Snap, Crackle, Pop

Taken from - SAENA Spring 2012 Edition

"Ahhhh, the sounds of arthritis. Not me, my dog! Arthritis is affecting our canine companions. How do we make them more comfortable and maintain their mobility and independence?

There is a widely held belief that arthritis is simply a consequence of age, but it is not a natural part of ageing. The more common form of arthritis in dogs is osteoarthritis where the smooth tissue that covers the ends of the bones, the condyle, is damaged resulting in joint weakness, instability and deformities which cause pain, stiffness and inflammation in the joints.

There are many causes of arthritis in dogs. Poor conformation, poor nutrition and injury can result in joints being damaged, so the body calls on the plasterers to fill in the gaps with arthritis to assist with stabilising the joints. Where arthritis is deployed by the body, the integrity of the joint is compromised leaving a jagged, rough surface that is unable to move smoothly, resulting in inflammation, pain and reduced range of movement.

Canine Myofunctional Therapy (CMT) to the rescue! The musculoskeletal system adjusts to the introduction of arthritis in the body with compensation and reduced activity to avoid pain. CMT works directly on the soft tissue to deliver fresh oxygenated blood to the muscles and joints, stimulate the lymphatic system to help remove toxins from the effected joints and releases tight muscles by stretching connective tissue and taking pressure off the tendons to allow for more comfortable muscle action. In conjunction with CMT, optimum nutrition, weight control and regular exercise are vitally important in managing the condition of arthritis in our dogs.

My beautiful 8 ½ yr old Labrador Retriever Ella has been living with arthritis for the past 5 years. Ella's left hip is partially displaced and has been affected by arthritis since the age of 4. Her right hip is now affected because of compensation in her movement. Ella has received a CMT treatment every month since the age of 4 to ensure her muscles are moving freely to support her damaged joints, she is maintained at a lean weight with a preservative free, natural, raw diet and enjoys daily exercise that includes walking, swimming and lots of wiggling and wagging. Ella has not yet had to consider medications to assist with her arthritis because of the wonderful benefits CMT can offer."