Glucosamine for dogs: Treatment for arthritis

Glucosamine for dogs

Glucosamine is the most commonly used nutraceutical in the world taken by pets and humans for treatment of arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases.  This is most likely due to the important role it plays in joint health.  Glucosamine for dogs is very safe and causes fewer side effects than other treatments of arthritis.

glucosamine for dogs

A joint is composed of bones that are connected together my ligaments and covered with cartilage.  Synovial fluid lies within the joint to supply nutrients to the cartilage.    Glucosamine is a major component of cartilage and synovial fluid that is naturally produced by the body.

In a healthy joint, cartilage production and breakdown are in perfect balance.  When cartilage breakdown exceeds the body’s ability to produce it, joint health becomes affected causing decreased flexibility.  Normal wear and tear that occurs with age and trauma/injury are factors that cause cartilage breakdown.  Joint problems are more common in very active dogs, giant breeds, service dogs, working dogs and older dogs.

Glucosamine for dogs

Supplementing with glucosamine for dogs that are at risk for joint problems or those who are already showing symptoms, improves the joints ability to produce cartilage and also helps block certain enzymes that lead to cartilage breakdown.  In fact, studies have shown that taking glucosamine for dogs can results in pain relief that is equivalent to taking some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID).

Commercially available glucosamine for dogs is made from chitin which is found in the shells of crustaceans.  Both oral and injectable products are available.  It typically takes 4-8 weeks to see results with glucosamine supplementation.  Because of this, I recommend giving a higher dose of glucosamine for dogs during the first month.  Some patients can show a more rapid improvement than this while some may not show any improvement at all.  Because glucosamine for dogs is extremely safe it should be tried early in the treatment of arthritis.

Glucosamine for dogs is considered a nutraceutical which means that substantial differences in quality can exist between manufacturers.  Ask your veterinarian what product they recommend or stop by Guthrie Pet Hospital and check out our retail supplies. [Tweet “Glucosamine for dogs is considered a nutraceutical which means that substantial differences in quality can exist between manufacturers.”]

 

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