Pudgy Pets - Glucosamine Chondroitin For DOGS?

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10-30-2009, 03:50 PM
I have a question for those that may know....

What about glucosamine chondroitin for dogs?

One of my golden retrievers has a bad leg, she injured it as a puppy, and if we get our miles in every day she has a hard time getting up. We have had her to the vet several times over it. She walks fine and runs/plays like crazy with the other one when they play but has a real difficult time getting up from long naps (like her daddy ;)) and is real hesitant to go up the stairs sometimes....but she will race up them if someone knocks at the door or if the other one is barking through the screen at neighbors.

We had her on a product from Costco because it was way cheaper than the one we got at the vet. We were told by other pet owners that it was the same stuff. She seemed to be fine on it...well now she is having these issues...it has been 2.5 months since she was on it. We stopped giving it to her when we ran out....wondering if it really helped or was a waste of money...conflicting reports for dogs and people on it.

Confused :?:

Plus trying to research it I seem to find most of the reports are written by manufactures of the drug....

any experts, dog owners or vets out there with opinions I can trust? :)

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions in advance :)

10-30-2009, 04:13 PM
For our 17 year old lab (yep 17) we used Mobic - the people drug. Not the answer you were looking for cuz even though it's a people drug to buy it for the pups is more expensive - but work every penny.........I mean dollar.

10-30-2009, 04:21 PM
I have osteoarthritis in my knee and let me tell you, I can tell the difference when I'm not taking it. Chrondrotin isn't needed but the scientific articles I've read say glucosamine does help. I bought some glusomine at a health food store and I give it to both my dogs. Also, their dog food has some in it is as well, most good dog foods do.

10-30-2009, 04:49 PM
I used it all the time for my Portuguese Water dogs. I found it was cheapest to buy at a feed store - it's used for horses. The liquid is more easily absorbed than the pills.

10-30-2009, 05:10 PM
We give our old, fat cat a glucosamine supplement. We didn't really notice a dramatic improvement with the first tube (it comes in treat form - she wouldn't eat those, and paste form, which she likes) so when we ran out of the first tube, we weren't in a rush t replace it.

Then we began noticing that she did have more difficulty off the med than on. She moved less, was less interested in playing and was slow to get up or lay down - obviously favoring her right hip.

I think because the improvement was gradual it was difficult to see that it was helping. Only when we took it away, did we realize how much of a difference it did make.

Also (as my husband's bone and joint doctor told him when he recommended glucosamine to hubby) sometimes the glucosamine doesn't help improve the joint condition as much as it prevents or slows further damage - so that not noticing an improvement may be perfectly normal, and not a sign that the glucosamine isn't doing some good.

10-30-2009, 07:24 PM
We use a product called Glucosamine DS with Chondroitin (made by a company called NaturVet). 150 tablets costs $28, and we give our dog one at breakfast and one at dinner.

If we run out and miss a few days I definitely notice a difference in my dog.

10-30-2009, 08:22 PM
As a vet, I recommend the product all the time. Studies show it doesn't help, but 95% of my clients say it does. I think it's like most supplements...you get what you pay for (not always!!). Make sure you go with a reputable company. I think it's fine to use a comparable human product, if you check your doses.

We use Dasuquin by Nutramax labs where I work, it is the same company that makes Cosamin DS at the grocery/pharmacy. I know at our grocery store, it occasionally has them as buy one get one!!

10-30-2009, 08:52 PM
I was dealing with this issue w/ my now 17 month old English Lab almost exactly a year ago. We got him at 4 months and almost right away noticed that he had a problem with his hips. Our house is two stories so there are steps and he learned how to use them rather quickly but he would "bunny hop" up them, which is characteristic of hip dysplasia. When he would run, he would move his back legs in unison. He was still moving around OK so we didn't think too much of it as he was our first dog as well as our first lab, which I understand now is a breed that is prone to hip dysplasia. However, this was a condition that I had ZERO experience with prior to getting Zach and getting him diagnosed.

