My 8 year old Shar Pei was diagnosed with arthritis, so I decided to investigate glucosamine for dogs.
I like to avoid chemicals and drugs wherever possible, and I wanted a healthy alternative to the medications that the vet could prescribe for Jake. My vet told me that he had seen some good results with a few of his other patients who had taken glucosamine for dogs.
Let me start at the beginning.
Early Symptoms of Arthritis
Jake normally acts like a puppy. She (yes, she!) bounds off her dog bed in the morning, anxious to get outside and explore her kingdom, making sure that no squirrels or stray cats are lurking out there.
Lately, though, she didn’t seem to bound out of bed like usual. She would slowly get up, gingerly. She acted like a very old dog! She would get better during the day, after she laid outside in the sun, but sometimes I would also see her limping, or favoring one back leg.
Since Jake can’t talk (like most dogs), we had to be observant to see if she was feeling any pain or discomfort. Both my husband and I started to watch her closely. The slow-getting-up continued, and then she started laying on the tile floor in the bathroom, just dropping down suddenly.
We took her to our vet. He told us that she had arthritis, and that it wasn’t unusual in a dog her age. He also said that the dropping onto the cool tile bathroom floor was how she tried to soothe the inflamed joints from the arthritis.
The vet said that other symptoms may also include lagging behind when you went on a walk, lethargy, trouble climbing stairs or playing, and sometimes even moving away when you try to pet your dog.
How Does a Dog Get Arthritis?
Just like humans, dogs have cartilage that covers the ends of bones where they sit in the sockets, preventing the “grinding” of bone against bone. (Cartilage is what your nose and ears are, underneath your skin, if you want to see what it feels like.) As we and our pets age, we lose the ability to repair and maintain the cartilage in those sockets. When the cartilage wears away is when the pain gets intense.
Our bodies produce glucosamine naturally, but as we age that production drops off. This is where supplementing with glucosamine for dogs (and humans) can be beneficial.
Glucosamine for Dogs Is Made from Sea Shells
Glucosamine supplements are derived from the shells of crustaceans. Since the shells are typically discarded, glucosamine is fairly inexpensive to produce. What the supplements do is bring your dog’s (or yours, for that matter) glucosamine level back to what was formerly normal for your pet. When the levels increase, joint cartilage can be encouraged to regenerate. Unfortunately, though, glucosamine does not cure arthritis.
Your dog will need to continue taking his or her glucosamine for dogs supplements for the rest of his life to continue to see beneficial results. If you stop feeding the supplements, levels will drop and you will begin to see the pain of arthritis or other degenerative diseases reappear.
The glucosamine for dogs supplements come in four different derivations: Glucosamine Hydrochloride or HCL, Glucosamine Sulfate, Glucosamine 2KCL and Glucosamine NaCl. Most vets recommend that you avoid 2KCL and NaCl, since they are much less effective.
Jake’s New Life, or Second Childhood
After an afternoon of reading on the internet, we found a glucosamine for dogs supplement that sounded good. We found a liquid supplement that we can pour over Jake’s food, which was a much better solution for us than a glucosamine for dogs pill! (I don’t know about you, but trying to force a pill down a resistant dog’s throat is not something I ever want to do again!)
The fourth day we noticed that Jake seemed to get up quicker, not so stiff. But it was about a week later that she bounded up the stairs after me! (That was something she hadn’t done in awhile. She would walk up the stairs, but slowly.) And after about 2 weeks, no more lying on the tile floor, either. The glucosamine for dogs supplement has made all the difference.
Jake seems to have made a full recovery, and is acting like her own goofy, puppy self. Hard to believe this is an 8 year old dog!
So would I recommend a glucosamine for dogs supplement? You bet I would. Not only is it nice to have our goofy puppy back, but it is such a joy to see that she is pain-free.
After seeing the fantastic results from this glucosamine for dogs supplement, I’m looking seriously for one that will do the same for a 57 year old woman!