Recently introduced in the United States, glucosamine and chondroitin have been used to treat dog arthritis in both Europe and Australia for more than 20 years. When a drug has been in use for that long a period of time, its side effects are very well documented. And that’s good news if you’re treating your dog’s arthritis with glucosamine and chondroitin, because the safety of these drugs is well documented.
The only side effects that have been reported are the occasional bout of vomiting or diarrhea. Actually, both of these side effects are common across a wide range of medications, and the incidents reported by owners of dogs being treated with glucosamine and chondroitin is very low. In most cases, the side effects are diminished, or stop altogether, when the dosage of glucosamine is reduced or stopped.
Glucosamine does not have any known interactions with other prescription dog arthritis medications such as Rimadyl, Previcox, or Metacam. It also does not interact with normal over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin.
Glucosamine is a naturally-occurring amino sugar compound that is produced in humans and other mammals including dogs. Although the substance is also found in the liver and kidneys, it appears in abundance in cartilage. Over its 20 years of usage, doctors and veterinarians agree that it is instrumental in repairing damaged cartilage, promoting the creation of new cartilage, cushioning joints and reducing pain and inflammation.
Chondroitin, a supplement which is usually prescribed in tandem with glucosamine, is made from cow and shark cartilage. It is also synthesized in laboratories. It is used to treat both dog arthritis as well as human arthritis. Chondroitin has been found to cause cartilage to become more spongy and flexible which results in less pain from joint movement.
Many dogs respond so well to a glucosamine and chondroitin regimen that vets eventually take them off stronger dog arthritis anti-inflammatory medications after just 4-6 weeks from the time glucosamine and chondroitin treatment begins.
A good vet is always looking for a treatment program that provides maximum results with minimum risk to the dog’s health. And when it comes to treating dog arthritis, glucosamine and chondroitin fill that bill.
If your dog is being treated with dog arthritis anti-inflammatory medications that do not include glucosamine and chondroitin, discuss those options with your vet. It could make a big difference in reducing the swelling and pain of dog arthritis.
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