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What is UC-II and How Does It Help with Osteoarthritis in Dogs?

It’s time for Tripawd Talk Radio #125: What is UC-II and how can it help osteoarthritis effects in Tripawd dogs? Today you’ll find out from veterinarian, Dr Christine, co-founder of an innovative joint supplement called Jope.

Tripawd Talk discusses the best way to help a Tripawd with osteoarthritis
What’s the best way to help a Tripawd with osteoarthritis?

Dr. Christine’s Jope supplement is essential to know about, because Tripawds are more prone to osteoarthritis. Left untreated, it impacts their quality of life, and doesn’t get better over time either. It’s essential for us to understand how to manage and mitigate osteoarthritis effects in our Tripawd heroes. Joint supplements are part of that strategy.

Right away, we knew Dr. Christine’s Jope supplement could be part of our Nellie’s OA management strategy. Now, we get pitched by a lot of supplements companies, and we turn down most of them when asked to promote a product. But we knew Jope was different from the get-go.

Jope dog supplement for Tripawds
(Jope Tripawds discount code is below).
  • Jope is one of the few dog arthritis supplements that was designed and created by two veterinarians, Dr. Christine and Dr. Jeremy.
  • And Jope utilizes the power of UC-II®(Undenatured Collagen), a product with strong research behind it. Most clinical studies about UC-II® have been performed on humans and conclude that it can build strong, healthy joints and give pain relief for people with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis (OA). These studies have given the FDA enough confidence to determine that UC-II supplements are “Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS).”

Dr. Christine was kind enough to send a 90-day supply to Nellie. At the end of the trial, we knew we could feel good about sharing Jope with you. It’s helping Nellie stay consistently strong and mobile, even after we relocated to Alaska last winter. Our fears about her osteoarthritis worsening never materialized.

What is UC-II and Why Does It Work?

In today’s Tripawd Talk Radio podcast with Dr. Christine, you’ll learn about the impact of osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease. Learn how to manage it. And learn how Jope minimizes the effects by using the power of UC-II®(Undenatured Collagen), curcumin, Omega 3, and other helpful ingredients.

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All Tripawds Arthritis Articles:

Is Your Tripawd Already Showing OA Signs?

Recognizing the signs of osteoarthritis early is crucial for effective management. Symptoms can include:

  • Decreased activity levels
  • Difficulty standing up or lying down
  • Visible joint swelling

When signs of osteoarthritis in Tripawd dog, it already means the condition has advanced. But it doesn’t mean you should give up hope! Dr. Christine’s supplement is an important, helpful tool in slowing down and managing this painful condition. Tune in now to hear what she advises not just about Jope, but about:

  • The Importance of Weight Management
  • Why Physical Therapy Helps
  • Pain Management
  • Supportive Care with assistive devices like harnesses for Tripawd dogs.

A complete transcript follows this YouTube video of the podcast audio.

Watch Our Audio Recording on YouTube with Dr. Christine

Learn how UC-II and Jope helps Tripawd dogs with osteoarthritis.

Transcript: What is UC-II and How Does It Help with Osteoarthritis in Dogs?

TRIPAWDS: Welcome back to Tripawd Talk radio. Jim here And today Rene is talking with doctor Christine Colamonico all about osteoarthritis, or OA in dogs, especially how it is so common among Tripawds and only gets worse over time.

This topic really hits home with us because we helped Wyatt Ray manage severe arthritis as he got older. Spending twelve plus years on one rear leg really took its toll on his mobility. We attribute Wyatt’s longevity to good weight management and the rehab exercises we did with him his entire life. But along the way, we tried many different joint supplements and other rehab modalities to manage the pain from OA that only got worse as Wyatt aged.

One of those supplements recommended by Wyatt’s rehab team was UC-II. But what exactly is undenatured type two collagen? And how does it work?

Well, Doctor Christine has a similar story about her own heart and soul dog, Pepsi, who also developed OA that affected the quality of life for her best running buddy. She believes so much in the science behind UC-II that she’s created her own supplement based on this key ingredient. ‘

Jope also includes omega-3s curcumin and other ingredients designed to keep joints healthy. And that is so important for Tripawds! Check the show notes for a job discount code. And yes, Tripawds earns a small commission if you purchase.

But as you’ll hear, we’ve been personally using job for Nellie for nearly six months now and have noticed a considerable improvement in her mobility. So consider trying job for your dog after learning all about osteoarthritis in Tripawds and how UC-II can help.

Doctor Christine, thank you so much for joining us today.

