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Arthritis in Cats


These compounds appear to modify the progression of osteoarthritis by preventing the further breakdown of cartilage. Breakdown of cartilage is the first step in the development of osteoarthritis. Chondroprotectants are most effective when used early in the course of the disease.

Chondroprotective agents are nutraceuticals-products that lie somewhere between a nutrient and a drug. Nutraceuticals are believed to have medical value based on subjective evidence of their effectiveness, although clinical evidence based on controlled studies is lacking for many of these. Unlike drugs, nutraceuticals do not undergo an approval process and are not regulated by a federal agency. Numerous controlled studies in humans, limited studies done on dogs and cats, and anecdotal reports suggest these substances do have medical value for arthritic cats.

Most nutraceuticals used to treat osteoarthritis contain glucosamine, polysulfated glycosaminoglycans, and chondroitin sulfates-compounds known to be involved in the synthesis and repair of joint cartilage. Examples include Cosequin, Glycoflex, and Sea Flex. These compounds are given orally, some as treats. Because cats are small animals, it is important to choose joint supplements that are formulated specifically for cats.

WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"


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