Glucosamine, available from veterinarians, pet stores, and on-line shops, is often recommended for aging dogs with degenerative arthritis and cartilage problems. It is a dietary supplement that also helps reduce inflammation and retard cartilage damage. There are occasionally some side-effects, and dogs can become ill if they are given an overdose of glucosamine. However, the problems are minimal.
What are Glucosamine Tablets?
Glucosamine tablets for dogs contain glycosaminoglycans, which aid in building cartilage and in bolstering fluid in the joints. They should not be the only remedy for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis, but should be used in combination with mild exercise and weight control. The tablets can include cartilage from cows and sharks and crustacean chitin. Similar tablets are available at pharmacies for people. A typical dose for a 25-pound dog starts at roughly 500 mg of glucosamine and 400 mg of chondroitin. This is doubled for every 25 pounds of weight. Dosing frequency is typically daily initially, with tablets given less frequently after a few weeks. A veterinarian should be consulted for recommended dosage based on the dog.
Overdosing Has Minimal Problems
Glucosamine is considered a safe dietary supplement, with little to no side-effects. Mild stomach upsets and diarrhea have been reported. Dosing recommendations are listed on the product. The tablets are not licensed by the FDA, therefore dog owners should take care when purchasing glucosamine tablets, buying from quality manufacturers. There are generic, inexpensive products on the market that have not been patented and might not be as effective.
Dogs With Diabetes Should Avoid Glucosamine
Dogs with diabetes should not be given pills or food with glucosamine unless approved by a veterinarian. The severity of the dog's diabetes can play a part. Glucosamine can block insulin formation and can trigger insulin resistance. As a result, sugar can build up to dangerous levels. Veterinarians might suggest lesser doses of glucosamine or might periodically monitor a diabetic dog's blood sugar while on glucosamine tablets.
The cost of glucosamine tablets and powders might be prohibitive for some dog owners. For example, a 50-pound dog could take $1.50 worth of supplements a day initially, until the dose is cut back. The dose is typically lowered after the first several weeks as the dog's condition improves.
Where to Buy Glucosamine
Glucosamine tablets for dogs can be purchased from veterinarians, at pet shops, and via many on-line suppliers. Many are sold under "joint relief" formulas. Dog owners should consult the ingredients and dosing information before administering them. In addition, some veterinarians recommend glucosamine products from pharmacies, which are packaged for human use. Veterinarians should be consulted for dosing information.