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Glucosamine, Chondroitin sulphate, and MSM

February 2nd, 2007, 09:14 PM
I'm sure I started a thread about this, but after doing some searches, I can't find my thread, or the answer to my next question.

I recently put my dog on a low dosage of Nupro joint support (EFA's and glucosamine suppliment) and one flex-all (glucosamine) biscuit per day to help with a shoulder/neck injury (we think stemmed from birth - he was pulled out). The limp is not bad at all (it comes and goes, and nothing seems to trigger it), but I was told by both my vet and his chiropractor, that it should help and it certainly can't hurt. However, the muscle memory is there, so we also do stretching exercises nightly.

But I digress... Once things settle down (assuming this works), I would like to keep him on a daily maintanence doseage (or less) of one or the other. I've researched around (vets, internet searches, etc) and I've gotten quite a bit of conflicting answers, so I was wondering if someone here could help to answer my questions.

1. Some pet stuff, I'll use pet nail polish as an example, is sometimes the same formula as drug store "people" nail polish. Put a "For Pets" label on it, sell it at a pet store, and double the sale price. If I were to buy Glucosamine (c.s., or msm) for my dog at my local health food store, what exactly would I be looking for? I'm sure it would be quite a bit cheaper (even if I do get it wholesale).

2. Does anyone know of what the benefits are of either 3 medications? MSM I know is good for cartilage and tendon repair and is also an acting anti-inflamatory, but I've heard some conflicting information regarding Glucosamine being not as good as Chondroitin sulphate, and that I should eliminate Glucosamine completely.

Any feedback on this is appreciated. :)

February 2nd, 2007, 09:37 PM
Check the encylopedia section of this forum on Hip Dysplasia for additional information on glucosamine etc. If you still have questions about how it all works, re-post here and I, as well as others will be happy to help if we can.

In terms of where you buy your supplies, I look for sales at my local drug stores and health food stores, I've never bought it at my Vet or pet store. You're looking for milligram rates ~ the amount of each "factor X" in each pill.

February 2nd, 2007, 09:38 PM
you mean this thread?

February 2nd, 2007, 09:40 PM
I buy Puppy's Glucosamine/MSM and Condroitin at a human pharmacy... like you said, half the price, and he really doesnt care if its liver flavored or not.
He is supplimented with all 3... and the treats :rolleyes: I was buying Puppy the suppliment treats from Hip action... he had to eat 1/2 a bag a day according to the chart on the back... $7 for a bag every 2 days and I get better results with the pills now.:shrug:

February 2nd, 2007, 10:39 PM
you mean this thread?

Was that directed to me, or mummummum? If it was to me, the answer would be no.

mummummum: I did a search already in both this forum, and on the internet, and didn't find the answers I was looking for. Or maybe I wasn't using the right keyword searches?

February 3rd, 2007, 01:59 PM
you mean this thread?

No Techno, I meant this one:

February 4th, 2007, 07:20 AM
I have my horse on glucosamine/chondroitin and it seems to work well for her. The vet says that the 2 of them work much better together than just one or the other. We buy it in bulk powdered form from him because we need a lot of it, but for a dog I would think the stuff at the pharmacy would be cheaper than getting it at the vet.

February 4th, 2007, 07:36 AM
I use a glucosamine with cats claw and devil claw for Nell,since the cat/devil claw are both analgesics and she was getting sore in her hips,it works extremely well.I use the glucosamine plus for Jack who's an older horse and I noticed a big improvement in his mobility.

February 4th, 2007, 08:36 AM
Does nobody have any information?

Someone I know has a bad knee and his doctor suggested that he eliminate glucosamine completely and treat it with Chondroitin Sulphate, Ester C, and MSM (I think it was), due to the long term side effects of Glucosamine. But I digress... the CS by itself worked quicker and more effectively than the glucosamine combo that he had been taken for years (treat and repair).

Which brings me to my original post. I can't find any information on this, so I was hoping someone here would have a link, or some general knowledge to pass on.

February 4th, 2007, 08:40 AM
I forgot to add that he has been on Glucosamine for one month now (takes up to 3 months to really see results), but I notice quite a big difference almost immediately when he eats ocean chews (no glucosamine, but an excellent source of CS)... I was hoping someone can help clarify my confusion.

