Glucosamine for Dogs: Your Complete Pup-torial
How old are you? Do you ever notice aches or pains in your joint? You might feel the occasional crack or ache in some of your joints and you probably aren’t even that old.
Now think about your dog. How old is your pup? Not a puppy anymore? Our dogs have aches and pains just like we do. They develop diseases and joint damage just like we do.
Luckily, we can do things like taking supplements or eat healthier to prevent our joints from getting damaged in our old age. But what can you do for your dog?
You might want to consider a glucosamine supplement. Using glucosamine for dogs has been practiced for years by many veterinarians. Never heard of it? Want to know how it works?
Read online for a full pup-turial on glucosamine for dogs.
What Is Glucosamine for Dogs?
Glucosamine is a substance that naturally occurs in our bones and in the fluid around the joints. It is vital for the construction of cartilage.
Cartilage is naturally spongy and flexible. As your dog ages, the cartilage around the joints begins to stiffen and slowly disintegrate.
By adding extra glucosamine to your dog’s diet, you are keeping the cartilage flexible and slowing down the aging process of the joints.
Where Does It Come From?
As mentioned earlier, glucosamine occurs naturally in bones and joints, but it is regularly extracted from shellfish, bone marrow, and fungi. Glucosamine is also available in a synthetic form, created in a laboratory.
Possible Side Effects of Glucosamine
Just like any other supplement or drug, glucosamine may cause unwanted side effects. If your dog has too much glucosamine in their system, they can present with a variety of side effects.
The following is a list of common side effects associated with glucosamine supplements:
- Excessive thirst and urination
- Allergies (specifically those who are allergic to shellfish)
If you have been giving your dog glucosamine supplements and you begin to notice any of these side effects, discontinue the use of all glucosamine supplements and consult your veterinarian right away.
Since the side effects associated with glucosamine are often also associated with other illnesses and drugs, it’s important to know that the glucosamine may not be the primary cause. This is why it is so important to consult your vet right away.
Arthritis and Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
We briefly talked about arthritis in dogs earlier, but we really must stress just how bad arthritis can get.
A dog can be as healthy as possible on the inside, but have extreme joint damage to the point that they are unable to walk, jump, or even stand up. This joint damage can be so extreme that it affects the dogs quality of life in extreme ways.
Hip dysplasia is one of the most common forms of arthritis that occurs in dogs. To put it simply, hip dysplasia is formation in the hip that causes severe arthritis.
Glucosamine is often used as a supplement to prevent these illnesses from ever occurring.
In the event that your dog is already suffering from severe arthritis or hip dysplasia, you may want to consider using glucosamine in the form of an injection.
Signs Your Dogs Might Need a Glucosamine Supplement
Glucose can you give them as a preventative supplement, but it is also given as a treatment. If your dog is experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may want to consider a glucosamine treatment.
- Increased sleep
- Reluctance to exercise
- Disinterest in going on walks
- Visible inflammation
- Pain or aggression when joints are touched
- Weight gain
Always consult your veterinarian before deciding to self medicate your dog. Keep in mind that noticing these symptoms as early as possible can help prevent long-term damage or arthritis.
No one knows your dog as you do, so don’t rely on your vet to tell you when it’s time to start preventative measures. There is no harm in asking.
How Can You Give Your Dog Glucosamine?
“That settles it, where can I get my hands on some glucosamine?“
Getting glucosamine supplements is easy. If you’re trying to prevent joint damage, a pill form of glucosamine is probably right for you. Consult your veterinarian for dosages before you give any to your dog.
You can also find dog foods that are fortified with glucosamine. These foods are often marketed for older dogs, but you can give this kibble to any adult aged dog. Be sure to consult your vet before abruptly changing their diet, as this can disrupt their tummy.
If your dog is already having joint problems, you may want to take a step further and try glucosamine injections. These injections are administered strictly by your veterinarian.
You can expect an injection of glucosamine to work similarly to the way Cortisone shots work for people. It will ease the pain and create extra fluid in and around the joint. The shot will wear off anywhere between two weeks to four weeks.
Your vet will tell you how often the injection is needed.
Keep Your Pup Happy and Healthy
No matter what age your pup is, their health should always be a number one priority. Whether that means supplements of glucosamine for dogs or simply a little extra lovin’ during the day can make all the difference.
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