A major reason for mobility impairment is osteoarthritis which is a chronic joint disease with a high prevalence in dogs. Almost 20% of canine pets develop Osteoarthritis.
Dr. Jyotika Sangale, Deputy Manager & Dr. Dibyajyoti Kalita, Head of Department Technical and Regulatory Affairs
Zenex Animal Health, Ahmedabad
Companion animals commonly suffer from mobility impairment, especially canines. The major reason behind the mobility impairment is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic joint disease with a high prevalence in dogs, almost 20% of canine pets spontaneously develop osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage of the bone joints gets damaged. As cartilage provides cushions to the bones of the joint, its damage causes friction between bones, leading to pain and decreased mobility in affected joints. Taking preventive action for joint health is, therefore, very important to protect the joints and give them quality years of active life.
Risk Factors: Factors for Osteoarthritis includes genetics, obesity, large or giant breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherd, Age (particularly middle age to geriatric dogs), injuries such as fractures or ligament tears, prior diagnosis of hip or elbow dysplasia, improper nutrition, poor conformation and repetitive stress from athletic activities such as flyball, agility or diving etc.
Signs of Osteoarthritis: Stiffness, lameness, limping, or difficulty getting up, lethargy, reluctance to run, jump, or play, pain when petted or touched, difficulty posturing, Loss of muscle mass over the limbs and spine, Swollen joints, Licking joints.
Therapeutic management of Osteoarthritis: In veterinary medicine, joint support and pain management are important areas to provide diverse options for canine patients without any adverse effects. The management of OA in animals involves various pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments to control clinical symptoms by protecting the joints, reducing pain, and increasing mobility. In recent years, Collagen supplements are gaining widespread acceptance in therapeutic management of osteoarthritis in human and companion animals. Addition of collagen supplements to dog’s diet found to be helpful to enhance flexibility and strength of their connective joint tissues. Collagen can even regenerate joints that have started to deteriorate.
Undenatured Collagen Type II: Undenatured type-II collagen (UC-II®), a patented and natural form of collagen extracted from the cartilage of the chicken’s sternum and used as dietary supplement. Many experiments and clinical studies demonstrated the effectiveness of Undenatured Collagen Type II in reducing joint pain and swelling and improvement of overall joint health.
Mechanism of Action: Undenatured Collagen Type- II (UC II) is used to reduce the inflammation of joints by interfering with the local immunity in animals. Undenatured Type II Collagen reduces the immune system’s responsiveness to antigens, limiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and preventing T-cells from attacking the body’s Type II joint collagen. This action helps to reduce joint inflammation and promotes cartilage repair.
Usage of Undenatured Collagen Type II as Supplement in Dogs and Cats: Many studies have demonstrated that administration of UC -II improves joint mobility, flexibility and comfort by preventing the immune system from attacking and damaging the articular system. It is also observed that it reduces pain and lameness. Serum parameters are also normal after use of UC-II for 90 days. Moreover, dogs receiving UC-II for 90 days showed an increase in physical activity levels.
Cats are more sensitive to NSAIDs as compared to dog, so the treatment choice for the cat with OA is restricted to the use of a few drugs. Administration of UC-II is one of the safest dietary supplements to minimize the joint pain. The joint supplement with UC-II, tested in cat found to be well tolerated and effective in reducing pain and swelling. Multiple studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of UC-II supplemented alone and along with glucosamine and chondroitin, it is observed that administration of UC-II alone shows a significant reduction in overall pain compared to supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin. It is also observed that 10 mg active UC-II supplementation alone is safe and well tolerated, does not cause any side effects and can be used for longer duration in canines. Considering its innovative mechanism of action, it can be used as an alternative to conventional therapy depending on the clinical severity of the OA.
(Disclaimer: UC-II®- Trademark belongs to Lonza)