Unfortunately our dogs are subject to some of the same health conditions that we as humans are. One of the foremost of these is canine osteoarthritis. It is caused by deterioration of joint cartilage, and then followed by pain and loss of range of motion. The problem is that dogs dont typically show when they are in pain. Thus you really need to look for decreasing range of motion. Older, and larger dogs are more prone to osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of Arthritis
- Slow to rise from a resting position
- Reluctant to climb steps
- Tires easily or lag behind on walks
- Appears stiff or even limp after activity
If your dog has any of these symptoms they may be suffering to some degree from Osteoarthritis. So what do you do? Included on this site are some recommendations for managing arthritis in dogs. One of the most important things you can do is provide nutrition for healthy joints in the form of a specific joint formula for dogs. One of the most important constituents of any joint supplement would be the inclusion of glucosamine. To follow is a closer look at glucosamine and how it supports joint health in canines.
Natural Nutrition Remedies
Studies on Glucosamine for Dogs
Generally the studies have shown that glucosamine supplementation has a positive effect in treating canine osteoarthritis. Primarily these have been associated with its role as a glycosaminoglycan precursor. Again, glycosaminoglycans are the building blocks for cartilage. To reiterate the power e of glycosaminoglycans in joint health; in one study, pups that were predisposed to hip dyslpasia were given glycosaminoglycan sulfates, and it greatly reduced the incidence of dyslpasia. Here is a sampling of the glucosamine inclusive studies:
- Study showed glucosamine to be effective in production of cartilage Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2001 Jan;9(1):14-21. Effects of an orally administered mixture of chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride and manganese ascorbate on synovial fluid chondroitin sulfate 3B3 and 7D4 epitope in a canine cruciate ligament transection model of osteoarthritis.
- A study of thirty-five dogs showed a glucosamine combo formula to greatly reduce pain and severity of the condition. Vet J. 2007 Jul;174(1):54-61. Epub 2006 May 2. Randomised double-blind, positive-controlled trial to assess the efficacy of glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate for the treatment of dogs with osteoarthritis.
- In this study, a glucosamine combo formula demonstrated a reduction in the severity of cartilage breakdown iand a return of the repaired joint to a more normal physiologic state. Publication: Veterinary Orthopedic Society, 25th Annual Conference, February 1998
- Discussion of glucosamine sulfate's role in halting or reversing joint degeneration. This was associated with its ability to act as an essential substrate for glycosaminoglycan production, and thus be a critical component in the rebuilding and support of connective tissue. Authors comment on glucosamines role as an agent to control pain and slow down or reverse the degenerative condition of the joint. Publication: Alternative Medicine Review, Jun 1999
Liquids, Chews or Tablets?
Now which form? Again, all will be beneficial if you can get the right dosage. But as far as whats best a number of things can come into play:
Most formulas on the market are chews, but it seems that typically the liquids are a better value due to higher concentrations of the key actives like glucosamine (simply put-liquids dont have the space limitations that chews do).
Some feel that a liquid will be more absorbable. While there are no specific studies supporting this with glucosamine in animals, there are general studies with health supporting nutrients, which show favorable absorption dynamics with liquids.
This can go either way; some find it easier to administer a liquid in the food or water, and some find it easier to administer a tablet. Again, both can be effective. We lean towards liquids as the better option overall in these three areas.
With dog joint supplements, will typically see glucosamine combined with both chondroitin sulfate (up to a 1000mgs per day) and with MSM (up to 1500 mgs per day). This will provide for comprehensive support for joints. Following the above guidelines will make sure that your canine has all the building blocks for cartilage growth and support.
Starting a Joint Health Program
- 30% of dogs have some form of osteoarthritis brought about by deteriorating joint conditions. If your dog is a larger breed, aged, or overweight that percentage skyrockets! As owners we need to be aware of this and as our dog begins to age take the preventative steps of maintaining joint health in our pets. Proper exercise, weight control, and then supplementation with chondroprotective agents like glucosamine sulfate, MSM, and chondroitin sulfate.
- Doing these things will decrease the rate of pressure on the joints and allow for the nutritional support that will strengthen and build cartilage. The result will be a pet that is strong and mobile again.
What to expect and when
- Though you will likely see some difference in a week, it typically it takes 60-90 days to see the significant change in your dogs when you follow the programs listed here. So be patient and stick with the program, because it typically pays well to great rewards (if the condition is not allowed to get to an advanced stage, where they are really old and cant hardly move in part due to osteoarthritis). After 60-90 days, we have seen amazing things happen with dogs. Animals that were fairly lame, seemingly on a downward spiral, become vibrant again. Our dogs become excited and happy again to go on their walks, they begin flying up and down the stairs, they sleep better - truly happy and health companions!
- Remember your dog wont necessarily give you strong enough signs to know they are in pain. Their quality of life can be improved and its really up to you. Simple steps can make the difference. Dont wait until you pass the point of no return, keep you dog joint healthy throughout its life.
RJX for Dogs™ is a liquid joint nutrient supplement for dogs that helps to restore mobility. RJX contains therapeutic amounts of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM to compliment your dog's health program to improve joint health and restore mobility.