Canine Joint Support with Glucosamine, Chondroitin Complex and Hyaluronic Acid

Glucosamine chondroitin complex is widely known as a supplement that can reduce the pain associated with joint problems such as arthritis and hip dysplasia. Now, hyaluronic acid is also gaining recognition as a joint support supplement.

About Hip Disease

Many dogs suffer from joint diseases such as arthritis and hip dysplasia. Though it is more common in older and larger breed dogs, any dog, even young puppies, can suffer from joint disease.

Joint disease is caused by weakening of the connective tissue, muscles and ligaments around the joint bones, which causes the bones to rub against each other in severe cases. This causes extreme pain to dogs, especially during activities such as running and jumping. Common symptoms include a bunny hop run, reluctance to participate in activities or a limp.

Joint disease can be caused by genetic factors, improper nutrition, overfeeding, injury and overexercise in young puppies before joints are developed. Most treatment options include surgical procedures, which are very expensive, or anti-inflammatory medications, such as NSAIDs, which can result in long-term health problems.

Glucosamine Chondroitin Supplements

One way to slow the effects of joint deterioration is the addition of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements to your dog's diet. These are not painkillers such as NSAIDs that reduce inflammation; they are the building blocks that build cartilage in your dog's joints. Thus, rather than reducing pain, they can actually repair damage done to the joints.

Glucosamine is a major sugar found in the body, which forms and maintains joint cartilage, and chondroitin inhibits enzymes that can damage the joint tissues. Because these supplements are naturally found in the body, there are no side effects as there are with anti-inflammatory medication prescribed by your veterinarian, which can cause liver and kidney damage after long-term use.

However, glucosamine chondroitin supplements are not a cure and may not have an effect on significant damage. It can also take several weeks to see the effects of these supplements.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a key component in joint fluid, which serves to lubricate the joints as well as reduce free radicals and inflammation in joints. Hyaluronic acid is formed when glucosamine forms with glucoronic acid.

Makers of hyaluronic acid supplements contend that glucosamine alone may not be sufficient in restoring joint tissue if it can't make the connection to form hyaluronic acid. Giving hyaluronic acid eliminates that risk.

Most of the research done on hyaluronic acid has been done on horses and people, but it is gaining popularity in dog treatment as well. It was once only available by injection but is now available as an over-the-counter oral treatment. Since it is also found naturally in your dog's body, there are also few risks of side effects.

If your dog is diagnosed with joint problems, surgery isn't always the only form of treatment. Many different supplement combinations are available to help reduce symptoms and even restore joint tissue. However, not all supplements are created equal, so be sure to purchase supplements from a reliable source or consult your veterinarian for a recommendation.