At about 6-7 months, we noticed more severe symptoms. When we took him out to walk, he didn't want to walk any more than a few hundred feet at a time. He would just stop and sit on the ground until he could be coaxed back up to continue home. He very quickly deteriorated and within days he was just not moving at all, except to go to the bathroom and drink/eat. We took him to the vet and got x-rays done that verified hip dysplasia in both rear legs. Severe hip dysplasia, actually. At 6-7 months old. :( Upon meeting us with his x-rays to give us the news, the vet opened with "this dog is full of badness." I knew right then that I wasn't going to listen to a word of recommendation from her. How unprofessional and uncaring. She then went on to tell us that he did not have much muscle tone in his hind area and should be put to sleep. I started to immediately cry and say that I could never do that to him. He is so full of life. I had only known him for a few months but had an instant connection with him. Heck, I didn't even like dogs before we got Zach. I knew in my heart that there was another solution. He had put his whole trust in me and I wasn't giving up on him. I knew there was a reason he had come to me, and it was to help him. She also told us that he was not a good candidate for surgery. She did not give us any advice other than that.

At our request, we were referred to a veterinary surgeon, who was much more considerate and knowledgable than the first vet. She told us that the surgeries available to him do not have great success rates but that before we make a decision to do surgery we should build up his back leg muscles through either walking (if he was able), swimming or physical therapy. We are priveleged to live in a place that is warm most of the year and also have our own pool so walking and swimming were the options we chose. I had already done research on hip dysplasia before consulting the vet surgeon and we started him on a glucosamine chondroitin tablet which, btw, is sold at, of all places, Wal-Mart. It is also carried by Trader Joe's and Target. http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=10318487#Ingredients It is called ProPet Glucosamine Advanced Chronic Care. Around $15 for 60 tablets and lasts us 2 weeks as Zach takes 4 tablets a day since he weighs over 75 lbs. (82 to be exact). The vet surgeon said that this was a good idea and also keeping his weight down would be most beneficial for him as there would be less weight on his joints.

After 1 week on the glucosamine, Zach was actually asking to go on walks. He was running around. I started him out slowly on his walks, only going 1/2 mile. He quickly let me know that he wanted to cross the big street and go to the big park near us, which we used to have to drive him to. Now he was walking to it. Very quickly he worked up to 2.5-4 mile walks EVERY DAY. I track his mileage (mapmyrun.com) in a google spreadsheet and this month he has averaged 2.55 miles daily. He would walk farther but he has these specific routes that he likes to take and some are shorter than others. Some days he walks in the morning and evening. He leaps up the steps 2 at a time. Nobody knows he has hip dysplasia until I tell them. He runs up and down the hills at the park. He even "rescued" a stray Yorkie mix that was abandoned by her owners this summer. She only came out of hiding for him on our 5 AM walks (the coolest time of day in the summer when temps reach 115). We were able to bring her to a local no kill shelter and she was first fostered and then quickly adopted.

I now take Zachary to a holistic vet and she looked at the glucosamine product we have been giving him since he was 7 months old and said that the ingredients are the same ones she would recommend. Her only other recommendation is salmon oil--1500 mg/day, which we have now incorporated into his daily regimen. Her brand recommendation is Nordic Naturals but they are very expensive so for right now we are using the Trader Joe's brand of salmon oil. His new vet also has told us that we have done an amazing job with him. We showed her his x-rays and she looked at them in shock and said she would never have guessed that he has those hips. He shouldn't be able to walk. She also said that he has amazing muscle tone and it is such evenly distributed. I, of course, never doubted him and never doubted that we would not succeed to overcome this challenge. We take things day by day and the journey is just beginning, but Zach has an amazing spirit and is definitely a fighter.

As for your dog, I would recommend the ProPet tablets as well as salmon oil. I may put Zach on liquid glucosamine in the future as I have read it is more readily absorbed than in tablet/pill form, but he is doing fine with what he is taking now. You might also want to try physical therapy, finances permitting. Keep her at a healthy weight and continue to exercise with her. I understand it is fall/winter now, but swimming is an ideal exercise. The most important thing to remember is that no matter what the bone structure is like, muscle is more important. Zach is able to walk/run because of the muscle he has built up but it is the glucosamine that has allowed him to walk/run. Even with perfect bone structure, it could become warped by lack of muscle. I'm not sure if this has helped him, but I also give him extra protein (chicken, turkey, salmon, etc.).

As an aside, recently we have been able to rescue both of Zach's parents from their owner (a family acquaintance). His father is 11 and has had untreated hip dysplasia for his entire life. His mother has perfect hips and is a very strong 8 year old English lab; however, 4 weeks ago I found out that she has had a cancerous growth protruding from her belly since the SUMMER! and her owner did NOTHING about it. Absolutely nothing. 3 weeks ago we adopted her and took her to a vet where she was diagnosed with mammary cancer and right now we have her on a vitamin/medicine regimen. The cancer has metastized to her right lung area but her left area is clear (so far). Chemo/surgery is not an option at this point because of that. We are giving her the best care she could ever have (infinitely better than her previous owner--he left her outside in 110 degree heat all summer because he was at work during the day) including lots of love and attention (something she has NEVER received). We also have his father on vitamins now but since he has very little muscle mass we are going to try physical therapy. We have had him for less than a week but he seems to be doing better. In the end, we may have to put him to sleep if the pain is too much. I wish I had gotten him sooner but I had no knowledge of his situation until recently.

