Glucosamine Chondroitin For Dogs: Benefits And Side Effects
Recent research suggests that giving joint supplement for dogs helps them develop resilience and lessens their joint damage, if they go through joint trauma. Joint supplements can be given both post-trauma and as a preventive measure.
Apart from injury and trauma, supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin are helpful in supporting joint health for dogs suffering from arthritis. According to estimates, 80 to 90 percent of older pets can get arthritis.
Vital Health Benefits
One of the primary reasons for giving daily joint supplements to pets is due to bone and joint diseases, which commonly afflict them. These may include conditions such as spinal arthritis, abnormal joint cartilage development, septic or rheumatoid arthritis, dislocating kneecap, elbow dysplasia, canine hip dysplasia, knee ligament injury, and arthritis.
In addition to promoting general joint health to prevent these conditions and repairing the joints post-trauma, chondroprotectives or joint supplements that contain chondroitin and glucosamine are also used to treat inflammation in pets. These supplements can effectively improve the condition of a dog afflicted with mucus inflammation.
For instance, they can treat a dog’s hacking kennel cough caused by an inflamed trachea, which is essentially a mucous lined cartilage. Chondroitins and glucosamines can also benefit eye inflammation, such as anterior uveitis. Glucosamine chondroitin for dogs can provide relief to pets that urinate frequently. This condition is commonly caused in dogs due to an irritated bladder lining.
Studies indicate that dogs which are at risk of developing stomach ulcers due to high intake of NSAIDs can also benefit from these joint supplements. Just like the eyes, the stomach, bladder, and the trachea too have a fluid or mucous layer of protection, which receives support from these advanced joint supplements known as chondroprotective nutraceuticals.
What are Chondroprotectives?
Chondroprotectives have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their ability to resolve pain and promote early healing. Chondroprotectives are powerful nutrients that are included in certain joint supplements for pets. Many dog owners now choose chondroprotectives such as chondroitin and glucosamine because they enable the body to get healthier from within, instead of just masking the symptoms on the surface.
The supplements help to cut down the number of prescription medications that a pet may have to take, and also have relatively fewer side effects than many of the drugs.
Most nutraceuticals such as chondroprotectives, fatty acids, and antioxidants can be taken prior to the actual occurrence of injury so that dogs are predisposed to having a reduced risk of function loss. Nutraceuticals work naturally and make changes in the body one cell at a time. Therefore, it takes weeks before the benefits of the joint medication for dogs can actually be noticed in their health.
Similarly, just as it takes time for the benefits to show up with joint supplements, the positive effects are also slow to go away when the nutraceutical dose ends. In other words, these joint supplements have a carryover impact and the improvement continues over time. Chondroprotective supplements for pets are generally safe to use, unlike many other drugs. They can also be used for extended lengths of time, sometimes as long as a dog’s entire lifetime.
Benefit of Chondroitin for Dogs
Chondroitin can benefit dogs in three major ways:
- Inhibiting the white blood cell enzymes that lead to cartilage damage
- Facilitating nutrient absorption into the cartilage
- Stimulating or up-regulating cartilage synthesis
Using chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride together also offers a superior synergistic advantage over using each alone. Incidentally, chondroitin is obtained from the cartilage found in sharks and cattle, especially the lung tissue and trachea. It is a large molecule whose size is measured in daltons. Certain types of joint supplement for dogs use a smaller molecule of chondroitin or one that has a low molecular weight, which can be easier to absorb and transport to the joints.
Benefits of Glucosamine for Dogs
Glucosamine can benefit dogs in the following ways:
- Producing mortar by stimulating the cartilage, and thereby holding moisture around the cartilage cells.
- Generating collagen by stimulating the cartilage, a process similar to reinforcing fibers within the cartilage.
- Increasing hyaluronic acid in synovial fluid.
Glucosamine chondroitin for dogs is obtained from the exoskeleton or chitin of shrimp, lobster, or crab and is therefore safe for dogs that are allergic to fish. Dogs can generally have fish protein-related allergies, but not to the shell-based products.
How do Chondroprotectives Work?
Chondroprotectives have the necessary ingredients that are required to repair cartilage and synovial fluids. They also fight the inflammation that leads to pain and swelling.
Dogs do not always generate enough of their own joint repair building blocks, particularly if they are arthritic. Hence, joint medication for dogs can be beneficial in supplying the building blocks in the form of chondroprotectives.
Studies suggest that building block molecules are absorbed by the digestive system of dogs and delivered to joints with the help of chemically marked chondroprotectives.
Chondrocytes, which are cartilage cells, rest inside the joint. Joint supplements impact both the chondrocytes and cartilage cells by holding onto the water molecules that make the cartilage flexible. They also help in stimulating the cartilage cells to get rid of the debris and to generate new cells.
Side Effects of Glucosamine Chondroitin for Dogs
Although glucosamine and chondroitin are mostly helpful for dogs, they can have some unwanted side effects too, such as insomnia, constipation, diarrhea, soft stools, bloating, heartburn, vomiting, poor appetite, swollen eyelids, drowsiness, and headache.
It can become difficult to understand when a dog is experiencing any of the side effects because they cannot express themselves. Therefore, it is imperative to observe their behavior carefully to understand if they are behaving in a strange or odd manner. The symptoms could be reduced if you lower the supplement dosage or give it along with food.
Once you put your dog on a course of chondroitin and glucosamine, the dosage usually has to be continued for life, or the cartilage degeneration symptoms will return. It is vital to remember that dogs need a high dose of the supplement at the initial stage for it to work positively. Though they probably do not need as much as the dosage that Emil Blonksy took in that ridiculous Incredible Hulk movie (the ending was not action packed enough for one but this is another topic)!
Subsequently, if your pet displays any of the side effects, then you can reduce the dose. Dogs that are allergic to shellfish can have a mild reaction, such as chewing their feet. In case of a severe allergic reaction, pets may have an anaphylactic shock, which needs to be immediately attended by a vet.
The benefits of glucosamine chondroitin will often outweigh the risk of side effects, which has made these joint supplements a widely accepted and sustainable health solution for dogs.