Metabolic Bone Disease

Written by Beth Hrusch
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Metabolic bone disease causes the pain and inflammation of arthritis in dogs. As dogs age, they start losing their ability to effectively fight the stresses that come from within their own bodies. The accumulated effect of metabolic processes work to weaken the cells and reduce their ability to build healthy new tissue. In the case of arthritis, these stresses damage the building blocks that produce cartilage. A loss of cartilage in the joints signals the onset of painful, degenerative joint disease.

The Factors Of Metabolic Bone Disease

Two factors conspire to cause healthy cells to deteriorate, and both are the natural by-products of metabolism. These factors are free radicals and oxidative stress. Free radicals are unstable atoms that damage the DNA of healthy cells, impairing their function. Oxidative stress is a loss in the production of enzymes that fight free radicals. The combination of these stresses have a powerful negative effect on the body's ability to heal itself, and thus contributes to the onset of disease and the aging process.

Arthritis is a metabolic bone disease that occurs when a dog is experiencing these stresses and its body can no longer effectively fight them. When free radicals attack cartilage, it starts to break down. An aging dog cannot adequately replace it and bones start to lose their cushion. Nutritional supplements and antioxidants can give a dog's natural defenses a boost in ridding itself of these stress factors.

While several factors are involved in the onset of arthritis in dogs, metabolic bone disease is a primary source of the problem. The natural effects of aging wreak havoc on the body's cells, causing them to lose their ability to perform their proper functions. In dogs, as in humans, the key to combating this is to provide the cells with the nutrition they need to be strong and to maintain their function.

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