Supporting an Active Lifestyle For Your Pets……Naturally!

Can your dog jump up into your car as readily as he or she used to? Does he or she “poop out” after playing ball with you for just a short time? Do you need to help him or her up, onto, and off of your bed or couch? (—and is your back hurting from lifting them?) Are your long walks together slower, and your dog “dragging” the next day?

As aging occurs, simple tasks become increasingly difficult.  Even though the aging process is a part of our normal progression, there are steps that we can take to help maintain the best possible quality of life for our aging pets.  Good nutrition, daily exercise, and proper supplementation are the cornerstones to helping maintain a healthy, happy, and mobile pet.

Joint Guard Vet™ was developed to offer a natural alternative for the discomfort associated with normal joint use, overexertion and stress, and can be used in conjunction with other medications or supplements that your dog may already be taking.

As our pets age, lack of normal mobility and subsequent reduction in physical activity can contribute to further problems and significantly reduce your dog’s quality of life.  Many pets suffer in silence. Joint discomfort, associated with every day exertion, not only reduces your dog’s ability to physically perform at their best, but can greatly affect mental well-being as well.

Joint deterioration associated with aging is a natural occurrence, with the knees and elbows being the most commonly affected areas. The discomfort associated with this deterioration  can vary from  mild discomfort to severe debilitation; the pain level experienced is one important criterion for the choice of therapy. Since your dog is rarely able to truly convey their level of discomfort to you or to your veterinarian, we must be both diligent and astute in monitoring for the warning signs of these conditions.   Signs to watch for may include: stiffness, awkward movements, limping, difficulty standing, swelling of joints (swollen joints can be hard to see in very furry pets), hesitancy to jump or climb stairs, an aversion to petting in tender areas, whimpering, lethargy, and crabby temper. When their joints are hurting, elderly pets often act even older—i.e. if they have hearing problems, they may act even more deaf; if they have vision problems, they may act as if their sight is even worse– all because their joints ache and they cannot concentrate on using the hearing and sight that they still have.

If you suspect that your dog may be suffering from joint discomfort, your veterinarian should be consulted immediately. Identifying the exact cause and location of the problem, as well as the extent of pain and inflammation, is critical; your veterinarian is your best resource for both diagnosis and for creating the optimal treatment plan for your pet. Possible treatment options may include nutritional changes, physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, medical management, or even surgical intervention with one or more of the other available therapies.

Here are some dietary recommendations that may help reduce the body’s natural  inflammatory response and support the body’s immune system:

1). Grains are thought to increase inflammation and allergic responses. Replacing them with healthy proteins and vegetables provides additional amino acids and nutrients necessary for support and replacement of healthy collagen and cartilage. Beneficial vegetables include celery, carrots, parsley, broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus. Avoid vegetables in the nightshade family such as tomato, white potato, eggplant, onion or peppers, as these tend to increase inflammation.

2). Maintain adequate (but not excessive) amounts of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and magnesium. These nutrients are important for the production of collagen and healthy joint function. Most good quality commercial foods  contain appropriate quantities of these nutrients in the correct balance, but you may consider supplementation if you are feeding a raw diet that is not complete.

3). Avoid dairy, except yogurt or cottage cheese (low-fat).

4). Maintain proper caloric intake and exercise. Weight control is important if the pet is overweight, to reduce excess load on affected joints.

5). Limit additional salt, sugar, flavorings, colorings, or preservatives. Try to avoid highly processed foods.

Depending on the severity of the joint discomfort your pet’s veterinarian may choose to recommend topical or oral medication to reduce inflammation and associated pain. While there are numerous anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers that can be tried, they all tend to have an extensive list of possible side effects, the most serious of which include the formation of stomach ulcers (and other gastrointestinal ailments), liver and kidney toxicity, bleeding disorders, and (rarely) sedation.

A more natural approach may be preferred, either alone or as complementary aid to more traditional remedies.

The unique combination of natural plant extracts found in Joint Guard Vet™  was specially formulated to support joint flexibility and mobility by providing nutrients that may help the body restore collagen levels and healthy joint fluid viscosity, necessary for the maintenance of healthy joints and cartilage.

Joint Guard Vet™ ingredients include:

Manganese Gluconate:  Manganese is an essential mineral necessary in the metabolism of cholesterol, proteins, and carbohydrates. It, therefore, is required for the formation of healthy cartilage and bone. Manganese is an antioxidant that catalyzes the conversion of superoxide radicals to hydrogen peroxide in cells, which is then converted to water. Manganese is also essential for the action of many enzymes necessary in the production of fatty acids and energy.

Manganese is found in many foods including whole grains, seeds, teas, nuts, leafy green vegetables, and legumes.

Boswellia Serrata Extract:  Boswellia serrata, also known as Indian frankincense, is found predominantly in India where it has been used as a natural remedy for hundreds of years. The active ingredient, boswellic acid, works by decreasing polymorphonuclear leukocyte infiltration and migration, decreasing primary antibody (leukotriene) synthesis and almost totally inhibiting the complement pathway, therefore promoting healthy joint function and movement.  It has also been shown to inhibit 5-lipooxygenase.

Lastly, boswellia inhibits both mast cell degranulation and matrix metalloproteinase expression.