DR. CHRISTINE: It’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Let’s talk about osteoarthritis in Tripawd dogs

TRIPAWDS: Dr. Christine, I wanted to talk to you because, well, as you know, we have a three-and-a-half legged dog named Nellie who has some, severe mobility problems that need help. And when I found you, or actually, you know, we just kind of bumped into each other online, and I just thought, everybody needs to know what you’re doing, because I really feel that Nellie is benefiting from your work. And we’ll get into that in a minute.

But what I want to start by talking about is osteoarthritis in dogs and cats, and your work revolves, around that. That’s why you’re here today. But, you know, long ago, when Jim and I got our first dog, osteoarthritis was not even mentioned. Our vets never talked to us about it, and it wasn’t until he got much older that it came into the conversation. Now, however, I keep hearing about it in relation to younger animals and be aware of it for younger cats and dogs. I wanted to ask you, what are veterinarians learning that’s different now about osteoarthritis in animals? And why is it such a big deal? Why do we need to know?

DR. CHRISTINE: So I think you touched on a lot of points that are, very true, and that we’re realizing more and more, especially having younger animals, develop arthritis, or what we call osteoarthritis. We often think of arthritis as, like, the disease of older dogs, but we’re realizing that it can actually affect dogs as early as one year of age. and so, when I was in vet school, which was between 2010 and 2015, we were taught about basically what is arthritis and then how to manage it. so do you want me to dive into that, or did you have.

What is Osteoarthritis in Dogs? How Do You Manage It?

RENE: Yeah, let’s just do a little rundown of it, just to make sure that everybody’s on the same page here.

DR. CHRISTINE: Okay? Yeah. So I think it’s a good idea, probably, to just understand what arthritis is, what, we also call osteoarthritis. So it’s important to remember that it’s a degenerative disease that is going to worsen over time. And like you pointed out, there’s dogs of any age that can really suffer from it. the problem is, once you have arthritis, you can’t actually go back. And to date, there’s no curative treatment to basically reverse what is happening in an animal’s joint or in a human joint, for that matter.

What happens when you have arthritis is that you’re going to have, a different reason for arthritis. First of all, there’s different causes that are going to lead to the same, presentation, which is arthritis. dogs are going to express it very differently. There’s a lot of different signs that you can see when a dog has arthritis. If they’re three legged or four legged, that can also impact the signs you’re going to see.

What is also very important is to remember that, there’s signs, but there’s also changes that we can see on radiograph, for example. These are changes that are called structural changes that are seen in the joint. What you’re going to see is that when there’s arthritis, one part in the joint specifically, which we call the cartilage, does that. Do you know what a cartilage is?

What is Joint Cartilage?

RENE: Go ahead and explain.

DR. CHRISTINE: So cartilage is actually like a cushion that we have, between two bones, at the joint level, and it allows for the bones to move comfortably, and it acts like a cushion. When a dog or a human has arthritis, the cushion is breaking down and is basically becoming thinner. So over time, you’re going to have bone to bone interaction, which is very painful, as you can imagine. And the changes, are going to be there to stay. That is really what you’re going to see on radiograph.

What happens, and the reason these changes are progressing is because there’s inflammation that starts in the joint for different reason, and then it becomes a chronic and vicious circle, which continues to lead to damage in the joint.

RENE: That is a great explanation. So the inflammation is causing the cartilage to wear away. And it’s my understanding that inflammation can be anything like caused by cancer or obesity, maybe inappropriate activity, that kind of thing. Is that right?

DR. CHRISTINE: Yes. There’s many different reasons, for it to start, and cancer is basically something that’s going to create a chronic inflammation in the body. Kind of generalized same, thing for obesity. You’re going to have more inflammatory cells. so any condition that is chronic and leads to inflammation can be a reason arthritis is going to start as well.

RENE: Wow. So everything eventually might end up there in the cartilage and cause pain. And we’ll talk about pain in a little bit. But first, I’m curious, are there certain breeds of dogs, and cats, that are more prone to getting osteoarthritis yes.

Certain breeds have a higher likelihood of arthritis

DR. CHRISTINE: There are, m a higher risk for certain breeds. In dogs, I think just to generalize, it’s going to be the larger breed dogs. Think your bigger dogs that are growing fast, like, great Danes, German Shepherds, Labradors, but also any dog that is going to have a, body structure that puts their joints at a higher risk of having some sort of abnormal movement.

For example, Corgis, because they’re a bit longer, the Frenchies, where they have different body types, that, makes it that they’re more prone to. Smaller dogs can also be at risk of having disease and arthritis, and then there’s also cats. Some of them have a higher likelihood as well. For example, the Maine Coon, the Siamese, the Scottish folds, too.

