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14 FAQs about the use of joint supplements for dogs with arthritis

Why use joint supplements?

Arthritis is a significant problem in middle aged and geriatric dogs,(which is why supplements such as Boma Zeal Senior Dog Tabs are a good preventative method) although it can occur in animals of any age. The most common form of joint disease in dogs is osteoarthritis (OA), characterized by the degeneration of cartilage and the formation of new bone at the joint margins. Most cases of OA in dogs occur in association with some predisposing joint disease or injury within the joint that produces areas of increased stress which eventually result in cartilage erosion and exposure of the underlying bone.

Clinically, most dogs with OA ultimately present with stiffness or lameness, although structural damage may exist for some time before signs are apparent. Lameness is due to a combination of joint pain and restricted movement of the joint and may be gradual in onset or may present acutely following some minor trauma or excessive exercise.

Joint supplements can prevent the onset of joint diseases and make dogs suffering with them, more comfortable.

How do glucosamine and chondroitin in dog joint supplements work?

Glucosamine provides the building block of cartilage, Studies have shown that glucosamine such as Noractive helps to rehabilitate cartilage and reduce the progress of dog arthritis while reducing the pain and increasing the mobility of the dogs.  The glucosamine is rapidly taken up by the cartilage cells and helps stimulate the synthesis of joint fluid and cartilage.  Glucosamine is very safe with no known side effects.

Chondroitin is also one of the products necessary for the production of cartilage. Chondroitin is sourced from sharks and is the major glycosaminoglycan found in cartilage.  It also slows down enzymes that are destructive to the dog’s joint.  Chondroitin is added with glucosamine in products such as  Seraquin for Cats & Small Dogs with Chondroiton because it tends to enhance the ability of both substances to repair cartilage and they work better together than either ingredient alone.

How long does it take Glucosamine to work?

Studies show a minimum period of 4-8 weeks continuous use of Glucosamine is required to achieve maximum effects. Maintenance supplementation is required for long-term health benefits.

How long should my dog take joint supplement for?

Most dogs need to be on the replacement therapy for the rest of their lives. Studies have shown that cartilage degeneration will reoccur about four to six months after the product is discontinued. The exception to this would be young animals that were on it for 3 months or so following a joint surgery or injury. Once the product has provided support for 6-8 weeks, the dose can often be reduced.

Do dog joint care supplements have any known side effects?

Glucosamine & Chondroitin are naturally sourced and rarely show any side effects. Occasionally a dog will vomit or get diarrhoea if started on high doses, however, this can be alleviated if the dose is reduced or given with food.  The safety of joint supplements makes them well suited for long term use.

Can I give my dog joint supplements along with painkillers?

You should always seek advice from your veterinarian prior to administering any combination of supplements and medication. Your vet may recommended, your dog to be given both a joint supplement and an anti-inflammatory pain reliever.

Can glucosamine and chondroitin be used in cats?

Supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin are often used in cats and appear to work very well in supporting their joint health such as Synoquin for Cats

How are dog joint products different from human joint supplements?

Joint supplements for dogs contain ascorbic acid to help in the uptake of the ingredients by the body. In addition, canine joint products are dosed in the correct size for dogs and are often flavoured to make them more palatable. They also come in granules, with MSM, that can be mixed with the food. It is not advisable to feed human joint supplements to dogs as they are the wrong strength. Always ask your vet for advice if unsure.

What is the difference between glucosamine (HCl) and glucosamine sulphate?

Glucosamine hydrochloride (HCl) and glucosamine sulfate both work equally well in the cat and dog. The sulfate form was originally used in Europe. The HCl form has recently become more popular because it is purer and provides more available glucosamine per unit weight and contains much less residual ash.

What are green lipped mussels?

Pernacanaliculi, or green-lipped mussel, are an edible shellfish found off the shores of New Zealand. The soft tissue is separated from the shell, washed several times, frozen, and freeze-dried. It is then processed into a fine powder and added to joint supplement products. It contains glucosamine, glycosaminoglycans (which are also building blocks of cartilage), and a type of omega-3 fatty acid.

What is Creatine and is it beneficial for dogs suffering from joint disease?

Creatine is modified by the body to serve as a storage reservoir for quick energy. It builds lean body mass by helping the muscle work longer; it is the increase in exercise that results in building muscle, not creatine alone. When combined with exercise, it may be helpful in dogs that are losing muscle.

What is MSM and how is it useful?

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is a natural, organic source of bioavailable Sulphur, an essential element found in the dogs body and needed every day for healthy joints and tissues. Processing techniques in the food industry and other factors may reduce the availability of Sulphur required for healthy connective tissue, and this may be reflected in joint and skin problems.

Sulphur is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body after calcium, phosphorus and potassium. It is an essential mineral to support the integrity of connective tissue including skin and cartilage. Sulphur is also an important component of intracellular antioxidant such as glutathionine and is needed to support transformation of toxic complexes during liver detoxification. It can be found in products such as Arthri Aid Tablets.

What is Manganese?

Manganese is a trace mineral needed for healthy bones. The body uses Manganese to help manufacture enzymes necessary for the growth, repair and development of cartilage tissue. Manganese also acts an antioxidant and crucial component of Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD), an intracellular antioxidant that helps reduce free radical damage.

What is Vitamin C used for?

Vitamin C is an important nutrient needed to maintain connective tissue and collagen, the major component of blood vessels, skin, tendons, joint cartilage and teeth. Ester-C, a special advanced form of Vitamin C, is absorbed twice as fast and retained in the body twice as long, compared with ordinary Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) making it the best choice of Vitamin C. It is also a powerful antioxidant that helps protects cells from free radical damage, which is linked to osteoarthritis and other chronic disease states where considerable free radical damage results from long-term inflammation. It is therefore important to support the body with antioxidants during long-term inflammation.