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Health Care

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How to Recognize and Help Your Pet in Pain

As responsible pet parents, it's crucial to understand when our furry friends are experiencing pain, especially from conditions like osteoarthritis. Recognizing the signs of pain in pets and knowing how to alleviate their discomfort can significantly improve their quality of life. Learn how to identify pain in your pet and discover effective ways to manage osteoarthritis, including the use of nutraceutical joint supplements.

What is Osteoarthritis and its Impact:
Osteoarthritis is a common condition that affects both older and younger pets. It can be caused by factors such as abnormal joints, trauma, orthopaedic surgery, or the natural wear and tear on large joints in older animals. This degenerative and progressive disease leads to chronic pain, significantly impacting a pet's overall well-being.

Recognizing Signs of Pain in Pets:
Pets may not overtly express their pain, making it essential to observe their behaviour closely.

Managing Osteoarthritis in Pets:
When your pet is diagnosed with osteoarthritis, it can be overwhelming, but there are effective strategies to help manage their condition and improve their quality of life. Consider the following approaches:

  • Weight management: Keep your pet lean to reduce strain on their joints, preventing excessive wear and tear and ongoing inflammation.
  • Comfortable sleeping area: Provide a warm and soft bed for your pet, ideally elevated, allowing them to easily get up and down.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise is crucial to maintain muscle mass. Hydrotherapy or swimming can be beneficial for dogs with joint problems. However, be mindful of your pet's limitations and avoid pushing them beyond their comfort level.
  • Nutraceutical joint care supplements: These supplements can enhance joint health and potentially reduce the need for pain medication. While they don't treat or prevent osteoarthritis, they aid in maintaining healthy joints. Look for products that contain ingredients like chondroitin, glucosamine, collagen, omega-3 fatty acids, ascorbic acid, vitamin E, manganese, green-lipped mussels, and avocado soybean unsaponifiable (ASU).

What is a Nutraceutical?
A nutraceutical is a nutritional aid for the management and repair of the cartilage MATRIX in dogs and cats affected by osteoarthritis. Nutritional supplements help maintain healthy joints although they do not treat or prevent osteoarthritis.

Choosing the Right Nutraceutical:
Selecting the right nutraceutical joint supplement for your pet is crucial. Consider the following factors when making your choice:

  • Chondroitin and Glucosamine: Both these ingredients are major constituents of cartilage and by supplementing with high levels, the joint supplement will reach the joints to have a clinical effect and improve joint health. It is important for the chondroitin to be of low molecular weight so that it can be easily absorbed into the system. Make sure that the product is shark fin friendly.
  • Collagen: Provides the architecture of cartilage and helps with the mobility/movement in the joints. Should be composed of collagen type 3 (most of the collagen found in cartilage).
  • Omega 3 of fish origin: Has a natural anti-inflammatory effect and therefore reduces inflammation, minimising the related symptoms and boosting healing.
  • Absorbic Acid (Vitamin C): An important antioxidant for dogs that can help reduce potentially harmful free radicals in your pet’s body. Plays a crucial part in the synthesis of collagen.
  • Vitamin E: An antioxidant that scavenges free radicals and therefore prevents additional harm to the joints.
  • Manganese: An essential micro-mineral involved in bone formation and maintenance of bone and cartilage in joints. In addition, manganese supports collagen formation for joint strength.
  • Green Lipped Mussels: Contains high levels on Omega-3 fatty acids to reduce the level of inflammation.
  • Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiable (ASU):  Reduces the development of early osteoarthritic cartilage and subchondral bone lesions by reducing the production/activation of catabolic enzymes which break down cartilage.

Virbac’s Nutra-Care Joint Support range contains all these ingredients
Choose the best joint nutraceutical!

GlucoCARE Premium Joint Support for Dogs
This product is used for animals predisposed to developing osteoarthritis and in cases of acute trauma, eg. cranial cruciate ligament rupture and orthopaedic procedures. Beef flavoured and concentrated, so it lasts longer!

GlucoCARE Advanced Joint Support for Dogs
This product range is used in animals that suffer from advanced stages of osteoarthritis. This nutraceutical joint supplement is usually combined with chronic pain management for optimal results. Beef flavoured and concentrated, so it lasts longer!

GlucoPOUR Premium Joint Support for Cats
A joint care product for cats. For cats that are at risk of developing osteoarthritis or have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis.

Animals do not show outspoken signs of pain and it is important to notice any subtle signs. If concerned, please take your pet to the veterinarian for a proper health check


Virbac’s Nutraceutical Range is available from your local Vet or online Vet store

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