Whenever you have an animal that is pure breed, they’re at a higher likelihood of having arthritis or joint disease than a mixed breed. And then certain breeds have a higher likelihood of certain diseases that can lead to arthritis.

RENE: That is so interesting because we usually hear about breeds in relation to things like cancer risk. But I didn’t know that about osteoarthritis. Now we can’t help that we fall in love with a certain breed type. Like my thing, Jim’s thing, is German Shepherds. We’re just a sucker for a Shepherd, who are obviously really prone to arthritis.

But how about activities? Do certain activities tend to be the reason behind arthritis?

DR. CHRISTINE: So it’s a very good question, and I think that’s one we don’t always think about. I think if we were to ask somebody, you know, which type of active dogs could have a higher likelihood of having arthritis, they would think about working dogs, which is true, because they’re going to be much more active. And, you know, if you think about, for example, dogs working with the police or the fireman department, you can imagine they are going to have more pressure on their joint on a regular basis.

But generally speaking, dogs that, you know, run all over the place in the yard or jump really high. Like my brother has a Frenchie who loves to jump after the, you know, the top of the champagne, the cork, and he just jumps and bounce and bounce and bounce. And he could do this for, like, hours when we’re opening champagne. And so even for him, he’s not a working dog. But the constant, you know, like jumping can really lead to also just more pressure on the joint, micro trauma, which can increase the likelihood of having problems with the joint later on.

It’s not certain, but it’s just the more you use your joints, the more pressure you’re going to put on them, the more friction, the higher likelihood something later is going to happen. So just be mindful for, you know, young dogs that are growing. Try to make sure they’re not jumping all over the place, that, you know, you’re being mindful just of their joints in general, and try to, ensure their activity is in line with what their body can do as well.

RENE: That is especially important for us with special needs animals. Dogs missing a leg. Cat’s missing a leg, too. You know, a lot of people think their cat is just going to jump no matter what, but we tend to find in our community that some cats can actually be trained to use pet stairs and. And ramps and perches and things to avoid jumping from the top of the kitchen cabinets and that sort of thing.

But it seems so ironic that movement and staying active will keep us in good shape, yet it can also cause damage. I know there’s a fine line that we have to walk there somehow, which. That can be so tricky because we want our Tripawds to stay healthy and not be overweight.

But how do we find that activity that’s just right for them?

That’s one reason why we really encourage people to see a rehab therapist for their animals, so that they can learn what activities are appropriate, especially for that breed type or species.

But I don’t want to get too far off topic because we just love talking about rehab here. But as far as how oa impacts the joints when it comes to Tripawds, does it affect them differently depending on, let’s say, what leg they’ve lost or maybe their age?

Do Tripawds develop arthritis differently depending on what leg they’ve lost?

DR. CHRISTINE: So, you know, for Tripawds, they’re going to have to use their, remaining limbs differently from a four legged animal, and they’re going to constantly put more pressure on the joints of the remaining limbs.

It’s kind of like for them, even if they’re not overweight and they’re very healthy. It’s kind of a similar scenario, where you have a dog that is overweight and that is going to have more weight to carry, every day. They basically are having more pressure put on their joints. So even if they’re healthy, you just want to be mindful. And that’s where maybe modifying your environment can be beneficial, so that you’re helping them adapt.

How Does a Missing Front Leg or Back Leg Make a Difference?

And then you were asking if they lost a front leg or hind leg, how can that impact? So it’s going to have a repercussion on the likelihood of the joint disease that they might be more susceptible to having in the future. For example, if they lost a back leg, they might be more prone to having hip dysplasia because they’re going to be putting more pressure on the other hind limb. But then if it’s a front limb that they lost, they might be putting more pressure on their other front limb. And that’s where you could have elbow dysplasia, shoulder dysplasia. I think that’s what you want to keep in mind.

You probably want to monitor them (Tripawds) a bit more closely because they’re really working their joints harder than the four legged animal, whether it’s a cat or whether it’s a dog. I do think, I would say you’re probably already extra careful with them. but I would say monitoring and really being on the lookout for any changes.

Earlier you were telling me about Nellie, who, she was in the morning, maybe not as mobile because she really feels it. Seeing if that improves with the weather or over time, I think that’s important to monitor and just maybe be even a bit more, especially if you’re the dog parent or the cat parent of a three-legged, animal.

What other behavior and activity should we watch?

RENE: And what other kinds of things can we look for, aside from the way they get up in the morning? Are there certain, behaviors that should tell us, oh, maybe we should get our Tripawd checked out at the vet for arthritis?

