Drug-free highly palatable crumble for dogs with impaired joint function.
Flex Canine is a nutritional supplement (100% natural) product, formulated so that it is highly palatable to dogs. It works by helping to maintain cartilage elasticity and aids in the repair of damaged cartilage. Flex Canines' active ingredients include Glucosamine Sulphate. Mixed Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and Manganese Ascorbate.
Glucosamine is the major structural component of Chondroitin Sulphate, the principle Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) in cartilage. It is the GAGs that maintain the high water content of cartilage and hence its ability to resist the compressive forces during weight bearing. When the joints need more Glucosamine, as always happens in degenerative joint disease, the body is unable to speed up production because it is set at a fixed rate. Therefore a supplementary form of Glucosamine is beneficial. The body is able to absorb the Glucosamine and use it directly in the joints to repair and maintain the cartilage.
The mixed Glycosaminoglycans include Chondroitin Sulphate and Keratin Sulphate. both of these are used in the cartilage repair process. The Manganese Ascorbate is necessary for the conversion of the Glucosamine to GAGs to occur.
The nutritional supplementation of Glucosamine should be given whenever impaired joint function limits your dogs mobility.
When we think of arthritis in dogs, we often have the misconception that it is a condition associated with age. Osteo-arthritis is a common problem in all dogs, in particular the large breeds are more susceptible especially where obesity is a problem.
In some cases it can be difficult to detect early signs. Some dogs can be extremely stoic making it difficult for their owner to tell there is something wrong. There may be subtle signs of discomfort such as reluctance to climb stairs, lowered exercise tolerance, decreased appetite or whimpering. This is one reason why regular check ups with your veterinarian are important.
There are many conditions that can lead to the onset of osteoarthritis. Dogs can develop immune-mediated joint diseases, infectious joint diseases and traumatic joint diseases, all of which can lead to the onset of the condition. Probably the most common condition associated with osteoarthritis is canine hip dysplasia, a genetic disorder.
There are several treatment options available for dogs with osteoarthritis. Including medical, alternative, and sometimes, surgical methods. Your veterinarian may chose a combination of these therapies to help treat the condition.
Medical therapy is the most widely used treatment option. There are 4 components of medical therapy: weight loss, regular exercise, good nutrition, and drug therapy.
Controlling body weight is a very important and often overlooked part of treating dogs with osteoarthritis. Many of the breeds prone to hip dysplasia are also prone to obesity. The excess weight applies additional forces to the joints and surrounding soft tissues. Overweight dogs with osteo-arthritis should be placed on a supervised weight loss program. There are several prescription diets available from your veterinarian that are ideal for achieving this goal.
Regular low impact exercise is important for dogs with osteo-arthritis to keep muscle groups working Often the pain associated with the condition can make walking difficult. This in turn can weaken the muscles that work the joint, adding to the problem. Swimming is the ideal exercise routine as it allows muscle exercise without weight bearing on the joints.
Diet is another important aspect in controlling the severity of osteo-arthritis. A healthy diet supplies all the nutrients the body needs to maintain strong joints as well as anti-oxidants to control the dangerous free-radicals that may encourage the onset of osteo-arthritis. Again your veterinarian will be able to assist with the correct nutritional advice.
The pharmaceutical treatment of osteo-arthritis can be divided into;
(1) Drugs that reduce pain and discomfort by controlling inflammation.
(2) Products that improve the health of articular cartilage there-by increasing its ability to act as a joint-cushion.
The main group of drugs used to control the inflammation and pain associated with osteo-arthritis are the Non Steroidal anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS). As a group they can be very effective but they do have potential adverse side-effects. The most common side effects involve irritation to the gastro-intestinal tract. Any dog taking NSAIDS should be monitored closely for signs of loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea.
The products that improve the health of the articular cartilage are not considered drugs, but are termed nutraceuticals. This is a rapidly growing area of interest in veterinary medicine as the concerns about the side effects of the NSAIDS have veterinarians looking for other options.
These nutraceuticals consist mainly of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, both essential ingredients for the repair of damaged articular cartilage. Glucosamine is the major structural component of Chondroitin sulphate, the principal Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) in cartilage. It is the GAGs that maintain the high water content of cartilage (cartilage is 90% water) and hence its ability to resist the compressive forces during weight bearing. When the joints need more Glucosamine, as always happens in osteo-arthritis, the body is unable to speed up production because it is set at a fixed rate, therefore a supplementary form of Glucosamine is beneficial. The body is able to absorb the Glucosamine and use it directly in the joints to repair and maintain the cartilage.
It is important to realize that these nutraceuticals do not provide the instant relief to arthritic dogs like the anti-inflammatories can do. In some cases they need to be used for at least 2 months before any beneficial effect is noticed. For this reason the two are often used in conjunction with each other. The anti-inflammatory dose rate can be reduced after 3-4 weeks of combined treatment..
What else should I know?
Daily Dose Rates; Miniature Dogs (2-5kg) 1/2 tsp Small Dogs (6-10kg) 1 tsp, Medium Dogs (15-25kg) 2 tsp, Large Dogs (30-40kg) 3 tsp, Extra Large Dogs (45-60kg) 4 tsp
The above dose rate is the loading dose, which should be followed for approximately six weeks, after which the dose can be reduced by half.
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