A New Healthy Weapon Against Arthritis and Pain

Perna canaliculus, the green lipped mussel
New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels

We’ve seen a spate of back injuries lately, and so it’s prompted me to discuss Perna canaliculus once more.  Perna canaliculus, or Perna for short, is the technical name for the New Zealand green lipped mussel. It is a bivalve mollusk, found exclusively in the intertidal zones around all of New Zealand.

Perna has been known for years as a medicinal nutritional supplement that helps alleviate the signs, symptoms, and ongoing progression of arthritis and osteomyelitis. It is effective in minimizing the inflammation associated with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

Technically, Perna inhibits 5-lipoxygenase, which is necessary for the formation of some of the inflammatory chemicals found in arthritis. By blocking 5-lipoxygenase the inflammatory response is reduced.

Perna canaliculus was discovered when anecdotal evidence led scientists several decades ago to discover that members of the Maori people who lived along New Zealand’s coast suffered fewer cases of rheumatic disorders than those who lived inland. It was also found that Perna was one of the mainstays of the coastal-dwelling Maoris’ diet.

Besides blocking 5-lipoxygenase, Perna also contains high levels of a unique Omega 3 fatty acid called eicosatetraenoic acid, or ETA. Now, we’ve known for a long time that Omega 3 fatty acids in general are very beneficial in the alleviation of pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. However, the usual sources of Omega 3’s are fish and flaxseed, and they contain primarily EPA and DHA Omega 3’s.  And while EPA and DHA are both good, ETA is a much more potent anti-inflammatory than the commonly found Omega 3’s.

Published reports are consistent in their findings that Perna mussel produces an anti-inflammatory response. A Clemson University study found that Perna was effective in reducing the onset of rheumatoid arthritis as well as reversing it in mice and rats. Out of eighteen test animals with arthritis that were fed Perna mussel, only three developed arthritis compared to 10 out of 15 in the control group. Another study found that the green-lipped mussel was effective in reducing pain, swelling, and stiffness in 60 human patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. And importantly, a French study using 53 patients suffering from osteoarthritis in the knee reported that the Perna extract was “well tolerated by the participants with no adverse conditions reported.”

Because of its potent anti-inflammatory effects, we strongly recommend that Perna be included in any joint supplement prescribed to help control the pain and inflammation of arthritis, including back pain and inter-vertebral disc disease. It is rare that routine over-the-counter joint products found at pet stores or health food stores contain Perna as one of their ingredients. Typically, you have to go to a health care provider to get this potent supplement.

EZ Joint ChewsOur EZ Joint Chews that we use routinely for arthritis and back issues not only contain glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, but they also contain high levels of Perna and other Omega 3 fatty acids. And unlike most over-the-counter products, they are pharmaceutical grade, insuring the highest level of purity and bioavailability. They come as an extremely tasty chewy treat that most dogs love, and remarkably, are no more expensive than most over-the-counter medications found at the big box pet stores. We highly recommend them for any form of joint condition.

Click here to learn more about arthritis and hip dysplasia in dogs.

Hip Dysplasia and Joint Issues in Dogs

There are a number of ways to prevent and/or treat a dog or cat with hip, bone, and joint issues ranging from hip dysplasia to arthritis.   For the sake of time and effort, this article will focus on hip dysplasia, as it is the most common of all the hip, bone and joint issues.

Dog breeds that normally develop hip dysplasia are large to giant sized breeds. However, hip dysplasia can also appear in mixed breeds or crossbreeds that weigh over 30 pounds.

Hip dysplasia x-ray
Early, mild hip dysplasia in a Labrador Retriever.

It is one of the most common genetic conditions known in dogs. More than one gene is responsible for the deformity of the hip joints. Treatment can be expensive, often requiring corrective surgery. There is a fair degree of argument in the scientific journals regarding the causes of hip dysplasia, and whether it’s more of an environmental problem or a genetic issue. It has been our experience that genetics are the key driver of hip dysplasia in dogs. To the degree that environmental factors play a role they all can be lumped into the category of diet in the first year of life. We’ll broach that subject in depth in later articles.

Being a primarily genetic issue, it is important to remember that in most cases, the symptoms of hip dysplasia appear before the puppy is 13 months old, although in theory they can present when the dog is older. We very frequently encounter owners who bring in their large breed dogs who are 7 or more years old, and think the dog’s rear leg weakness is due to bad hips. Almost without exception, those dogs have other joint issues than hips. The most common joint issues in these older dogs are knee problems – such as torn anterior cruciate ligaments – or spinal issues, such as spondylosis.

Common Breeds

The most common breeds known to be prone to hip dysplasia include:

  • Labrador Retriever
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Golden Retriever
  • Australian Shepherd
  • German Shepherd
  • American Staffordshire Terrier (or AmStaff)
  • Bullmastiff
  • Mastiff (taller than the bullmastiff)
  • Great Dane
  • Rottweiler
  • Standard Poodle
  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Akita
  • Chinese Shar-Pei
  • Chow Chow
  • Dogue de Bourdeax or French Mastiff
  • Newfoundland (Newfies)
  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Kuvasz
  • American bulldog
  • Argentine Dogo (or Dogo Argentino)
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Alaskan malamute
  • Samoyed
  • Briard
  • Puli (or Hungarian Puli)
  • Saint Bernard
  • Old English Sheepdog

Uncommon Breeds

These are basically dogs that are squarely built and have large appetites. If a dog is known to have one or more of these breeds in their ancestry, then it is important they are not allowed to get overweight.

A High Impact Naturopathic Remedy

Located below is a simple naturopathic remedy to treat hip dysplasia and other hip, bone, and joint related issues.  These ingredients and more are all included in our custom-formulated No Painful Dogs joint health supplement.

DO NOT FEED THESE INGREDIENTS TO A DOG OR CAT YOUNGER THAN TWO YEARS OLD, AS IT WILL INHIBIT THE NATURAL PRODUCTION OF BOTH GLUCOSAMINE AND CHONROITIN AT A VITAL STAGE OF THE ANIMAL’S LIFE.

  1. Glucosamine
  2. Green Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus)
  3. Chondroitin sulfate
  4. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
  5. Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids

Other Naturopathic Remedies

Some of the other alternative, herbal, and naturopathic remedies that can help alleviate the signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia include the following. We’ll be discussing some of these in future posts:

  • Churchuhuasi
  • Turmeric
  • Devils Claw
  • Horsetail
  • Celery Seed
  • Dandelion,Yucca
  • Magnolia
  • Chamomile
  • Yellow Dock
  • Ginger
  • Coconut Oil
  • Lactoferrin
  • Acai Berry
  • Beta Glucan Supreme
  • Barley Sprouts
  • Spirulina
  • Colostru
  • Agaricus Blazei
  • Turkey Tail
  • Reishi