DR. CHRISTINE: That’s a very good question, and that’s a bit of a tricky one because, like I was saying earlier when I was explaining what we learned in vet school, is that arthritis is more of a disorder and it’s not really a disease with a set set of signs.

Every dog is going to express pain, pain in a different way. And really what you’re looking for to, evaluate whether an animal has arthritis or not is do they display sign of pain?

But signs of pain are not necessarily, how do you say that? Like, directly linked to arthritis, they can be in pain for many different reasons. So that’s the tricky part.

Like, I think if you see that your Tripawd is acting differently, maybe doesn’t have as much energy, is not eating normally, this just means something is going on. Is it going to be OA maybe, but that’s where you should go to the, you know, your veterinarian or your rehab specialist if you’re going to one, and have them evaluate, because there’s not one sign. I can’t tell you. If you look for this specific sign, that means your dog has arthritis. I see. And so that’s really hard to sometimes to understand, because it would be way easier, but it’s not really the case.

RENE: Okay. So, yeah, always, if you suspect anything’s off, definitely want to, want to connect with your vet team. now, let’s say they come back and they say, yeah, your animal has arthritis. Then what? What happens after that? Do we stop them from playing? Do we? What do we do? Is there anything we can do for that?

DR. CHRISTINE: I guess I’m gonna maybe ask you a question, if that’s okay. But have you actually had to, well, did you experience this? Have you had a dog or a tripod or four-legged pup who was diagnosed with arthritis?

RENE: Yeah. Well, like I said, we love Shepherds, so it’s kind of inevitable at some point that you’ll be dealing with some mobility issue. And with our Wyatt, our previous dog, he had a lot of osteoarthritis issues in his spine, in his low back, and that really started showing up when he was about eight, nine years old. and, you know, we were working with a rehab team to do certain exercises and things that would help strengthen him in other areas, his core muscles, things like that, and given some pretty good instruction about walking and how far he should be walking and that sort of thing.

Dogs with Arthritis Don’t Always Show Pain

DR. CHRISTINE: Yeah. And the reason I was asking is because I really think, you know, there’s a few things to consider. First of all, if a dog is diagnosed with arthritis, and they have signs, it means that they’re uncomfortable, and so you’re going to want to address the discomfort.

But sometimes they can be diagnosed with arthritis without showing any signs. So that’s where the radiographs that you look at and where you see damages potentially in the joint, they’re not necessarily, representative of how the animal is feeling. And with arthritis, what you’re really trying to do is manage the well being of the dog or the cat, depending on their age, their breed, are they active or are they not?

And also depending on the severity of arthritis, because there are different stages. There’s a lot of different things that can be done, which is the great part, in a way, about arthritis, is because there’s a lot of tools between diet, rehabilitation, keeping up a healthy exercise, using certain drugs or certain, medication that can help, using supplements, using alternative medicine too, like, physiotherapy, but laser therapy, heat, therapy, swimming.

You and Your Vet Can Create an OA Management Plan for Your Dog

There’s really a lot of things to do. And as a vet, what I recommended to my clients when we were faced with a diagnosis of arthritis is really what can you do? What is going to work with you, what does your dog need? And coming up with a plan that is really going to help, this specific dog that we’re trying to help feel better. But generally speaking, you’re always going to want to have a healthy diet.

You’re going to want to continue with an activity that is tailored to your dog’s or cat’s possibilities and needs. It’s going to be different if you have a young dog, or a more senior dog. Or if you have a Tripawd. Then you’re also going to potentially think about adding supplements, which can be a really nice add on if you haven’t started them on it, before. Do the environmental changes. Then work with your veterinarians to see what else you can do.

Are there specific exercises you can do? Should you go walking with them long distance, short distance? Should you go up and down hills? Should you, maybe take them to swim?

There’s really just a lot of tools and options. I think it’s important to take a moment to establish what happened. A diagnosis was made, establish where you are too. How is your dog feeling? And then how can you make sure they continue feeling good? Or they start feeling better with all the tools that you have and your veterinarian team recommends?

It’s really a conversation to be had, but I had to deal with that with my dog, Pepsi. And there are solutions. Although it’s not always easy to find the right one.

RENE: It really sounds like we have so much at our disposal to work with. It’s not like there’s, oh, there’s this one surgery that will fix it. and that’s all you can do. We can do a lot. No matter what kind of budget we have or what time we have, people with other animals or kids. It really sounds like there are lots of options. So we shouldn’t feel hopeless if we’re told that our animal has OA.

Pepsi was diagnosed with bilateral severe hip dysplasia while in vet school

Now, you mentioned Pepsi. So I would love for you to tell our audience about Pepsi and how you became well acquainted with oa in your dog.

