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Joint Health Awareness for your Dog
by Rebecca Rose, President and CEO of In Clover, Inc.

In the U.S., 25% of the nationís 55 million dogs will develop a joint disorder in their lifetime. And although a 1995 American Animal Hospital Association Survey showed that 85% of pet owners consider their pets to be part of the family, it is only recently that this number one chronic health condition in dogs has begun to get attention and offer alternatives to pet owners.

Symptoms of joint disorder may be demonstrated as hesitation with stairs, difficulty rising, creaking joints or an inability to run a distance. Until now, treatment options included aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids to suppress inflammation and reduce pain. Unfortunately, these drugs may cause side effects ranging from muscular weariness, hypertension, to renal injury. In some cases, these side effects are more serious than the condition for which the drugs were originally prescribed.

Recent studies show, however, that there is a class of compounds that offer a safe, natural alternative to drugs in promoting healthy, fluid joint movement. These products have been used, by humans, for years in Europe. These natural building blocks found in the healthy joint are also known as chondroprotective agents and they are nutritional supplements, not drugs. Some of the more common supplement building blocks include glucosamine and mucopolysaccharides, a form of chondroitin sulfate.

How does it work?

In healthy conditions, cartilage, a resilient tissue, forms a smooth surface between bone ends to reduce the friction and act as a shock absorber. This friction is further reduced by synovial fluid, which bathes the cartilage. To maintain a functioning joint, the friction-reducing synovial fluid and the two components of the cartilage are constantly produced. Repeated stress, injury, excess weight, and poor diet all contribute to a shortage of the natural building blocks, glucosamine and mucopolysaccharides, that activate cartilage production.

When a dogís body is unable to keep up with the demands, bone ends lose their cushioning and the dog experiences pain, inflammation, and irritation in the joints and connective tissues. Lack of a constant supply of building blocks and their ability to reach the joint leads to defect in structure and function. The structure integrity of the cartilage is the foundation of optimal function of the skeletal joints (hip, elbow and knee). Impaired function of the skeletal joints will dramatically reduce an animalís mobility.

Supplementing a dogís diet with building blocks (glucosamine and mucopolysaccharides) allow the bodyís natural repair, rebuilding, and healing of connective tissue. Combining the glucosamine and mucopolysaccharides with herbs assists the delivery of the building blocks to the affected site and assists in protecting the joints and connective tissue from further damage. Effective herbs include a careful balance of ginger to enhance proper absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract, nettle leaf to promote circulation, cayenne to reduce inflammation, yucca is a natural pain regulator, devilís claw promotes joint flexibility, and turmeric to enhance antioxidant enzymes. All of the ingredients use the mechanisms that your dogís body would, if it could. And, without the risk and side effects often found with drugs.

Author Rebecca Rose is the President and CEO of In Clover, Inc., a company formed to develop unique bioactive and botanical combinations for companion animal ailments. In Clover has been studying joint disorder in dogs for over four years and has successfully completed clinical trials on a patented product, Connectin, that offers a natural alternative to joint disorders. You can learn more about In Clover through their web site, www.inclover.com , or call them at 877-987-PETS.

Makers of Connectin
P.O. Box 11256 ∑ Boulder, CO 80301
877-987-PETS (7387)

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