkling over his food was going to ease the pain in his joints, so no placebo effect to worry about!
The following Saturday after we began giving the supplement, Marty pointed to Caleb and asked me if I saw what he'd just seen: a cat nimbly jumping up onto the kitchen counter (where he should not be!).
I was too thrilled to scold him. ;-)
The Mayo Clinic states that "evidence from randomized controlled trials supports the use of glucosamine sulfate in the treatment of osteoarthritis ... by strengthening cartilage".
Both dogs and cats suffer from this condition, and both can benefit from the use of a species-appropriate supplement such as the ones made by Lintbells.
There's another reason - a very important one - that I'm very pro-glucosamine.
|Maxwell, looking as sweet as ever|
And until the U.S. catches up to other countries such as the U.K., Europe and Australia, we will be left with the aftermath of this surgical amputation procedure.
Our deaf rescue boy, Maxwell, is declawed. I watch his gait, I compare it to Faraday's, and I worry. And I watch.
And at the first sign of possible arthritis - even at a young age - I'm going to be giving him glucosamine supplements.
Arthritis is also becoming increasingly more common because of another health situation: pet obesity. We've mentioned in previous posts that pet obesity has increased at an alarming rate, to the point that technically it meets the requirement to be called an epidemic.
Extra weight causes unnecessary stress on joints. (I'll bet you know where we're going with this!)
Extra stress on joints can hasten the onset of arthritis in both dogs and cats. If it doesn't hasten it, it can most certainly exacerbate the existing problem.
|Little Miss "I'm just big-boned" is on a diet.|
We don't want her to suffer as she ages!
That's where glucosamine can help. Your pet will be much more open to exercise if he doesn't hurt while doing it.
And, according to the web site Arthritis Research UK (among may others), another supplement in addition to glucosamine may be beneficial:
The University of Maryland Medical Center states that "a number of small studies have found that fish oil helps reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, including joint pain and morning stiffness."
If your pet suffers from arthritis, you might also consider giving a supplement as a complement to glucosamine. (Not instead of, but in addition to, as studies are still gathering information on Omega 3's arthritis effectiveness, whereas glucosamine is well-established.)
One quick note on which products to use: please, please don't treat your pet with human pills! Aside from the fact that pet-formulated glucosamine will have appropriate dosages, they are also formulated to ensure that no ingredients that are harmful to pets are included. (Plus may of them add tantalizing flavors to encourage your pet to accept them more readily)
Wishing you all a healthy new year, for both you and your pets.
FTC Disclaimer: I have written this post on behalf of Lintbells, a U.K.-based health supplement company. I am helping spread the word about Lintbells, however, all opinions stated in this post are our own. A Tonk's Tale only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers.
University of Maryland Medical Center
Arthritis research UK
Little Big Cat
Monday Medical Disclaimer:
I am not a veterinarian, and the information provided here is not intended in any way as a substitute for professional veterinary care. Nor should it be used to self-diagnose for your pet. This information is for educational purposes and to provide you with reputable documentation you can use to pose informed questions of your own to the veterinarian of your choice.