DR. CHRISTINE: So Pepsi was my dog when I was growing up. He was to this day, probably remains my heart dog. Like, I had him very young, relatively young, at least. and he was my running buddy. He was a French medium-sized shepherd dog. And we used to run, like, miles together, you know, 8, 10, 15 miles. Like, he would just have endless energy. When I went to vet school, kind of ironically, around the same time I started vet school, he started slowing down.

But for me, it seemed like it happened overnight.

Like, he was very healthy. He was able to run with me when I left for vet school. And then I came back, like, you know, a year later, and he just couldn’t do the distance anymore. Like, the first time I took him for three mile run. He was like, he was still going because he wanted to be with me. I could just tell he wasn’t well. I had to call my mom to come pick him up because he just, like, I could tell he wasn’t feeling right.

That’s when we had a conversation with my mom, who was keeping Pepsi. She cared for him the whole time, like, all the way through the end. But she told me she felt like he was slowing down, maybe not as active. And so that’s when, you know, he had a lot of things telling us something was wrong. We just didn’t know what it was.

That’s when we went to the vet and then spoke to people at my vet school. He was diagnosed with bilateral severe hip dysplasia. So that was kind of the reason for the slowing down, and that’s when we started doing a lot of different things.

I was in vet school, and so I was literally throwing, like, everything I could at him.

Diet was not a problem. Cause he had always been very, like, not picky eater, but he didn’t, he wasn’t food motivated. We fed him a very balanced diet. so his weight was perfect. Then we started working with him, doing laser. We did massages, physiotherapy. We had to put him on NSAIDs because he was just so painful that we needed to help and limit inflammation.

As we were saying before, inflammation is really what is going to kind of fast track the disease. And if you’re not controlling it, you’re going to have arthritis that is going to worsen. So we used NSAIDs with him. But the problem is, NSAID is anti-inflammatory medication, and it can have impact, on the digestive tract, like, ulcers, which is what happened with Pepsi, it gave him diarrhea. He wasn’t tolerating very well. And it can also have impact on the kidneys and the liver.

That’s how I started looking into what else can we do to help decrease inflammation that is going to agree with him more.

And at the time, we didn’t have Librella. My mom was a pharmacist, so she was really into more like natural and supplements and herbs. That’s when we started looking into other supplements. We tried literally everything we can find. and that’s also how we discovered UC-II. I was in vet school doing a lot of studying and looking. We were being taught studies and we were looking at how to evaluate products. And, that’s basically how I decided to try UC-II.

That’s where I saw that for Pepsi, it really made a very big difference.

So he started feeling better. Sometimes it’s hard to know. You’re doing so much, but it was definitely a time where he was doing physiotherapy, we’re doing massages. He was still on his diet, he was taking NSAIDs. But then when we added UC-II, what happened is we were able to decrease the amount of NSAIDs. We saw that he started being more comfortable. He started being able to trot on walks to just be happier. We started decreasing the amount of NSAID pretty quickly, and then we maintain him on supplements.

With UC-II, I ended up adding also Omega three s and curcumin, which is what we have now on our product.

But we kind of tested different things, see what worked with him, always thinking about what might be more effective, also from sturdy and science perspective. And then we added this to Pepsi’s regimen and it just seemed to work for him really well. In the end, what happened is Pepsi actually had also degenerative myelopathy. that is where you have a neurological, issue. He couldn’t use his leg anymore as well. So over time, unfortunately, even with what we were doing, we had to make the difficult decision of letting Pepsi go.

But that’s kind of the story of Pepsi and the reason today I created Jope. And now we’re here talking. And this is also why my whole adventure means a lot to me. Because I did really see with Pepsi how trying something and finding something that works can just change the quality of life and make you feel so much better to see your dog like you know, happier again and able to do things he enjoys, too.

RENE: Yeah, it’s clear that he was your heart dog. You were able to give him a really good quality of life for as long as possible, even with the odds stacked up against him with, with OA and then DM. And one of the things that really drew me to you when we found each other online was that Pepsi’s story is a lot like how our Wyatt’s was.

We tried everything with him, and then one day his rehab therapist at Colorado State said, “There’s some really interesting studies behind UC-II. And I think that it’s worth looking into for him.”

And at this point, I guess he was about nine years old and he was at that age where, you know, we thought the slowing down was inevitable. We thought that, you know, maybe his time was coming. But once we tried that, we really saw a difference in him. We really felt like we were buying more good quality time with him. His mobility got better. That in combination with the rehab therapy and the weight control and appropriate activity.