February 5th, 2007, 10:16 AM
Does nobody have any information?

I just gave you some information :confused: My vet says that glucosamine and chondroitin work better together. I also buy it in bulk from the vet, I guess that's not helpful information? :shrug:

February 5th, 2007, 10:51 AM
I'm sorry. Maybe my question is not clear enough?

He's already ON glucosamine, but I would like some information on a glucosamine complex (gluc + cs) vs chondroitin sulphate (with msm, and without gluc.)

After talking to my friend about his knee (read above), and hearing his stories about what doctors (multiple, not just one) have told him, I'm wondering if chondroitin sulphate by itself will work better for my boys shoulder.

February 12th, 2007, 05:19 PM
There's boatloads of articles and studies out there :shrug: . Here are a few links to get you started...

February 12th, 2007, 09:48 PM
Thanks! I've bookmarked those sites and will read them thoroughly when I have more time.

I've done tons of searches though and all I can find are results on glucosamine, and very little on remedies for bone, joint or muscle pain, that don't include it. I even looked for a CS with MSM remedy (no gluc), and found it hard to find a clear explanation or answer to my questions.

Hopefully one of those links will give me the answers I'm looking for (treatment and relief without the use of glucosamine). Something else I might be interested in researching is green-lipped mussel, if anyone knows about that, but until I find the answers that I'm looking for, I'll keep him on the glucosamine. Hopefully it works.

Thanks for the links. :)

February 13th, 2007, 10:04 AM
Sorry I didnt notice this thread until now. I am a Natural Health Consultant(humans) and hopefully I can answer a few of your questions.
Understanding what each of these suppliments actually does will assist you in knowing what is needed for your pup, both initially and ongoing.
Glucosamine: aids in the regeneration of the synovial fluid in the joints ( the water buffer if you will) when damage to the joints occurs ( from arthritis or injury)this fluid buffer is gone and this leaves the joints suseptable to rubbing against each other, this inturn causes joint pain, swelling and eventually permanent damage/deformaty if not treated.
Condroitin: this aids in the healing and regeneration of cartilage. cartilage is the softer and more flexible bone tissue located primarily at the areas where ligaments attatch to the bones. When damage to the joint occurs this cartilage can also be damaged. if ongoing damage is occuring( say from the grinding of arthritis) the cartilage can be permanently damaged as well. if swelling ( inflamation) and deformaty occurs the hard bone can over grow the areas of previous cartilage and this inturn will make the joints permanently stiff ( cartilage is softer and more flixible than other bone)
MSM: MSM is extremely beneficial for the repair and maintanence of the immune system ( some arthritis(rhumatoid) is an immune system disfuntion) as well , it helps to repair soft and connective tissues ( hair, skin, nails, ligaments) If joint damage has occured from injury or disease the supporting ligaments are often stretched or damaged as well. Ligaments support the joint, if they get damaged the joint becomes under stress and has to over work itself to function properly.

What suppliments your pup needs initially and ongoing will depend really on what the damage is.
If it is arthirtis then all 3 would be of benefit ongoing. If the damage is say a torn ligament then inititally all 3 and as healing occurs maintanence of MSM would likely be the best way to go.
I hope this helps, if you have more questions just let me know

February 13th, 2007, 11:04 AM
What suppliments your pup needs initially and ongoing will depend really on what the damage is.
If it is arthirtis then all 3 would be of benefit ongoing. If the damage is say a torn ligament then inititally all 3 and as healing occurs maintanence of MSM would likely be the best way to go.

Thanks so much for your reply. What I need to know (if it's not clear) is which combination of what will benefit my dog's limp. I know what each does seperately, but I want to know which combinations, and how they work together to benefit different injuries (ie. dysplasia, torn muscles/tendons, arthritis, etc). And since this seems to be muscle memory around his C4, I don't have faith that glucosamine is what he needs.

We have our third check up appt with the vet (sports chiropractor/therapist) on Valentine's day (tomorrow), so I'll talk to her more about it then.

