Side Effects of Glucosamine for Cats

Glucosamine for cats is a neutraceutical that's used as a supplement to promote joint mobility and reduce the pain and discomfort caused by cat arthritis. Glucosamine is a natural substance that's derived from various food sources, such as the shells of crustaceans. This is the most common source of glucosamine, as crustacean shells are mostly discarded in huge amounts. Glucosamine is comprised of glutamine and glucose, which are essential for the support of healthy cartilage. Since older pets suffering from arthritis experience severe damage to the joints and cartilage, glucosamine is an effective supplement that helps relieve the symptoms and pain.

Forms of Glucosamine Include:

  • Glucosamine Hydrochloride (GHI)
  • Glucosamine Sulfate
  • N-acetylglucosamine

Effectiveness of Glucosamine

The positive results of glucosamine administration are only visible after 8 weeks of initial treatment, but pets exhibit marked improvement in their ability to walk or climb. Glucosamine supplements also help prevent further joint damage and help build healthy cartilage. Research suggests that pets suffering from bowel disease or bladder disorders respond favorably to glucosamine supplementation. However, a few pets may not show any change in their condition, even after 2 months of glucosamine administration. They may require further diagnostic tests and medication to treat the problem. Out of the 3 forms of glucosamine, research reveals that glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulfate are more effective. GHI is also the purest form of commercial glucosamine.

Safety of Glucosamine Administration

Since glucosamine supplements benefit only certain pets, the supplements aren't available as medical drugs. Pet owners will have to begin supplementation in order to determine if the pet responds favorably to it. Pets that are diabetic may also exhibit elevated levels of blood sugar after taking glucosamine supplements.

Side Effects of Glucosamine for Cats

Although cats may benefit with glucosamine supplements, a few pets vomit due to a gag reflex. The cat may also suffer from diarrhea. The side effects are more prominent if glucosamine is administered in high dosages. A reduction in the dose will help diminish the side-effects present. Pets taking glucosamine should also be monitored for high blood sugar levels if they suffer from diabetes. Although glucosamine doesn't have any known drug interactions, cats that develop unusual symptoms should be given medical help. Glucosamine that benefits cats should be administered as a life-long supplement, as the symptoms of joint and cartilage damage reappear once it's discontinued.

Commercially Available Glucosamine

Since the form and quality of commercially available glucosamine vary, its best to obtain a vet prescribed supplement suited to your cat. Although glucosamine is available without a prescription, pet owners should avoid the use of glucosamine supplements without obtaining prior vet approval.

Commercial Supplements for Cats Include:

  • Joint enhancer for cats
  • Dasuquin for cats
  • Cosequin for cats
  • Super joint omega

Several formulations include a combination of other ingredients such as fish oils and chondroitin. The dosage varies according to individual pet needs, and pet owners should read and follow package instructions for easy administration. Glucosamine is often administered to cats suffering from joint trauma or injury to speed up recovery, and can be discontinued in these cases, as they aren't chronic conditions.