MSM Supplement Sides Effects in Dogs

An MSM supplement is a natural sulphur compound that's derived from dimethyl sulfoxide. It is an anti-inflammatory supplement that also allows muscles to heal and decreases the pain that ailing dogs go through. MSM supplements are used to treat dogs suffering from digestive disorders, arthritis, allergies, eye problems and inflammation. Unlike other pain relieving medications that are expensive and have adverse side effects, MSM, also known as methyl-sulfonyl-methane, is a natural, economical and effective supplement that manages pain in dogs. Since MSM is water soluble, it's easily evaporated and destroyed during cooking and storage. Hence, MSM supplements should be administered to dogs with low amounts of this substance in their body. High concentrations of MSM are found in the joints, skin, hair and nails.

Sources of MSM Include:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Seafood such as kelp
  • Nuts
  • Meat 
  • Cow's milk

Benefits of MSM Supplements

MSM supplements provide joint and connective tissue support and promote healing of painful joints. Since MSM is an antioxidant, it also gets rid of the toxins and allergens that are present in the body. It is particularly beneficial for dogs suffering from arthritis and related joint problems.

Side Effects of MSM Supplements

Although rare, few side effects of MSM supplementation such as vomiting, diarrhea and headaches have been documented. MSM supplements contain dimethyl sulfoxide and dogs that are allergic to this ingredient shouldn't be given these supplements. Since Dimethyl sulfoxide can cause toxicology problems in dogs, MSM supplements should be administered with caution. There are several other adverse side effects that can be observed in dogs that are administered MSM supplements. Some dogs experience changes in the lens of the eye, such as opaque lens or a change in the refractive index of the lens, after taking MSM supplements. This is the main reason why dogs that are administered these supplements need regular eye checkups. Some pets may develop liver or kidney problems. It's therefore important to perform liver and kidney function tests biannually.

Allergic Reactions to MSM Supplements

Although rare, allergic reactions such as rash, hives and difficulty breathing have been observed in certain dogs that are taking MSM supplements. If your pet exhibits such reactions, you should discontinue the supplement and conduct a vet check as soon as possible.

Contraindications of Using MSM Supplements

MSM supplements are contraindicated in pregnant and nursing dogs, as the safety of them hasn't yet been tested on pregnant and nursing pets. Since some medicines might interact with dimethyl sulfoxide, MSM supplements shouldn't be administered in conjunction with other medication, herbal remedies or other supplements unless advised by the vet. Moreover, dogs that have allergic reactions to medicines, foods or other substances shouldn't be given MSM. The supplements are also contraindicated for dogs that have urinary tract or bladder cancer.

MSM supplements are available in both tablet and liquid form and can be easily mixed with the pet's food. These supplements are inexpensive and reduce the pain suffered by arthritic dogs. However, you should only administer these supplements as prescribed by the vet. You should also inform the vet of any other medication that is given to your pet, in case the MSM supplement could interact with these and cause adverse reactions.