What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a painful, progressive degenerative joint disease that gradually breaks down the cartilage surrounding a dog’s joints.
The most common joint disorder affecting dogs is osteoarthritis (OA). OA is a painful, degenerative, and inflammatory disease that affects synovial joints and ultimately leads to loss of mobility.
OA is chronic joint pain, joint stiffness, reduced flexibility, swelling, narrowing of joint spaces, and formation of osteophytes (bone spurs) and lameness. Nearly 20% of dogs spontaneously develop osteoarthritis, which translates to at least 20 million dogs just in the USA.
Loose bits of collagen break off cartilage into the joint synovial fluid. Your dogs’ immune system sees these bits of collagen as foreign bodies and activates the immune system. This reaction can result in more harm.
As the immune system reacts by attempting to destroy the Collagen, it sees it as a threat, resulting in swelling, stiffness, and pain. Continued wear and tear on cartilage takes a toll on normal joint health.
What are the causes of osteoarthritis?
Some dog breeds are prone to congenital abnormalities like hip dysplasia that predispose them to osteoarthritis. High activity levels, obesity, injuries, age, and disease states such as diabetes and Cushing’s disease can cause osteoarthritis in dogs.
A dogs’ joints, like ours, rely on cartilage to move freely and without pain.
In dogs with osteoarthritis, joint cartilage is damaged from genetic predisposition, overuse, disease states, and injury. This causes friction in the joint, resulting in inflammation, pain, and abnormal bone growths (bone spurs).
In OA, the extracellular matrix breaks down in synovial joints (hips, knees), indicates severe pain in suffering dogs.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a three-dimensional network consisting of extracellular macromolecules (very large molecules such as protein) and minerals, such as collagen, enzymes, glycoproteins, and hydroxyapatite (the principal inorganic constituent of tooth enamel and bone) that provide structural and biochemical support surrounding cells.
How do you know if your dog has OA?
There are common symptoms to watch out for, from loss of appetite, stiffness and lameness, changes in activity level, weight gain, indoor urination, reluctance to run, climb stairs or walk.
Talk to your vet if you notice any or all of these signs.
How To Manage Osteoarthritis In, Your Dog?
The primary goal in managing osteoarthritis in dogs is to control and protect the joints from OA, reducing pain, increasing mobility, and, ideally, the quality of life.
Non-pharmaceutical treatment options for OA include surgery, weight loss, exercise modification, and physical therapy.
Pharmaceutical treatment options are NSAIDs and steroids.
Natural supplements or nutraceuticals used in veterinary medicine range include glucosamine, chondroitin, undenatured Type II collagen, green-lipped mussel, avocado/soybean unsaponifiables, milk protein, creatine, and amino acids.
Today, NSAIDs are the gold-standard pharmaceutical for dogs with osteoarthritis.
However, NSAIDs may be the reason for gastrointestinal ulcerations an adverse effect and are contraindicated when renal insufficiency or dehydration occurs.
The clinical efficacy of NSAIDs is primarily related to the inhibition of COX-2. In contrast, much of the toxicity, particularly in the gastrointestinal system, is related to COX-1 inhibition.
Another issue with NSAIDs might be their adverse effects on cartilage. Because it’s not possible to efficiently study these effects in clinical trials, they are generally ignored in clinical practice because (intrinsic) cartilage changes, catabolic and anabolic, are relatively slow processes in OA.
NSAIDs work for pain control. They do little for the loss of cartilage matrix proteoglycans and slight synovial inflammation, all characteristic of early osteoarthritis. The beneficial effects of NSAIDs on inflammation mask possible direct adverse effects on cartilage.
NSAIDs’ direct effects on cartilage may be significant, specifically in the prolonged treatment of joint disease where inflammation is only mild and secondary. Data on the direct effects of conventional NSAIDs on cartilage are numerous, but results are far from conclusive.
One of the significant issues with progressive diseases like osteoarthritis is how the medications used to treat them affect dogs over time.
Some older NSAIDs can cause harmful changes in your dog’s liver or kidneys. Experts estimate 20 million dogs in the United States suffer from arthritis to some degree, making dogs the second-largest target population for COX-2 selective inhibitors.
NSAIDs’ adverse side effects are even more challenging to manage in dogs as mild clinical signs are easily overlooked. Also, it has been reported that dogs are even less tolerant of NSAIDs than humans and more at risk for NSAID-induced gastropathy.
What is Collagen, what role does it play?
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in dogs and humans, accounting for 25-35% of total body protein content. It is the main structural protein in connective tissue. Collagen constitutes nearly 2% of muscle tissue. It is contained in bones, tendons (including skin and ligaments), cartilage, cornea, and even blood vessels.
Collagen has been categorized into over 16 different types. However, about 90% of the collagen in the body is either type I, II, or III. Among its three main types, collagen type II is most responsible for joint development and maintenance.
How Type II Collagen Can Help Your Dog with Osteoarthritis
Research has shown that in animals with arthritis and joint disorders, the immune system acts and attacks exposed Collagen.
