Treating Dog Arthritis With Glucosamine

The condition is one which affects many pets, but for dog arthritis, glucosamine has been shown to help ease pain and stiffness. Arthritis doesn't have to change your dog's life. With the right treatment he can regain his mobility and his quality of life.

What Causes Dog Arthritis?

Dog arthritis is caused by similar factors to human arthritis. The term is used to describe an inflamed joint, but there are many different causes. It is usually a result of worn cartilage, torn ligaments or a bone fracture. Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it's most likely to affect the shoulders, hips, elbows and knees of your dog.

There are three different types of arthritis that can affect dogs: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and septic arthritis.

Osteoarthritis occurs with age. This type of arthritis is usually caused by overuse but can also be brought on by an injury. It is common in older dogs but there are measures you can take to relieve the symptoms.

Rheumatoid arthritis is much rarer and occurs when the dog's immune system starts attacking its body's own tissues.

Septic arthritis is also relatively rare and is caused by an infection in the joint.

What Are the Symptoms of Dog Arthritis?

There are several symptoms associated with dog arthritis listed below. None of them are unique to this condition, so you should always take your dog to a vet in order to ascertain the true cause:

  • Loss of mobility
  • Swollen joints
  • Stiffness of the joints
  • Pain when moving the afflicted joints

How Glucosamine can help

Glucosamine is a supplement that is used to treat arthritis in humans. It is one of the few drugs available that can also be used for dogs. Glucosamine is not considered to be a drug. Instead it falls under the category of ‘nutraceutical'. It can be found in small quantities in many different types of food and is classed as a vitamin.

Although few studies have been done on glucosamine in North America, the supplement has proven itself to be very successful in the treatment of arthritis in Europe. Glucosamine occurs naturally in cartilage. Normally the body can create more glucosamine to replace any lost through tissue wear and tear.

However, as your dog ages, its body loses the ability to produce enough of the substance to keep the cartilage healthy. At this point, osteoarthritis usually develops, but taking glucosamine supplements can help treat the condition and reduce the symptoms. It works by providing the building blocks for new cartilage to be made. Over time, this combats the loss of cartilage caused by old age.

Glucosamine Side Effects

There are few side effects associated with taking glucosamine supplements. There have never been any serious side effects recorded when dogs have been prescribed the supplement, even in the long term.

There is a small chance of your dog developing nausea and diarrhea while taking the product. However, if you give it the supplement with food, the stomach problems will normally disappear.

Glucosamine has been proven to help animals suffering from arthritis. It can be used for short term improvement and long term prevention and will help keep your dog happy and healthy.