I’d like to get into UC-II now, tell our audience, what is it and what is the science behind it that compelled you to give it a try in Pepsi and then in your own work.

UC-II has a very unique mode of action when ingested

DR. CHRISTINE: Yes. When we were looking for Pepsi, honestly, I tried a lot of different things. But I did, you know, being in vet school, I was trying to have, like, a logical approach to what I was doing too. Especially when I saw that I wasn’t able to find something that was working.

So I kind of, like, went back to what I was being taught, meaning science. And the reason that I decided to give UC-II a try is because you had studies at the time that had came out. Especially one that was in 2012 that showed UC-II could really help dog that had something going on with their mobility. So from a scientific perspective, I felt like the data was interesting enough that it would be worth trying it.

And then when I looked at how it worked. Because, you know, in vet school, you look at every, product and you looked at every active ingredient and you really try to understand how can the mode of action of this specific ingredient I’m looking at, or this specific molecule help my patient? Like, you know, you learn about the physiology and how it works.

The reason I was really interested and drawn to UC-II is because it has a very specific and unique mode of action, which is called oral tolerance. And so I don’t know if you, are you familiar have you heard about it?

RENE: No. Can you explain that?

DR. CHRISTINE: Yes, I’d be happy to. I think it’s a really cool, just, like, mode of action, and it makes it very different. So what happens is that UC-II stands for under nature type two collagen, and it’s an ingredient that is patented. It’s not mine, but it’s patented, which means that there’s a quality guarantee behind UC-II. And so Undenatured Type Two Collagen, it means that it’s the same type of collagen that humans, dogs, horses, cats have in the cartilage in their body. So when they make UC-II, they extract Type Two Collagen. But the way they extract it, they don’t heat it, so it’s going to be not denatured. So it keeps the natural structure.

This is important because it means that when humans or dogs or cats are going to eat UC-II. So ingest it, UC-II is going to have the natural structure that it has in the dog’s body or cat’s body. It’s going to go through the digestive system. And there it’s not going to be absorbed, but it’s actually going to, interact with the payers patches. Payers patches are a part of the immune system, which are basically part of the digestive system called the GELT. I don’t know if you’ve heard this term before.

So in our digestive system, we have certain parts that of are linked to the immune system. And so that’s why when you eat, for example, when a kid eats something that fell on the floor, usually the parent or whoever’s watching the kid is going to say, you know, it’s fine, they’re training the body to respond. It’s triggering their immune system is good for them. That’s really what’s happening with UC-II.

So your dog is going to ingest UC-II. UC-II is going to transit all the way down to the payer’s patches. It’s not going to be absorbed. But it’s going to activate the immune system and tell the immune system to basically down-regulate inflammation that is happening at the joint level.

RENE: Interesting. That is one way of explaining it. I have never heard, and it makes total sense now. So it’s not like they eat it. They’re going to absorb it into their system, and their body’s just going to feel better. This actually goes to a deeper level than that.

DR. CHRISTINE: Yes. No other ingredient used for joint health does this. So most of them need to be absorbed, like glucosamine and chondroitin. They need to be absorbed, and that’s why you’re going to have very high quantities of them. But UC-II, you only need a few milligrams in order to get the benefits.

RENE: Wow. I might start taking that.

DR. CHRISTINE: I take it every day.

RENE: Do you really?

DR. CHRISTINE: Yeah, because I work out a lot. I just, you know, I’m healthy, but I run a lot. I’m in New York, and so I just prefer to be proactive. And there’s a study, actually, that was also done in a healthy human and healthy dogs. It showed, UC-II can help decrease inflammation linked to daily, activity. So, yeah, that’s the reason, I take it. And I think it’s really interesting for young dogs as well.

But so the other thing that UC-II does is not only it helps train the immune system to basically have a healthier response and decrease inflammation in a healthy way, but it also helps with cartilage repair to the extent possible.

So you remember the cushion we were talking about earlier that is getting thinner. You can’t really fluff it back up. So you can’t really, like, you know, make it nice and squishy and very, you know, pretty again. But what you can do is try to help fix as much as possible. So that’s kind of the two things UC-II is able to do. And that’s the reason I think it’s a really interesting ingredient.

RENE: So it can, it can’t build a whole new joint cartilage?

DR. CHRISTINE: No, nothing can.

RENE: Nothing can. But it can, do what? Like make it smoother or how does exactly?

DR. CHRISTINE: Well, the body. So the exact way that, you know, anything is going to work in the joint, is not really determined. So I’m not going to say that I can give you a definite response.

RENE: Okay.

