The Benefits of Glucosamine for Dogs Canine Arthritis and Joint Pain
As we age our joints begin to show the years of wear resulting in stiffness and pain. This is usually due to the deterioration of cartilage. Dogs also experience this condition which is called canine arthritis. Arthritis can be a natural event due to aging. It can also be due to a trauma to the joint. Whatever the cause of the pain, the results are a lack of mobility and activity due to pain caused by inflammation.
This leads to a downward spiral of the dog’s health. The dog is less likely to want to stay active when they are in pain. Staying active, however, is essential to a dog’s sense of well-being and physical health. Dogs cannot tell us when they hurt, but you can watch for visible cues. The obvious sign is a lack of desire to get up and move about. Limping and stiffness may also be seen.
Long-Term Use of Potentially Harmful Drugs
Many veterinarians prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to treat the pain. These drugs do nothing to resolve the cause of the pain which is the arthritis in the joint. To make matters worse, these drugs are usually used for long periods of time resulting in serious side effects. Treatment for most dogs with canine arthritis can go on for many years, especially if they start the drug at an early age. The larger the dog the more likely they will get arthritis when they are young.
Some veterinarians have started to prescribe the use of natural remedies for canine arthritis. Research has shown regular supplementation with glucosamine for dogs is as effective as aspirin to reduce the pain from inflammation. However, the added bonus to using glucosamine for dogs is that it not only reduces the pain but also repairs the damage by rebuilding the cartilage in the joint.
Using Glucosamine for Dogs
Glucosamine is a combination of amino acids and sugar. It is a naturally occurring substance in dogs, and humans, which the body uses to repair damaged cartilage. Some veterinarians believe when dogs have arthritis they do not have sufficient amounts of glucosamine to advance the repair process. Supplementing with glucosamine replenishes the body with those chemicals it needs.
Glucosamine supplementation is used to treat conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, disc degeneration and hip dysplasia. It has also been successfully used to treat sciatic nerve and inflamed disc disease. Glucosamine has also been used for medical conditions in dogs beyond joint issues.
Dosage and Treatment with Glucosamine
Using glucosamine for dogs effectively requires the consideration of several factors to see significant benefits. The dog’s weight and condition determines the amount of the dose. There are also three forms of glucosamine available. Research has shown glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulfate are the most effective.
The benefits of glucosamine supplementation can take as long as one to two months to become noticeable. Dogs generally will improve to varying degrees. However, research has shown if glucosamine is started during the early stages of the disease the benefits are greater. The FDA does not regulate glucosamine. Some companies will label products inaccurately. Purchasing from a reliable company can ensure that the potency and ingredients are as stated.
Although, some veterinarians still rely on potentially harmful drugs to treat the pain of canine arthritis, growing research has shown that glucosamine for dogs is a viable alternative. It has the added benefit of not only treating a dog’s pain and discomfort, but also repairs the damage caused by canine arthritis. When used according to manufacturer’s recommendations, most dogs improve within the first month.