How To Use Glucosamine For Dogs
This article contains information about glucosamine for dogs, including safety precautions, dosage details and side effects.
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Just like in humans, arthritis can be a very painful condition which impacts your dog’s movement. As a dog ages it becomes increasingly likely that they will develop arthritis or some form of chronic joint pain. The drug glucosamine helps to rebuild cartilage in your dog to get them back on track so that they can be running around fetching sticks and catching frisbees again in no time at all! You may also have heard of arthritis referred to as “osteoarthritis” or “degenerative joint disease”. Joints in both animals and humans work like hinges, and just like old door hinges, the joints may need some careful oiling once in a while to keep them functioning! In younger animals, the repair process when these joints become damaged is very quick, but once your pet ages the entire process slows down to a crawl.
With repeated movement over the years, the ligaments and fibrous elastic sheets (also known as “fascia”) stretch leading to bone rattling, in turn, bruising and breaking down the joints. This is in essence what arthritis is, and treating a dog suffering from this painful condition is vital for his or her happiness. The lack of information on the web may lead you to ask the question: “how much glucosamine do I give my dog?”, if this applies to you then read on below for the correct dosage of this drug.
Glucosamine dosage for dogs
When using glucosamine for dogs dosage may vary from case to case, however, the regular dosage of glucosamine to administer to your dog is 10 mg per pound. Glucosamine is usually sold in 500 mg tablets, so if your dog weighs 50 lbs you would give him or her 500 mg of glucosamine. It’s best to undershoot the dosage than overdose. Please seek approval from a vet before giving this drug to your dog.
You should note that aside from just solid pill form, you can also obtain liquid glucosamine for dogs. Be aware of the concentration as the dosage should remain the same despite being in a different form.
Is glucosamine safe for dogs?
Glucosamine for dogs is a safe drug to use in dogs with few serious side effects, though it may exacerbate pre-existing illnesses such as diabetes. In most cases your dog may not have any adverse reactions whatsoever. However, it’s important to note that a lot of people tend to overdose this drug when it appears there is no improvement in the condition, and this can lead to damage of the pancreatic cells and a heightened risk of diabetes. When following the correct dosage of glucosamine for dogs as detailed above complications are extremely unlikely.
- Be careful not to administer an overdose of this drug
- Do not give to dogs with an allergy to shellfish
- Consider pain relief medication in severe cases
- Notify the vet prior to using this drug if your dog suffers from diabetes
Because glucosamine is often sourced from shellfish, it’s a good idea to avoid giving the drug to dogs with an allergy to shellfish. If your dog does suffer with such an allergy, it is possible to get glucosamine sourced from elsewhere but be sure to read the packaging or research the product to ensure that is the case. Also, there is some (though inconclusive) evidence to suggest a link with alterations in blood sugar levels which may suggest you should avoid giving the substance to dogs with blood sugar problems, let your vet know prior to use if this is the case. When mixed with chondroitin, reactions such as increased blood pressure and heart palpitations have been noted so you may choose to avoid this combination.
Uses of glucosamine for dogs
Glucosamine is used frequently in dogs to treat:
- Chronic joint pain
Your dog will often feel gradual relief from the pain associated with the above conditions within a short period of sustained use, however, if there is no improvement you should take your dog back to the vet. There are several other drugs and substances which are thought to be effective at treating arthritis in animals such as Omega-3 Fish Oil for example, though you may also need to resort to pain relief medication in serious cases where your dog is unable to function on his own. It is often best to avoid all painkillers if possible as there are several risks associated with most pain relief drugs when administered to dogs.
You should be aware that some breeds of dog are at a heightened risk of developing arthritis later in life such as German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers.
Side effects of glucosamine use
Side effects from glucosamine are rare especially at the recommended glucosamine dosage for dogs, and if any do occur they are usually mild. The most common side effects include constipation or diarrhea, headaches, rashes and stomach upset. Though it is best to avoid giving shellfish derived glucosamine to dogs with a seafood allergy, the allergen is typically within the flesh of the creatures rather than in the shell which means an allergic reaction caused by shellfish is still unlikely in these circumstances.
Remember to keep a close eye on your pet if it is his or her first time taking glucosamine for dogs just in case there are any unforeseen side effects, though as mentioned above, such reactions are extremely uncommon. If your dog appears to have any kind of bad reaction after taking glucosamine you should seek veterinary attention immediately. In cases of allergic reaction seek emergency care.
Note: There are several other ways you can help to combat arthritis in your dog such as keeping your pet at a healthy weight, providing a healthy diet and ensuring he or she gets a lot of exercise!