I hope you don't mind, but I'll send you out a PM explaining the injury, if you wouldn't mind guiding me a little bit further. Based on all the research I've done, it definitely seems as though MSM would be the best maintanence remedy, but I need just a little more information before I decide what to try (assuming the gluc doesn't work). His vet suggested gluc to start, and work from there (way ahead of you ;) ).

Thank you again!

February 13th, 2007, 11:14 AM
yes, if I had more specific info about the injury I could likely give you more indepth info. Of course your vet is the best source of info and advice.

February 13th, 2007, 11:35 AM
I just sent you a PM with some specific details.

I did talk to several vets as well as our sports therapist (chiropractor), but the only one who seemed to make any sense was his chiropractor. It took her about 10 minutes to pinpoint exactly where the tender spot was that was causing the limp, but there was no mistaking when she found it. All vets ever told me to do was to put him on glucosamine and/or take x-rays or ultrasounds (which likely won't show any damage if it's muscle or tendon related - which it seems to be). X-rays are not out of the question, but since the massage/stretching exercises seems to work (if I remember to do it twice a day, that is), further tests might not be neccessary. Especially since it's in his neck, and not shoulder or elbow (like I had originally thought).

And let's not forget the answer to my question, as given by "professionals".

Q: "If we do x-rays and it shows something wrong, what would the treatments be?"
A: "None", "Massage, stretching, and gluc/cs/msm", or "surgery" (which everyone agreed is not even a factor).

At any rate, he's been on the glucosamine for going on a month now (3 weeks, maybe), and it does take time to see results.


February 13th, 2007, 01:11 PM
If his neck glucosamine may not do anything as it could be a pinched nerve,
even x-rays will not show anything in that case, sometimes more specialized tests like myelograms are needs, if you vet has already examed then try a animal chiropractor, they have specialized training to feel check for a correct alignment problem and so adjustments to free up trapped nerves, but I only recommend using ones that are certified by the avca

Glucosamine in dogs usually takes effect in 3 to 6 weeks , and no where near as problematic as using nsaids to treat

February 13th, 2007, 04:01 PM
I forget if I explained this above (thread's getting long and I don't feel like skimming to find out), so I'll quickly explain it again. He got stuck in the birth canal and had to be pulled out. From day one, he would apply slightly more pressure to his "good" leg, causing a mild shake in the other. As he grew, muscle memory set in. One wrong jump out of my car, landing on the weaker leg triggered the limp (several days later), so soft tissue damage is likely. Can glucosamine treat this, or is there something better? This is what I'm trying to determine.

If his neck glucosamine may not do anything as it could be a pinched nerve,
even x-rays will not show anything in that case, sometimes more specialized tests like myelograms are needs, if you vet has already examed then try a animal chiropractor, they have specialized training to feel check for a correct alignment problem and so adjustments to free up trapped nerves, but I only recommend using ones that are certified by the avca

Glucosamine in dogs usually takes effect in 3 to 6 weeks , and no where near as problematic as using nsaids to treat

Thanks OG, but if you read up, the person I've been consulting IS a chiropractor. I had previously discussed this with vets (easy access through my work) and got no answers other than "Let's spend a lot of money and do a bunch of tests - x-rays and whatnot", which is why I decided to go to someone who specializes in sports injuries and chiropractic care in dogs and horses. Unfortunately though, she can't reach the area to adjust the spine, as the pain seems to be under his shoulderblade. By doing the stretches and massage therapy, we're hoping that once the muscle loostens, the spine will auto correct itself, or it would be easier for her to give him an adjustment... or at least that's my understanding (it's been a couple months since we've been and I can't remember exactly what she said - I'll ask her again tomorrow).

I live in Vancouver, and the lady I deal with comes here only twice a month (every second wednesday) as she lives in Kelowna, but from what I gather, she's in very high demand, and travels around most of BC. That's a great list that you linked here, but I was surprised to not see her name on it.

But I digress... After going back and forth a little bit via email, I recieved this advice, and was given permission to post it here (thanks tarasmom), in hopes that it will give others some answers too. People are so quick to jump to glucosamine (including myself), without researching how it would help the specific problem. I don't know if there is vertabrae damage or not, but I didn't even think about nerve damage, or fluids between the vertabrae, and NSAIDS was a road I wasn't ready to travel without first getting to the route of the problem...