With OA, collagen fibers that are damaged fill the joint space in synovial fluid triggering your dog’s immune system to view these fibers as a hostile attack, causing the painful inflammatory cascade responsible for your dog’s symptoms.
Type II Collagen retrains your dog’s immune response.
As a result, clinical researchers started conducting experiments to determine how they could inhibit or interfere with Collagen’s immune reactivity.
They discovered that a component within chicken soup facilitated anti-inflammatory effects to the discovery that, after consumption, sites of joint inflammation were protected from immune attacks.
Researchers determined that Type II chicken collagen favorably modulated immune function and induced tolerance to exposed Collagen with further investigation.
Chicken collagen was initially investigated as an intervention for rheumatoid arthritis.
When normally processed (denatured), type II collagen failed to induce oral tolerance; it was discovered that to induce oral tolerance, the type II collagen must remain undenatured (unprocessed) to retain bioactivity within a dogs body for the inducement of oral tolerance.
Type II Collagen works with your dog’s immune system to break the inflammation cycle of arthritic pain.
Naturally sourced from chicken sternum, Type II Collagen has similar properties to the damaged Collagen released by your dog’s body.
With Type II Collagen’s ingestion, your dog’s immune system learns to become less reactive and tolerate the damaged collagen fibers released by their own body. Through the process of inducing the immune response and suppressing the immune response by invoking oral tolerization. As a result, inflammation is reduced, which can alleviate your dog’s symptoms, helping get them back to doing the things they love.
A study in the Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics Efficacy and Safety of Glycosylated Undenatured Type-II Collagen in the therapy of arthritic dogs Dogs receiving oral doses of Type II Collagen alone showed 33% showed significant reductions in overall pain within 30 days.
After 60 days, 66% demonstrated less pain upon limb manipulation and exercise-associated lameness after 60 days of starting treatment with Type II Collagen added to their diet.
At 90 days, ground force plate studies showed significant improvement on pressure plates demonstrating that dogs could put more weight on their arthritic leg than 90 days previously.
At 120 days, the maximum reduction in pain was noted with an overall pain reduction of 62%; reduction in exercise-associated lameness, 78%, and pain reduction upon limb manipulation, 91%.
A relapse of pain was demonstrated in all the dogs after 30 days of the withdrawal from oral Type II Collagen.
Does Type II Collagen combined with Chondroitin and/or Glucosamine have additional benefits?
A clinical study by Gupta et al Arthritis Treatment in Dogs. J. Anim. Physiol. Anim. Nutr. 2012 assessed the therapeutic effectiveness of Type II Collagen alone or in combination with chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride on moderate arthritic dogs and to determine the combined tolerance and safety.
The dogs were daily treated with placebo, 10 mg active Type II Collagen, or 2000 mg glucosamine hydrochloride and 1600 mg chondroitin sulfate, and or in Type II Collagen combined with glucosamine–hydrochloride and chondroitin–sulfate for 150 days.
A significant decrease in pain was observed in the treated dogs.
When moderately arthritic dogs treated with Type II collagen (10 mg), a significant reduction in arthritic pain with maximum improvement occurred by day 150.
Significant increases in peak vertical force and impulse area, indicative of a decrease in arthritis-associated pain, were observed only in dogs treated with Type II Collagen.
Is Type II Collagen Safe For My Dog?
A leading advantage of Type II Collagen, derived from chicken sternum, is a supplement that has been proven through numerous clinical studies that does not produce any changes in kidney or liver function, making it safe to use for more extended periods.
In dogs with osteoarthritis, Type II collagen has excellent bio-availability. The body does a great job absorbing and using in a dose as small as 10 milligrams a day with painful knee osteoarthritis.
Dogs receiving 1 mg or 10 mg Type II collagen a day for 90 days showed significant declines in overall pain and pain during limb manipulation and lameness after physical exertion. Dogs receiving 10 mg a day showed more substantial improvement.
With both doses of Type II collagen, no adverse effects were seen, and no significant changes were noted in blood chemistry, suggesting that Type II collagen is well tolerated and safe.
Where is Type II Collagen found?
Type II collagen is from chicken sternum.
Active Dawg USDA Certified Organic Chicken Bone Broth has been enriched with Type II collagen. Containing a minimum of 55% Type II collagen to repair joints and cartilage.
Type II Collagen Mechanism of Action
Type II collagen administered orally helps the body differentiate between bacteria, and essential elements that are good for the body, such as nutrients and amino acids.
Oral tolerance is series of complex immunological events.
Lymphoid tissue patches surrounding the small intestine screen incoming compounds and serve as a “switch” to turn the body’s immune response on and off to foreign substances depending upon what that substance is.
This is oral tolerance and takes place in the small intestine, where food is absorbed.
With Type II collagen, a small amount (typically 10 mg / 1 tablespoon of Active Dawg Chicken Bone Broth) taken orally has been clinically demonstrated to switch off the immune response that is targeted at the type II collagen present in bone joint cartilage. This suppresses the action of cells involved in the normal breakdown of Collagen and other extracellular matrix proteins, giving the body a better chance to repair joint damage.