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While this could easily be applied to the you and me, it is as much of an issue for our pets. Osteoarthritis (OA) has been estimated to affect 20% of adult dogs (Johnston 1997). Moreover, obesity may be a risk factor for the development of OA in the dog and this relationship is most convincing for hip OA secondary to dysplasia (Smith et al. 2006). The relationship between obesity and OA in dogs potentially involves mechanical, metabolic, and biochemical factors. Recent research has shown that weight loss should be presented as an important part of the treatment plan to owners of obese dogs with OA and that noticeable improvement may be seen after modest weight loss in the region of 6.10 – 8.85% body weight [Marshall et al. 2010].
So, like most issues the solution is a change of lifestyle, which is dependent on the compliance of the pet owner. Of course, the best solutions are those that are easy for the owner to implement. As such a management plan that includes a realistic exercise target, coupled with a diet that is low in fat, high in fibre, while containing a comprehensive joint supplement and a feeding guide appropriate for weight loss such as Delicate CareTM Mobility is recommended.
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Johnston SA. Osteoarthritis: joint anatomy, physiology and pathobiology. Veterinary Clinics of North America Small Animal Practice. 1997; 27:699. Marshall WG, Hazewinkel HAW, Mullen D, De Meyer G, Baert K, Carmichael S. The effect of weight loss on lameness in obese dogs with osteoarthritis. 2010. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com. Smith GK, Paster ER, Powers MY, Lawler DF, Biery DN, Shofer FS, McKelvie PJ, Kealy RD. Lifelong diet restriction and radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis of the hip joint in dogs. Journal of the American VMA. 2006;229:690–693. doi: 10.2460/javma.229.5.690.