Why did my vet not recommend glucosamine/chondroitin for my pet?
Many veterinarians are just becoming aware of the benefits of glucosamine and chondroitin. Most veterinarians gain their information about new products through major pharmaceutical companies. Because the large pharmaceutical companies are not promoting this product it has taken longer to be introduced to veterinarians. Veterinarians that specialize in orthopedics or who keep current on all new products are usually very aware of the benefits of glucosamine and chondroitin and have used these products for years.
Do glucosamine/chondroitin really work?
There have been many studies done in Europe showing the benefits of these products. There is a complete absence of completed studies on these products in the United States, although, many are currently underway and initial reports confirm the results seen in Europe. Drs. Foster and Smith (the writers of this article) have carried this product for several years and the reports that we get back from our customers are very positive.
Can I use glucosamine/chondroitin with painkillers or other drugs?
Many animals are on aspirin or carprofen (Rimadyl) before they begin glucosamine/chondroitin therapy. I usually encourage owners to wean their pets off of painkillers over a period of six weeks while the glucosamine and chondroitin are taking effect. Some animals with severe arthritis may need to be on a low dose of buffered aspirin to maintain their comfort even with the benefits of glucosamine and chondroitin. Other supplements such as multivitamins and fatty acids are often given to animals on glucosamine supplements without any problems. It is always best to check with your veterinarian before putting your pet on any medication or supplement. This information should be a part of your pet's medical record.
What is the difference between glucosamine (HCl) and glucosamine sulfate?
Glucosamine hydrochloride (HCl) and glucosamine sulfate both work equally well in dogs. 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.
How long can I keep my dog on it?
Most pets 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.
Can I use it to prevent hip dysplasia?
There is no indication that this product slows the progression of hip dysplasia. It does not prevent the development of hip dysplasia. Many animals that have hip dysplasia benefit from being on glucosamine and chondroitin because it helps heal the cartilage and reduce the pain involved with this disease.
Can I give my dog the kind that I take?
Pharmaceutical grade glucosamine and chondroitin are used for humans and are found in some veterinary products. It is perfectly safe to use human glucosamine in your pet, however, products made for animals contain ascorbic acid to help in the uptake, in canines. In addition, animal products are dosed in the correct size for animals and are often flavored to make them more palatable to pets.
Can glucosamine and chondroitin be used in cats?
It is safe to use in cats and appears to work very well in reducing the signs of feline osteoarthritis. Drs. Foster and Smith produce a small capsule specifically for cats and small dogs.
Blog owner's note: Pet-tek also provides similar products that you can find at www.pet-tek.ca.