Glucosamine can be given for several health conditions - it is particularly useful as a preventative treatment for large breed dogs and aging animals. It is also commonly used in treatments when a change in the joint is present, such as:
- Hip or elbow dysplasia
- Following joint or bone surgery
- Rupture of the cruciate ligaments
- Arthritis (inflammation of the joints)
- Osteoarthritis (cartilage degeneration usually due to wear and aging)
- Poor joint conformation
It helps reduce joint degeneration by:
- Stimulating healing
- Stimulating the production of synovial fluid (liquid present in the joints that helps in their functioning)
- Inhibiting cartilage degradation
Not all products are metabolized in the same way, depending on the species. Therefore, it is very important to consult your veterinarian before giving a human treatment to your pet. It is the same principle with regards to glucosamine. The animals require glucosamine HCL and chondroitin SULFATE – and often, these substances are not found in sufficient quantities in the products for humans sold in pharmacies. In addition, quantity and quality are not verified and may vary from company to company. It is therefore necessary to increase the dosage compared to humans by following the advice of your veterinarian, or to use glucosamine specially designed and calibrated for animals.
In addition, be aware that you will need to give a larger dose initially and then decrease to reach the maintenance dose, usually after 4 to 6 weeks. This product must be taken daily to be effective. Some pet companies add natural anti-inflammatories like devil’s claw, which is useful when the animal is experiencing pain.
The occasional side effects of taking glucosamine are loose stools and gases. There may be contraindications for animals with diabetes. It is often combined with chondroitin because it increases its effectiveness. It is also possible to give Cartrophen injections that will complete the treatment.
Do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian so that he/she can advise you efficiently on this product.