If you have read all of this, good for you and thank you very much! :) I am sorry for the length but I really think this story merits telling. I hope that one day Zach's (ongoing) journey and story helps other dogs, whether they have hip dysplasia or joint/injury issues. He is truly one of a kind (gorgeous to boot) and inspires me every day to never give up. Also, to not always accept things for what they are and to always be persistent.

If you have any questions for me, don't hesitate to ask.

Here are a few pics of Zach from this summer:

10-30-2009, 11:42 PM

I will get back here in the morning and re-read it all!

10-31-2009, 05:46 PM
We bought some glucosamine tablets BEST PET HEALTH brand at Costco last night. It is what we had her own before and took her off of to see if it really made a difference.

It just has glucosamine...no chondroitin...do you think that matters anyone?

We are going to check out the other mentioned products too...we just happened to go to Costco after dinner last night and picked some up before there were responding posts back on here...thanks again!

10-31-2009, 07:05 PM
I've also read that the glucosamine seams to be the more active ingredient, and more and more of the supplements are leaving it out, so I'm guessing it doesn't matter.

However, I did want to say something about EsperanzaBella82's suggestion of salmon oil.

I don't know anything about salmon and other fish oils for pets, but I can say that fish oil has helped my arthritis tremendously.

When I found out I couldn't take aspirin or NSAIDs anymore (they were causing severe asthma symptoms), I thought I was up the preverbial crick, but I read a couple of research articles that suggested that fish oil could reduce arthritis pain and inflammation, so I figured it was worth a shot.

It makes a tremendous difference for me, so it would also be worth a shot to add in with the glucosamine. The vet would have to give you a dosing recommendation.

Apparently the fish oil is also good for cardiac health.

11-01-2009, 10:06 AM
Thank you Colleen.

11-07-2009, 11:24 PM
sorry to have been out of the loop...i see there's another vet here too. EZ i usually recommend a combo of glucosamine, chondrotin and MSN...it all is important to help with the joint matrix. If you have the extra fundage..i would highly recommend the prodcut tynnb recommended...the Dasequin...it really is the best product out there...it has all that plus green oyster muscle shells which have been shown to reduce arthritic pain tremendously. Some of the research on this product is amazing. Its a bit more pricey but well worth the price. The other thing i recommend is feeding a food by royal canin called mobility support. Very pricey food but the results i have had from it are phenominal. Many dogs that go on this food can go off their arthritis meds 6-8 wks later (such as rimadyl, derramax, or metacam). Hope that helps.

11-08-2009, 09:54 AM
Thanks so much GATORGAL....

good to see you around some again..

They moved me and Timmie over into the games section of general chatter....wink

11-15-2009, 12:07 AM
ahhh...i see that's where you guys went. Yeah..i'm still lurking..have to admit a bit more addicted to Facebook..but i still pop in every now and then...need to be more routine about it.

11-27-2009, 01:17 AM
I was running in the spring and my hips started to kill me. My mom bought me glucosamine and it helped. ALOT. my only problem was the pills are huge and hard to swallow, so i was inclined to just skip it. (only to regret not taking the pills later when my hips were burning again)

long story short, i recommend it for my skin friends AND my fur friends

Aunty Jam
01-09-2010, 01:45 AM
I know this thread is older but I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents. I have both of my dogs on a human grade glucosamine hydrochloride pill that I get at Costco. The brand is Westcoast naturals and it's made in BC so I'm not sure if you can get it where you are. I was told by a pharmacist that they have to bond the glucosamine to something to make it stable, it can't be straight gluco. Check your bottle again, if it's the sulfate you don't want them on that, I don't think they can digest it as easily.

My dogs are 14 yo and 6 yo mutts, the 14 yo was active in agility all of her life and still acts like a much younger dog. I'm 100% positive the gluco has helped her, I stopped giving it to them for a while and she was just so much stiffer when trying to get up. After puting her back on it I've seen a huge improvement in her movements.

I may try the salmon oil also now... heh.