I printed this out and am going to bring it to my chiropractor tomorrow so she can review it, and give me her opinion.

One other question I have is regarding green-lipped mussel, but I'll research that another day. :)

Well from everything you have told me it would appear that the vertebrae damage he received at birth has likley also cause some nerve damage as well. This nerve damage is affecting his leg which is whats causing the occasional limp and weakness in that leg. Stay on the glucosamine for a while, it does take time for it to have an effect, ( I would give it 1 year) if the vertebrae are not separated by fluid they will be compressing on a nerve, you build up the fluid it should ideally release this pressure. As for the msm, stay on that as well to help with the inflammation that is likely occurring at this time around the nerve area that could be compressed. The chondroitin is for ligaments ect.. and so I doubt they will have much bearing on his neck but since he did jump from your car I am thinking he may have suffered some soft tissue damage and the CS would help that( as well as the msm) stay on the 3 at this time.

I would also speak to your vet about Lecithin. It is very inexpensive and is available in granule form that you can add to his food. The outer sheath of the nerve fibers is made up of lecithin( much like the plastic coating around electrical wires) if there is a pinched nerve scenario( as I suspect) the sheath may be damaged and the lecithin will help to heal the sheath which protects the nerve. Also with the sheath damage its like a frayed cord, the signals donít always reach the destination properly, resulting in limps, tingling, twitching and weakness.

As for dosages, I am not experienced enough with animals to give you specific info there, stay with what you vet says, so far it does sound about right to me from what you have said. For the lecithin I would try about 1 tsp to each of his feedings, but please confirm this dosage with your vet. I would keep him on the lecithin for a few months at least, if you see improvement then you could cut it back to once every 2 days then further until a maintenance of 1 x/ week.

I do hope this helps a bit, if you have more questions please dont hesitate to ask!.
Oh and yes x-rays would not show any of this, an ultrasound may show if there is a nerve issue but not a whole lot else.

February 13th, 2007, 08:45 PM
I just read the first question - and not the other replies (sorry, I have to get up early!!) but simply wanted to let you know that my "lab nephew" - my brother's chocolate lab has had hip surgery and is on glucosamine and their vet- one of the best on the Maritimes - assured them, in response to a question about whether they could purchase "people" glucsosamine at Superstore or any pharmacy - that it would be fine, as long as they maintained the same dosage. He is doing very well with it.

Cat's claw on the other hand is not indicated because it has salicytes which are as we know (There is an article on this site I believe) poisonous to cats and dogs and bunnies!! I realize there is a lower dose and it is not identical to what one would obtain in ASA but it is similar to the chemical compound and not worth the risk!!

February 15th, 2007, 06:28 PM

Well according to the chiropractor, aside from this injury, he is the picture of health.

The first time she saw him (Aug, 06), there was significant tighness (muscle spasm), and limited movement in and around the shoulder/neck area of his left front leg. Yesterdays visit (his third) showed significant improvement, with very little tightness, and surprisingly, a wider range of movement than even a "healthy" dog (he has more flexibility than your average dog with no previous injury).

I had printed a report stating exactly what he was taking, and how much of it (gluc, msm, cs, yucca, ester c, etc), and I was told to keep him on it for another 3 or so months, but to double the CS intake. We're still unsure if the gluc will help, but he will definitely benefit from raising the CS levels.

Another "test of pain" suggested is when he goes lame (limps), to give him one asprin a day for 3 days, to see if the limp goes away (removal of pain). If it doesn't, we'll know that pain is not what's causing the limp. Since I slack on the stretching exercises (I'm horrible at that), I've been told to maintain it 1-2x/day, at a minimum of 3x/week.

So it's hard to say if the gluc is starting to work or not, but something is going right. Maybe the limp is simply hard-wired? When you walk a certain way for so long, and the injury heals itself, do you still walk funny?

Hmmmmm... ;)

February 15th, 2007, 06:55 PM
I didn't want to threadjack this post but I read some info on Celadrin and posted it in the Pet Health forum. I noticed in the drug store today that it's available by itself or in combination with glucosamine.