DR. CHRISTINE: What we’ve seen is there’s a study that was done and actually on rats. But what they did is they look at rats that had cartilage damage. They looked at what the cartilage looked at at the beginning of the study and then at the end of the study. And so the body is something that is really, well, like a very well oiled machine. The body is naturally going to find a way to feel better.

But with UC-II, what the study was able to show is that the level at which the body was able to repel itself was higher than without UC-II. So it just showed that it was able to do a better job at trying to repair itself with UC-II than without.

But again, UC-II is not going to cure arthritis. Nothing will. The damage that happens at the cartilage level is going to be present. But you can help basically, the body just be a bit stronger, stronger to try to delay the progression of arthritis. You’re not going to stop it, you’re not going to reverse it, but you can just help slow it down.

RENE: That is the goal. I mean, if we can’t cure something, at least slowing it down. Giving our animals more comfortable days, more days that we can go on walks together, I mean, that’s priceless.

So you created Jope with UC-II in it. Tell me a little bit about that process. you also chose a few other ingredients. So I would just like folks to know what exactly is job and, how it can benefit their animal.

Job is a supplement that claims to help dogs improve their quality of life

DR. CHRISTINE: It really all started again with Pepsi. Like, Pepsi was actually the first dog who took Jope without knowing it. The reason we decided to move forward with bringing Jope to the market is because once we graduated from vet school (and I say we because I started job with my co founder, who’s also a veterinarian, and he’s a friend from vet school). So he saw me with Pepsi and he helped me figure out, you know, how to help him. So it was really like he was there from the beginning. And when we graduated, what we kept seeing, we both worked for pharmaceutical companies. I worked in the US, he worked in France.

And what we kept seeing is that supplements, especially for joints, were just not really changing in their base formula.

Most of them use glucosamine and chondroitin. Very few, used a more innovative type of base formula. We wanted to bring to the world what we had discovered with Pepsi and basically create a supplement that had an innovative formula, based on science.

So the way we did it is we started with our experience with Pepsi, where we find three ingredients that really helped improve the quality of life among everything else we were doing. But when we implemented these ingredients, we saw a difference for him. And what we did is we decided to look at all the studies that had been done since, and we actually decided to do our job well and not just pick the ingredients we had used before, but see if anything else was new on the market that we felt could maybe be, more robust, have more studies, better conclusions.

What appeared is that really in the realm of supplements, UC-II is still one of the ingredients that has the most solid data, when it comes to helping dogs.

For example, the study I had mentioned in 2012 where it showed using a device that it really helps improve the quality of life and just the way dogs feel, that was really impactful.

And there’s nine studies that came out since they’re, all very positive. So that’s the reason we still decided to select UC-II. It was based on the science and the studies, the mode of action also of UC-II with oral tolerance was still something like we find very interesting and actually fascinating. And then we added omega three s and curcumin because we like the way they all work differently.

So Omega three has EPA and DHA, which have been shown to help decrease inflammation too, in a natural way by targeting another part of the inflammatory cascade. And then adding curcumin is a very nice complementary, action because it’s going to have antioxidant properties that when you have chronic inflammation, you want to try to get rid of these free radicals. So that’s the reason we decided to combine these two ingredients because of the studies behind them.

With UC-II having nine studies with very positive conclusion, Omega threes being very well studied as well. That’s one of the most recognized and supported ingredients for joint health, as Nellie probably knows. I think she was taking some fish oil before. Then curcumin for just thinking about this chronic inflammation that’s going on. We’re really trying to address that in a comprehensive way.

RENE: I really, really like the science that’s behind this. A lot of companies claim that. But you and your partner have really put a lot of time and energy into making sure that what is in the supplement is really going to benefit.

I need to know before we go any further because I forgot to ask earlier, what does Jope mean?

Jope has a questionnaire that helps you track dog’s progress

DR. CHRISTINE: Jope stands for Joy of Pets. Because you really want to do, you know, I wanted to call it Pepsi, but I felt like that might, you know, not fly with Pepsi company. We decided to call our company Joy of Pets. And Jope is short for Joy of Pets. It’s really to celebrate the bond between, like, us humans and, you know, our four-legged or three-legged companions. Because they really can change our life and they just bring so much joy. So, you know, that’s why we decided to go with Jope.

What About Cats and Jope with UC-II?

RENE: So when somebody starts their dog, and this is, okay for cats, too, right?

DR. CHRISTINE: So UC-II, there’s no studies in cats. Okay. There’s anecdotal data showing that it works for dogs. Specifically, the palatability was made for dogs. So we have some people giving it to cats. I just. I wouldn’t guarantee that, you know, a cat would eat it. It can be made food, so that can work. but, yes.