Bromelain:  Bromelain is a protease (digestive enzymatic protein) that occurs naturally in pineapple. In addition to being a naturally occurring digestive aid, it is also used to ease the pain and swelling associated with normal inflammatory processes due to its inhibitory effect on the production of prostaglandins. It interferes with the formation of kinins and interferes with the breakdown of fibrin.  As a culinary ingredient it is used as a tenderizer.

Collagen Type II (avian source):  This collagen source is the basis for both articular and hyaline cartilage, making up 50% of all protein in cartilage and 85-90% of articular cartilage collagen. It is also beneficial in that it forms fibrils, thus enhancing the health and tensile strength of cartilage.

By stimulating the biosynthesis of collagen type II from chondrocytes in joint cartilage (where hydrolyzed collagen accumulates), oral administration has been shown to help relieve joint discomfort in humans. It is likely then, that animals could also benefit from supplementation.  The complex also contains chondroitin and glucosamine, which may also help rebuild cartilage that has been lost or damaged.

Chondroitin Sulfate:  Chondroitin is a chemical attached to proteins as part of a proteoglycan and is found in joint cartilage, thus providing most of the body’s resistance to joint compression. Both chondroitin and glucosamine are glycosaminoglycans, and glucosamine is a precursor molecule for chondroitin. These molecules are usually used together in most commercial products, often with manganese as well.

Chondroitin is beneficial in the relief of joint discomfort  by slowing the destruction of joint cartilage and providing building blocks for production of new collagen, and by helping to reduce the body’s natural inflammatory processes. It attracts essential fluids into the joints, acting as a shock absorber while attracting needed nutrients into the cartilage.

Glucosamine (HCl and Sulfate):   Glucosamine is the most popular glycosaminoglycan. It is an amino sugar and a prominent precursor in the synthesis of proteins and lipids. The body’s demand for proteoglycan precursors often exceeds the body’s supply due to increased destruction of joint cartilage under certain conditions.  Oral supplementation with glucosamine may help increase the synthesis of proteoglycans, glycosaminoglycans, and collagen. (Proteoglycans can help maintain the health and resiliency of joints and connective tissue).  Glucosamine may also act as a cyclooxygenase-independent agent and help maintain synovial fluid levels.

Glucosamine is part of the structure of chitosan and chitin, which form the exoskeletons of crustaceans as well as the cell walls of fungi and other higher organisms, and is commonly produced by the hydrolysis of crustacean exoskeletons.

Glucosamine is marketed to support the structure and function of joints in patients experiencing discomfort, and is usually combined with chondroitin and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Extensive research demonstrates the effectiveness of glucosamine for dogs, as well as in human trials that show significant improvement in movement and relief from discomfort. The safety profile of glucosamine has been shown to be extremely favorable. The only real concern may be when consumed by patients with shellfish allergies since it is of crustacean origin.

Opti-MSM™ (Methylsulfonylmethane, MSM) is an organosulfur antioxidant compound found in plants, animals, and humans (found distinctively in human melanoma cells), and is also produced in the laboratory. It is also known as crystalline DMSO, as it is found as a solid rather than liquid in nature. Studies have shown that the combination of MSM and glucosamine is more effective for joint discomfort than either ingredient alone.

It is proposed that MSM provides sulfur molecules that help with the production of necessary chemicals in the body which require sulfur. The sulfur content in our foods is easily depleted by cooking and processing; MSM is an important source of bioavailable sulfur.   Sulfur is essential for healthy hair and fur, skin, and claws, by helping form collagen that maintains skin elasticity. By supporting collagen formation and by helping build amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), MSM may help maintain a more normal range of motion.

Turmeric Extract:  Turmeric is a natural plant extract of the ginger family mostly found in the Far East and tropical regions such as southeast India.   Comprised of a number of ingredients, the most important active ingredients are curcumin I, II, and III. Curcumin (cumin) contains salicin which is converted to salicylic acid in the body.

Turmeric has also been shown to inhibit tissue necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) and is a lipooxygenase inhibitor. Other beneficial mechanisms of action include: reduction of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-KB) and MAP kinase AP-1; reduction of COX2 expression and leukotriene activity; modulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and apoptotic proteins; and elevation of glutathione S-transferase activity.

White Willow Bark Extract (Salix alba):   Native to Europe and western and central Asia, this natural extract is taken from the bark of the white willow tree. The extract contains 25% salicin, and as in turmeric, salicin is converted to salicylic acid in the body.  (Because the chemical structure of salicylic acid does closely resemble that of aspirin, the practitioner should keep in mind the usual cautions exhibited for the use of salicylates in animals, even though side effects are much less likely from natural products).

Joint Guard Vet™ is a unique blend of nutrients and natural plant extracts that help maintain your pet’s active lifestyle and comfort level by:

  • Supporting hip and joint health-
  • Supporting joint flexibility-
  • Supporting connective tissue health by promoting synthesis of proteoglycans-
  • Supporting joint lubrication by synovial fluid production and healthy fluid viscosity-
  • Providing bone and joint reinforcing factors for strong bone development-
  • Enhancing tissue pliability and healthy cartilage development-
  • Helping relieve joint stiffness and maintaining joint mobility-

Help your pet have the best quality of life possible—- Naturally!

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