Perna Mussel Joint Supplements for Dogs

There are a number of joint supplements for dogs available on the market today. Many of them contain various amounts and combinations of glucosamines and chondroitin. One of the more frequently used substances is perna mussel, otherwise known as perna canaliculus or green-lipped mussel. This mussel is an edible shellfish found off the shores of New Zealand, whose soft tissue naturally contains glycosaminoglycans (a building block of cartilage), glucosamine and a type of Omega-3 fatty acid.

The soft tissue is separated from the shell, washed several times, frozen and then freeze-dried. Then it is processed into a fine powder and then added to various joint supplement products. This supplement is known as seatone, green-lipped mussel or greenshell mussel. It should not be used by animals that are allergic to fish or shellfish.

Signs of Degenerative Joint Problems

There are several signs indicating degenerative joint problems that may be treated with joint supplements:

  • Stiffness
  • Swelling of the joints
  • Awkward movements
  • Decreased mobility
  • Difficulty moving
  • Joint tenderness, especially to the touch
  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Whimpering when moving or standing
  • Reluctance to move
  • Limping
  • Change in gait or pace
  • Slow deliberate movements
  • Decreased activity

As a dog ages, the joints are affected through the daily “wear and tear”. They can become inflamed which causes pain and stiffness. It is the naturally occurring glucosamine and chondroitin that repairs the damage done to the cartilage, tendons and joints.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Glucosamine and chondroitin work synergistically together, increasing the effectiveness of each other. While glucosamine helps in the production of new cartilage, chondroitin blocks cartilage-destroying enzymes. Glucosamine and hyaluronic acid are both also essential for the production of joint fluid, which protects the joints by insuring their lubrication, maintenance and the delivery of nutrients to the joint tissues. Chondroitin is essential in the production and repair of cartilage and other body tissues. Though they are produced by the body naturally, their production decreases over time as the dog ages. Glucosamine and chondroitin are also naturally produced anti-inflammatory agents.

Perna mussels are a good source for minerals, proteins, chondroitin sulfates and glucosamine. Though there are prescription joint supplements available for joint problems, some of them produce such side effects as ulcers, kidney problems, excessive urination, vomiting and liver problems. Perna mussels are a natural source and therefore produce no side effects unless the dog is allergic to shellfish or fish. It is therefore advisable to test try a small sample to determine if an allergic reaction is feasible. As with all new medications or supplements, careful monitoring to observe first reactions is important and responsible.

The combination of glucosamine, chondroitin and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can treat most types of joint problems including arthritis. Since glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally produced by the body, side effects are minimal, if at all. Therefore, the use of perna mussels is a safe method for supplementing a dog’s diet and cure joint problems. The only problem using perna mussel is if the dog is allergic to fish and shellfish.