RENE: Okay. So this is more about dogs. Now, if somebody started their dog on Jope, what can they expect? I, know that when Nellie started it, we got a neat little questionnaire that asked about her mobility and things like that. What can somebody expect if they decide to give it a try?

DR. CHRISTINE: The questionnaire you’re referring to is called the CSOM. That’s actually, a form that we created. It’s a digital version of a recognized tool to help track improvement in a semi objective way. The reason we did that is because what we were saying earlier, with dogs, they don’t talk. So sometimes it’s hard to know what’s going on. Because the signs that you’re trying to improve are very different between dogs. We wanted to really give a tool that would be personalized. So Nellie’s CSOM, which is the form you filled out, is going to be very different from the one I would have filled out for Pepsi.

We’re giving a tracking tool to try to help you semi-objectively assess progress with Jope. Usually what people report is that after, you know, about three to four weeks, their dog is going to start showing subtle sign of improvements. You know, we’ve heard, like, more energy. We’ve heard more comfortable on walks, like, maybe taking the leash again to show that, you know, they want to go out. So just small improvements. They might start going up or looking at going upstairs, even though they weren’t doing it before, and then over time, basically, our ingredients are going to be more and more beneficial to your dog’s well-being.

So, you know, after six or eight weeks, you might see, like, a very, strong sign that your dog is feeling better. Maybe they went up the stairs, they jumped on the bed. They can walk, longer distances. We’ve had a lot of different reports of improvements. Again, it depends. What was the first sign you noticed? And then with time, basically, this kind of compounds and the benefits continue.

There’s actually a study that was done in UC-II specifically showing that after 150 days, the progress was still ongoing. And that’s why, with the form that you were referring to, we’re asking people to complete it every two weeks, and we’re trying to do 90 days, but it could do more. We just want to be respectful of your time, but it’s really to try to show you the progress. And when you’re done completing the form, we send you a graph that shows the progress with job over time.

The reason that’s also important is because sometimes with arthritis, you have what we call the placebo effect. That’s where you have the impression you’re giving something to your dog for a condition, and because you’re giving it, you see changes that are not necessarily linked to actual, real effect.

And sometimes dogs can also, because you’re taking more care of them or you’re being more attentive, they might also start hiding their potential pain a bit more. So the placebo effect, although surprises people a lot, is something that has been shown to exist. And so we’re also trying to help give an objective way to assess that without the bias of the, placebo, effect.

RENE: I really liked that about the experience of trying Jope with Nellie. And for those of you wondering, yeah, we are seeing a difference with Nellie, that in combination with other things we’re doing for her mobility. She is going up the stairs more these days. She’s jumping on the bed, which she shouldn’t be doing, but she is. We’re not letting her jump down, though. we try not to, but, yeah, we have seen a difference in this dog who was on the euthanasia, list, in the shelter, because she was such a medical train wreck when we got her almost two years ago now.

I really appreciate what you’re doing, and I can’t thank you enough, because I feel really good about saying that Jope is a product that I think our community needs to try. There is good science behind it. There’s two veterinarians behind it. I in my book, it doesn’t get any better than that. And if we can do something to help our animals feel better and objectively measure it, that is golden, in my opinion.

So where can people learn more about Jope? And, what else did you want to share with them before we close?

DR. CHRISTINE: Well, thank you for sharing your experience, too, and I do respect and appreciate it. I know we’ve met about six months ago and you explained to me your process too. So I am very happy and honored to be here today because I do thing that you wouldn’t have invited me if you weren’t happy with, you know, how Nellie was doing, which I understand. I wouldn’t invite somebody on a show if Pepsi had not benefited from the product. So you appreciate this.

And if anybody has questions, they can go to our website. It’s And basically if they email any email address they find on the website, contact@petjope, it comes to me or my partner. We’re doing all the responses so they can ask us some questions. There’s a video about, why we started job on the website. There’s a lot of resources on the website. Long articles about UC-II, omega three s. They can always ask us and we’re always happy to answer.

RENE: Okay, well, thank you so much. We also have a very special, discount for Tripawds members. We’ll put links in the blog post about it. And just full disclosure, if you do buy from Jope, yes, Tripawds does get a small commission from that, but that’s what keeps our community online. So just wanted to put that out there and yeah, any questions at all.

You know what’s really great about this company is that, Doctor Christine and her partner are there if you have questions. I love that. So thank you everybody. Thanks for listening. And we will, see you very soon with another episode of Tripawd Talk. Thank you, Doctor Christine.

DR. CHRISTINE: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

End of Transcript

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