IMPA or Immune-Mediated Polyarthritis in Dogs

Immune-Mediated Polyarthritis In Dogs

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Immune-Mediated Polyarthritis or IMPA is an inflammatory disease of the movable joints that affects dogs. Immune-mediated means that the disease is brought about by the dog’s own immune system, and polyarthritis in dogs refers to inflammation in more than just one joint.

With an overactive immune system sometimes the body produces an over abundance of white blood cells and attacks itself. This is similar to the achy feeling when we have the flu. The immune system is revved up to fight off infection but also affects normally healthy joints.

This is precisely what happens in IMPA. White blood cells function improperly and attack healthy joints leading to pain, inflammation, and difficulty walking.

IMPA Overview

There are two types of IMPA that are brought on by various factors. Veterinarians categorize IMPA as either Erosive or Non-Erosive. Erosive IMPA is less common and affects only one percent of dogs with this disease. It is similar to rheumatoid arthritis in humans. Erosive IMPA is rare in dogs and it destructs cartilage as well as bones.

Non-Erosive IMPA is the more common form of the disease, and is not joint destructive. Veterinarians may determine the type by performing X-rays, blood tests, urine cultures and sometimes joint taps. Because it is an auto-immune disease the vet will do tests to ensure there is not an underlying cause such as cancer or infection. If the tests do not reveal evidence of an underlying cause, then the condition is termed “autoimmune” polyarthritis.

The reason for this misdirected attack is not completely clear. Some breeds are more susceptible. It it thought IMPA can develop due to antibiotic use and even as a side effect from certain vaccines. Age, diet, obesity and stress may also play roles in the disease development.

Joint disease is common in all ages and breeds of dogs – in fact one in five dogs are believed to have it. While IMPA can affect all sizes of dogs, it is more common in larger breeds. The breeds more prone to this disease are Akitas, Sharpeis, German Shepards and Burmese Mountain Dogs.

The National Institutes of Health has an in-depth published study of IMPA where 83 cases were studied over an 11 year period.

IMPA Signs and Symptoms

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IMPA causes achy and sore joints due to inflammation. Some signs your pet may have IMPA are a reluctance to walk, difficulty handling stairs, whimpering when walking, or appearance to “walk on eggshells.” These symptoms may also include lack of appetite, low-grade fever, a reluctance to play, and mild joint swelling.

The most common symptom of IMPA in dogs is joint pain. If your pet is experiencing any type of joint pain, a supplement like Flexpet can be very beneficial. Flexpet is an anti-inflammatory and a pain reliever. It helps to alleviate the discomfort caused by painful joints so your pets can go back to living a normal, active life.

If you suspect that your dog may have IMPA or they are experiencing these types of symptoms it is important to seek veterinary help to determine the cause of your dog’s pain.

IMPA Treatment For Dogs

As with any auto-immune disease, the first step in avoiding IMPA is prevention. There are a number of different precautions you can take to help protect your pet from this debilitating disease. Maintaining a healthy weight and diet are very important. Also, you may want to consider a supplement, especially as your pet ages. If your dog has been diagnosed with IMPA your vet may prescribe medication.

Steroids

A common medication prescribed for IMPA is a steroid such as Prednisone or Prednisolone. This strong medication is prescribed to temporarily relieve pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties. This medication can only be used temporarily because prolonged use may damage tissue such as stomach lining, and it also has many other side effects. These include vomiting, diarrhea, aggression or behavioral changes, and lethargy.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs – NSAIDs

Another option is to use a Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. NSAIDs are medications that relieve or reduce pain. The most popular examples of this group of drugs are TRAMADOL, RIMADYL (carprofen), METACAM (meloxicam), meg-sanchez-75919NOVOCOX (carprofen), GALLIPRANT or PREVICOX (firocoxib). Again, NSAIDs provide temporary relief and are not without long term use side effects. The side effects of NSAIDs are mainly seen in the digestive tract, kidneys, and liver.

Supplements for IMPA and Joint Pain

Using prescribed medications is a balancing act where you have to weigh the benefits against the risks. Considering an all-natural joint pain relief supplement that has no known side-effects may be a route you want to take in relieving your pet’s pain and inflammation.

Flexpet is an excellent solution to help alleviate the symptoms of IMPA and keep your dog pain free. Flexpet offers an all-natural alternative to other medications that works hard to get to the root of the problem.

In addition to helping relieve pain, Flexpet helps your dog in other ways. Its active ingredients work to lubricate your dog’s joints, as well as help rebuild joints and cartilage. There are also natural enzyme ingredients in Flexpet that make sure your dog is digesting the supplement properly, and that the healing aspects are being properly retained.

FlexPet’s patented ingredient CM8, also known as cetyl myristoleate, is a natural anti-inflammatory that lubricates and reduces swelling in the joints. Flexpet also contains:

GLUCOSAMINE SULFATE POTASSIUM: A naturally occurring chemical found in mammals that reduces stiffness, joint swelling and osteoarthritis related pain. Glucosamine plays a key role in cartilage construction and the incorporation of sulfur into cartilage.

MSM (METHYLSULFONYLMETHANE): MSM is a sulfur compound that occurs naturally in plants and animals. Sulfur is needed by the body to form connective tissue. The MSM in Flexpet products has been specially formulated to increase the absorption rate of sulfur.

HYDROLYZED COLLAGEN TYPE II: This is an ingredient found in cartilage, the connective tissue that cushions the joints. Collagen is made of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and it is used in an effort to protect and rebuild joint cartilage.

BROMELAIN: An enzyme found naturally in pineapple is used to reduce swelling especially after surgery or injury. It has also been shown to reduce sinus inflammation.

ENZYME BLEND: Digestion is dependent on enzymes produced naturally by the body. Larger molecules like Cetyl Myristoleate require more effort for the body to digest and absorb. Our natural enzyme blend is a complex proteinaceous substance used to induce and accelerate reactions necessary for metabolism.

Giving your pet the recommended dose of Flexpet to treat IMPA symptoms can help keep your pet healthy, happy, pain-free, and return to a more active lifestyle.

Let Flexpet Help

We are so confident in positive results, Flexpet comes with a 90-day money back guarantee. If you are unsatisfied simply return the empty bottles, and we’ll give you a refund of the purchase price – no hassles, no headaches.

The best thing you can do for your pet is to take all of the information into consideration and be mindful when deciding how to treat pain and disease like IMPA.

It can be upsetting to learn that your dog has contracted a disease like IMPA, but with the proper veterinary care and the help of supplements like Flexpet, your dog can continue to live a long, fulfilling life.

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