K9 Collagen and Joint Problems
Most people have heard of collagen as an anti-aging protein. During our younger years the body continually discards old collagen and creates new one. After the age of 25, the body begins to lose its ability to create new collagen and that is how we startto age. The lack of new collagen leads to aging symptoms, such as fine lines, wrinkles, degenerative disc disease, arthritis and joint problems because collagen is the elastic protein that not only holds skin together but is also found in joints and connective tissue.In fact, collagen makes up 70 to 90% of our muscles, tendons, ligaments and other joint supporting tissues.The same thing happens to our dogs. Maybe they do not suffer from wrinkles and crow's feet but they do suffer from age related joint and soft tissue pain due to collagen loss. Collagen is concentrated mostly in weight supporting tissues, basically cartilage and bones.Collagen is also concentrated in high percentages in the parts of the body transmitting strength, such as tendons.Collagen not only protects joint cartilage, it is also what protects tendons and ligaments against tears.The elastic property of collagen gives ligaments a tiny bit of stretch so that if the joint that ligament supports is stressed,the ligament can withhold the tension without tearing. Just as bridges and high rise buildings need a tiny bit of give in them to weather high winds and earthquakes,ligaments need the elastic properties of collagen to bear shearing forces within the joints. Collagen is also important for the integrity of joint surfaces.Breeders and dog lovers know perfectly well what canine hip and elbow dysplasia is. It happens to all kinds of dogs. Large and small breed dogs and starts earlier in lifeeven in very young dogs. Studies didn't help much.Even when German Shepherd breeders took radiographs of their dogs and only breed the dogs that did not showevidence of hip dysplasia and after ten years of selective breeding, dogs were still producing puppies with the disease. The aging process is inevitable, but we can doa lot to slow it down and in some cases even revert it in a very natural way. Until we won't be able to figure out which genes are responsible, what environmentalfactors or dietary influences most likely cause the disease we must provide the best possible supplementing and lifestyle to support our dogs health.Without the doubt the natural, easily absorbed collagen and Vitamin C are the key factors to dog's healthy joints.