Joint Anatomy

Synovial Joints. The foundation of movement.

Synovial joints are the most common type of joint in the dog’s body, and they serve two functions. They enable movement and transfer weight distribution. They are natural pivot points that give dogs their flexibility and mobility. For a joint to stay active, it must remain stable. Instability exerts abnormal forces on the joint and results in joint damage and disease progression.

Adequan Canine dog lake jump

Five Components: Each with a Purpose

Adequan Equine horse healthy joint graphic solo

Joint Capsule with two layers:

  • Encloses and protects the joint

Outer Fibrous Layer: Provides mechanical stability

Inner Synovial Membrane: Filters blood, excludes the protein and manages hyaluronic acid to form synovial (joint) fluid

Articular Cartilage

  • Allows bones to glide over each other smoothly
  • Distributes loads evenly into subchondral bone
  • Cushions bone against impacting each other

Subchondral Bone

  • Absorbs the forces of movement, a second type of shock absorption
  • Carries away waste from the joint

The importance of preserving cartilage.1

Articular cartilage is a highly specialized connective tissue of the synovial joints. Unlike most tissues, it contains no blood vessels, lymphatics or nerves. This unique and complex structure of articular cartilage gives it a limited capacity for intrinsic healing and repair. It’s also subjected to the harsh biomechanical environment, the daily “wear and tear” of every movement. Damage to cartilage is associated with significant musculoskeletal disease. Therefore, maintaining the health of articular cartilage is paramount to joint health.

Key facts about canine joints.

There are three types of canine joints:

  • Fibrous or fixed, such as skull structures, are connected by dense connective tissue consisting mainly of collagen.
  • Cartilaginous, such as between the intervertebral discs, are connected entirely by cartilage.
  • Synovial or free moving, enable movement and transfer load, the most common in dogs.

Dogs have synovial joints that are ball and socket, hinge or gliding types. Following are the joints most affected by osteoarthritis.

  • Shoulder (ball and socket)
  • Hip (ball and socket)
  • Knee (hinge)
  • Elbow (gliding)
  • Hock (gliding)

Because it contains
no nerves, damage
to cartilage is not a
source of joint pain.

Adequan Equine degraded cartilage rendering

Healthy Cartilage

Adequan Equine degraded cartilage rendering

Damaged Cartilage

See how equine joints are similar.

Adequan® Canine brand of polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG)
INDICATIONS Adequan® Canine is recommended for intramuscular injection for the control of signs associated with non-infectious degenerative and/or traumatic arthritis of canine synovial joints.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION Adequan® Canine should not be used in dogs who are hypersensitive to PSGAG or who have a known or suspected bleeding disorder. It should be used with caution in dogs with renal or hepatic impairment. Adverse reactions in clinical studies (transient pain at injection site, transient diarrhea, and abnormal bleeding) were mild and self-limiting. In post approval experience, death has been reported in some cases; vomiting, anorexia, depression/lethargy and diarrhea have also been reported. The safe use of PSGAG in breeding, pregnant or lactating dogs has not been evaluated. Caution: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. For additional safety information, please see Full Prescribing Information.
1. WC Renberg. Pathophysiology and Management of Arthritis, Vet Clin Small Anim 35 (2005): 1073 1091; doi:10.1016/j.cvsm.2005.05.005.

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