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Your Singapore, the Tropical Garden City
R. Palmer1
1Colorado State University, Clinical Sciences, Fort Collins, USA
It is helpful to think of joint disease as a metabolic imbalance shifted toward catabolism. Joint disease
not only affects joint cartilage and synovium, but also subchondral bone, periarticular muscles and tendons, pain perception, cardiovascular fitness, and, ultimately, the patient as a whole. The painful patient is less active and less interested in play and begins to lose muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness while gaining weight. The normal family activity routines are often upset. Not surprisingly, effective joint health management must be directed at the entire patient, rather than simply at the inflamed joint. Further, joint health must be preserved
at the earliest notion that it may be at risk of developing OA. In my opinion, every post-surgical joint patient should be placed in a joint health preservation program.
Pet-owner educationis the foundation of effective preservation of joint health because comprehensive joint care requires the pet-owning family’s activeinvolvement and understanding of treatment goals. It is essential that pet owners understand that joint health preservation, like OA management, is an ongoing, lifelong process that is updated and modified based upon response to treatment and development of new therapies, etc.
Attaining & maintaining a lean body conformationthrough proper nutrition and feeding practices is the cornerstone of effective joint health preservation. Unfortunately, over-feeding is the single hardest habit for pet-owners to change. Studies have shown the effectiveness of restricted food intake on weight reduction, delaying the onset of and decreasing the lameness associated with OA and increasing patient lifespan. The challenge is accomplishing the restricted food intake through controlled feeding, especially in multi-pet households or where feeding is large part of the human-pet bond.
A lifestyle of regular activitythat is moderated away from intermittent extremes of exercise and activities to which the pet is not conditioned is essential. This is VERY difficult for many pet-owners because it, by necessity, impacts their daily schedule. Interestingly, a shift to
this desirable lifestyle often benefits the pet-owner simultaneously...everyone wins!
Therapeutic exerciseand physical rehabilitation under the direction of a certified canine rehabilitation practitioneroften contributes to dramatic improvement in comfort, mobility and condition of osteoarthritic dogs.

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