What are Glucosamine and Chondroitin?
Glucosamine and chondroitin are natural substances found in and around the cells of cartilage (the tough, elastic, fibrous connective tissue found in various parts of the body, such as the joints).
Glucosamine is a form of amino sugar that is believed to inhibit inflammation and stimulate cartilage cell growth. At its interior surface, the mucosal layer of the bladder is covered by a film of mucin, which is secreted by the urothelial cells at the surface of this tissue layer and consists largely of the substances known as glycosaminoglycan (GAG).
Glucosamine is a major building block of proteoglycans. It stimulates cartilage cells to synthesize glycosaminoglycans GAG's (mucopolysaccharides). Glucosamine is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Chondroitin sulfate is part of a large protein molecule (proteoglycan) that provides cartilage with strength and resilience. Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and MSM are sold as nutritional supplements.
Glucosamine supplements are derived from crab, lobster or shrimp shells; and chondroitin supplements are generally made from cow cartilage.
Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements for dogs come in a softchews, liquids and capsules.
Does Glucosamine and Chondroitin work for dogs?
Glucosamine provides the building blocks to synthesize new cartilage
By DVM Ivana Vukasinovic
Any dysplasia or other joint problems are heavy on cartilage which is consumed much more than in normal conditions in the midst of distorted friction and eventually only bones with accompanying arthritis remain. Glucosamine provides the building blocks to synthesize new cartilage. The difference between the products sulfate vs. hydrochloride is that there are studies showing that hydrochloride is maybe more effective. Chondroitin sulfate, one of the building blocks of cartilage, might slow breakdown of the cartilage in the joints.
Good even for healthy dogs
It is beneficial to add Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements if our dog has any dysplasia but you can also use it daily if you know that your dog has bigger risk of developing any bad conditions of joints because of the breed or weight.
Most dogs get creaky joints as they get older... help them out!
By Lauren Duke
San Marcos, Texas, United States
I have my 10 year old pomeranian on Phycox. She has luxating patella that don't cause her any issues, but with her age, and the fact that I train her in agility, I want her to stay comfortable for as long as possible. Phycox chews are flavored, so super easy to just give as a treat. They even have a hypoallergenic version, if needed. Most dogs seem to enjoy just eating the chews right out of your hand.
The addition of turmeric and flax seed oil are both anti-inflammatories, and good for overall health.
Glucosamine supplements aren't going to completely turn around a dog with crippling arthritis, but they are helpful paired with prescription anti-inflammatory and pain medication. They help to support the joints and protect from further degrading. I've seen them recommended by vets often after ACL surgeries or other orthopedic procedures.
Phycox, Cosequin, and Dasuquin are all good, veterinary-endorsed brands that you can get over the counter.
We're still not quite sure how effective they are
By Vuk Ignjic DVM
You should give joint supplements to your senior dog even if it doesn't have diagnosed osteoarthritis, chances are most older dogs (like humans) have chronic osteoarthritis of some level, and if not these supplements help joint regeneration and can help prevent or at least reduce the development of osteoarthritis.
Chondroitin seems to help
By Janna Weiss
Bedford, Texas, United States
I've used chondroitin with glucosamine on an elderly pug who had significant arthritis pain. It seemed to help him with the stiffness, but he was also taking an NSAID, so I can't be sure how much of his improvement could be attributed to the supplement. If it's not causing your dog any problems, I don't think there's any harm in trying it.
Research is pretty spotty on these product, though I have had patients that seem to really improve on them. If you only want to get one thing us omega fatty acids.
Glucosamine is fairly easy to make and many of the products on the market are decent. Chondroitin on the other hand is very expensive to produce. Under current US regulations it is legal to label a nutroceutical product as containing 500mg when it really only has 5mg. When you buy cheap chondroitin that is what you get.
If you want to use these products they cause no known harm. It's best to buy them from a reputable company and pay what it costs for the real thing.
Companies like platinum performance make good products with a combination of ingredients. Nutrimax also has a good reputation. If you have any questions request a third party analysis (the company sends it out to an independent company for confirmation of product analysis). It doesn't really matter if you can't read it, generally if a company does the third party analysis and is willing to send you a copy then they are likely making a good product.
This is my favorite joint supplement!
Burlington, Wisconsin, United States
Glucosamine chondroitin supplements are fantastic at adding lubrication to joints. I always warn owners, they may not notice a significant difference in mobility right away. It is worth it to try for 6-8 weeks, and even if a difference isn't noticed, it doesn't hurt anything to give it, and it may be helping.
There are no side effects to it. It is fairly inexpensive and most dogs take it very easily.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin? may be beneficial as part of arthritis treatment regimen?
By M Teiber DVM
Illinois, United States
Glucosamine and chondroitin are supplements usually recommended for joint health and treating arthritis pain. Glucosamine and chondroitin are glycosaminoglycans that help make up a portion of the joint fluid. They are required to maintain and repair joint tissue and work like shock absorbers in the joint. They also have some anti-inflammatory properties.
Despite being very popular, there actually aren't many studies in dogs that proves efficacy of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements for dogs with arthritis. They probably won't do much as a sole treatment for joint pain. However, they are very safe to use and may be beneficial in combination with other therapies.
Many over-the-counter human and animal supplements claim to contain glucosamine. Be careful when choosing a product as many of these supplements are not well-regulated and may not contain sufficient amounts of the ingredients that they claim. I typically recommend veterinary-approved brand name medications which are more reliable.