Pet owners across the world use glucosamine chondroitin for the treatment or management of canine arthritis or hip dysplasia. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate is a supplement that is not only used for pets, but also for people who are suffering from osteoarthritis. Glucosamine is a naturally occurring amino acid, that is used by the body to make glycosaminoglycans, which are an important component of the cartilage.
Chondroitin or chondroitin sulfate, on the other hand, is the sulfated glycosaminoglycan, which can be found in the cartilage of dogs, humans, and many other animals. This is the reason why, glucosamine is usually combined with chondroitin for treating dog arthritis and joint problems. Sometimes, veterinarians also recommend glucosamine chondroitin msm for relieving the symptoms of arthritis. MSM stands for 'methylsulfonylmethane', which is a type of sulfur compound that can play an important role in the growth of synovial cartilage.
Glucosamine Chondroitin Supplements for Canines
Glucosamine and chondroitin are mainly used to reduce the pain and joint stiffness associated with arthritis or osteoarthritis. Arthritis is quite a common health problem in dogs, and they face a lot of inconvenience due to this condition. Osteoarthritis is the condition where the cartilage of the joints degenerates gradually with age. Glucosamine can slow down the process of cartilage degeneration by providing the building blocks for the synthesis of new cartilage. Therefore, it can be effective in treating canine arthritis.
Glucosamine can prevent further damage to the cartilage, and facilitate the repair of the damaged cartilage. Chondroitin sulfate, on the other hand, is a component of the joint cartilage. It can increase resistance to compression, improve joint elasticity, and protect joints from the enzymes that can trigger the breakdown of cartilage. As mentioned already, methylsulfonylmethane (msm) supplement is also used for canine arthritis management, along with glucosamine and chondroitin. This is because, msm has been found to possess anti-inflammatory properties, and it can provide a type of sulfur that is required for the generation of cartilage.
Both the compounds have not been reported to cause any severe side effects. Sever side effects are quite rare, and so, glucosamine and chondroitin are largely considered a safe supplement for osteoarthritis. Some dogs can experience a few side effects, like diarrhea, vomiting, and gas, which can be avoided by giving the supplement along with food. Otherwise, you can lower the dosage of the supplement, in order to alleviate such minor gastrointestinal problems. The effect of glucosamine chondroitin on insulin is not very clear, as some studies have reported that it can increase insulin resistance, while others have shown that it does not.
However, if your dog has diabetes then it is advisable to talk to a veterinarian before giving him this supplement. If the veterinarian recommends the use of this supplement, then be sure to monitor the blood glucose levels of your dog regularly. Some dogs can develop an allergic reaction after taking this supplement, especially if they are allergic to shellfish. Such an allergic reaction can occur due to the fact that glucosamine is basically made from chitin, a major component of the exoskeleton of shellfish and crustaceans, like crabs and shrimp.
The dosage of this supplement depends on the weight of your dog. The usual practice is to give about 750 mg glucosamine for every 50 pounds of body weight. The exact dosage of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine is usually mentioned on the label of the product. But it is better to confirm the appropriate glucosamine dosage for dogs by consulting a veterinarian. Apart from pills and tablets, you can also find liquid glucosamine and chondroitin available for pets. Liquid supplements are more convenient to be used, as they can be readily mixed with food.
Aging dogs with arthritis need some special care. Glucosamine and chondroitin can help alleviate the painful symptoms of this condition. However, be sure to purchase this supplement only from a reputed manufacturer. There can be some other supplements and medications for canine arthritis, which can also help reduce joint inflammation and pain associated with this condition. However, be sure to talk to a veterinarian before giving any kind of medications and supplements to your dog.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of a veterinarian.