Glucosamine and chondroitin have been used for a long time as supplements to treat and prevent the main causes of arthritis in human’s and also dogs. So in this article I will explain everything you need to know about glucosamine and chondroitin for dogs including doses, and the reasons behind using the supplement’s.
So to understand the purpose of the supplements I will briefly explain how arthritis develops and affects the joints in your canine. The symptoms of arthritis include pain in the joints accompanied by inflammation and swelling around the joints in question. These symptoms are caused by a thinning of cartilage on the ends of the bones in the specific joint of your dog. The job of the cartilage is to protect the delicate ends of the bones in a joint and also to aid the easy movement of the bones in a joint by promoting lubrication of the joint.
So when the cartilage breaks down it can cause parts of the bones to become exposed. This often means that bone can be rubbing against exposed bone in a joint which creates a lot of extra friction. This is what causes the intense pain and inflammation that so often accompanies arthritis, coupled with fragments of cartilage and bone that can break off into the cavity of the joint.
So the purpose of any supplement that you give to your dog is to stop or reverse the breakdown of cartilage in the joints and this is where glucosamine and chondroitin come in.
Glucosamine is one of the major substances used by the body to make up healthy cartilage in a dogs joints, so if there is not enough present in your dogs joints this can cause damaged cartilage to repair at a slower rate, and results in the cartilage on your dogs joints thinning a lot more quickly.
Chondroitin is thought of as the scaffolding in the cartilage. It provides a foundation for all the other substances to form around. Because of its function in the cartilage it is the main substance that provides rigidity and stops the cartilage being squashed. So if there is a lack of chondroitin in your dogs joints then what will generally happen is the cartilage will be able to be broken down and squashed and compressed with a lot more ease.
So many vets will give these supplements to dogs as preventative measures, and also to treat existing conditions of arthritis. These supplements are very hard to overdose on as they are naturally occuring substances in the body. That being said the dose for glucosamine recommended by most vets is around the 1500mg mark and for chondroitin it is around the 1200mg mark per day. These dosages are applicable to an average labrador, so if your dog is smaller it is wise to increase the dosage and if smaller reduce it.
The quality of the supplement will also change from manufacturer to manufacturer as supplements are not regulated by the FDA as are prescriptions drugs so it is wise to use a glucosamine and chondroitin dogs that is currently being used by vets and is clinically proven to work.
To watch a video of a vet with over 20 years experience talking about a supplement he uses for his clients dogs visit http://jointsupplementfordogs.weebly.com/
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