If your dog is suffering from arthritis your veterinarian is likely to prescribe glucosamine. Used together with other medications, it has been used to treat a number of conditions including skin damage and stomach ailments. Glucosamine for dogs is particularly effective for arthritis as it supplements the body’s natural production of the compound.
Healthy animals naturally produce glucosamine, which helps to maintain healthy joints, cartilage and muscles. But like most things, the onset of old age diminishes a dog’s ability to produce glucosamine.
If you think your dog has early-stage osteoarthritis or a similar condition such as dysplasia, be on the lookout for tell-tale symptoms. Unless they’re sleeping, dogs are active creatures and continuously alert. If your dog has difficulty becoming motivated or has trouble standing up this may be a strong indication of arthritis.
Other changes to watch out for include: difficulty in walking (especially up steep inclines or staircases), limping, and cringing when touched in certain areas of the body. If you spot any of these symptoms, a prescription of glucosamine may be the answer.
Glucosamine for dogs not only effectively reduces pain and inflammation, it can also repair damaged joints. So if you are worried that your elderly dog is at risk for contracting arthritis, you should consider adding glucosamine to the animal’s regular diet as a preventive measure.
There are numerous ways to give glucosamine to dogs, though studies have shown that the most effective and least invasive method is to put supplements into their food. There are tasty chews and treats available which dogs seem to enjoy. Dogs can be given glucosamine pills, but the preferred form is liquid. It can be easily administered by pouring it directly over the dogs food. In fact, some dogs seem to like the taste.
It has few side effects, so your dog should be bounding about within 2-4 hours of taking the medication. The most common side effects are vomiting and diarrhea, but these can usually be controlled by lowering the dosage.
A glucosamine dosage is determined by the severity of the condition as well as the dog’s age and weight. A general ratio most often used is 750 milligrams to every 50 pounds of body weight. Consult your veterinarian if you have questions about the benefits of glucosamine for your dog.