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Old April 12th, 2008, 04:18 PM
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Question Glucosamine Supplements

I was always under the impression that glucosamine and chondroitin in a reasonably good-quality dog food was helpful for preventing joint problems in large-breed dogs....but Rainbow just told me that there isn't enough in any brand to be of much benefit.

! Now what to do? I have no idea how to supplement....so I am asking for some advice! And I hope I'm not too late...I really wanted to help Chase develop healthy joints as he was growing, and now I'm worried :sad:

My specific questions are (as relating to a 10-month old, Lab X Shepherd X Border Collie who currently weighs about 65 lbs.):

1) Do I supplement now or when my dog is older?
2) Rainbow suggested I could use supplements for humans, so do I use capsules or liquid? How much do I give? How do I give it?
3) Is the dosage based purely on weight? Does it increase for an old dog that actually has joint problems? (my boyfriend's parents have a 10-yr. old Lab X Shepherd who is getting quite slow and sore..the vet mentioned giving her glucosamine once, but provided no direction in how to do it and we felt too stupid to ask )

Thank you in advance for your help!
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Old April 12th, 2008, 05:15 PM
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No there is not enough in foods for it to really have any effect on them. You can start right now as a preventive measure. I used both caps and liquid Bud liked the liquid but being the messy boy he was most of it was on the floor. I would ask about dosage for your dog Bud was 180 pounds and 6 years old so he was getting a little more because of his age. I bought my supplements at Costco don't buy them in pet stores you pay way too much. Hide the capsule in a piece of cheese or in peanut butter. As for your BF parents dog it is never to late ask vet re dosage. Also shark cartilige is also a good supplement. I used to give Bud ester vitamin C if he had been playing and running a lot it works as an anti-inflammatory but I did not give it to him on a regular basis.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chase_Mom View Post
1) Do I supplement now or when my dog is older?
2) Rainbow suggested I could use supplements for humans, so do I use capsules or liquid? How much do I give? How do I give it?
3) Is the dosage based purely on weight? Does it increase for an old dog that actually has joint problems? (my boyfriend's parents have a 10-yr. old Lab X Shepherd who is getting quite slow and sore..the vet mentioned giving her glucosamine once, but provided no direction in how to do it and we felt too stupid to ask )

Thank you in advance for your help!
Answer to question 1). It depends. What does it depend on? Well first of all, giving it to a normal healthy dog cannot hurt and can only help so many people would say go ahead and start now. Another train of thought would be give it if there is any lameness issues or if they are heavily active dogs or older.

Answer to question 2) and 3). Human and canine sources of the medication are the same but I have some additional thoughts on this below. While many doses are available there is not necessarily a concrete dose. Many sources will say 250 - 500 for the average dog with a range of 50 - 3000mg per day. Usually for clinically lame pets, we will recommend double doses for the initial two weeks.


Couple extra notes.

1) 60 minutes did a story last year that in America, the average amount of glucosamine and chondroitin in the average supplement was 15% of what was labelled. Meaning, that the label may say two pills have 1000mg when in fact they only have 150mg!!! For this reason you need to find a company that you trust. For the veterinary side, I carry DVM products. The DVM formulat I like is called Synovi G3. It has glucosamine, chondroitin as well as MSM and Omega 3 fatty acids. It is a chewable tablet. The reason I carry this brand is that they make this tablet in the same factory that makes their FDA approved medications. Thus this tablet is made to FDA standards (which nutriceudicals are not required to do here). This means that they have to hold samples from each batch for 5 years to be able to prove exactly what is in each sample.

2) Is it glucomsamine hydrochloride or glucosamine sulfate??

Quoted from Nutramax company...

Published data indicate that both salts are equally effective and that the sulfate moiety may not participate in any biological activity. You would require, however, substantially more of the sulfate salt to get an equal dose of glucosamine. [Fenton JI, et al: The Effects of Glucosamine Derivatives on Equine Articular Cartilage Degradation in Explant Culture. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 8: 444, 2000] The glucosamine hydrochloride salt yields almost twice (1.7 x) as much useful, bioavailable glucosamine compared to the same mg amount of glucosamine sulfate.

For example, a 500 mg tablet of glucosamine hydrochloride yields approximately 409 mg of bioactive glucosamine whereas a 500 mg tablet of glucosamine sulfate yields only 239 mg of bioactive glucosamine.

The glucosamine yield difference is due to both the fact that the "sulfate" moiety is larger than the "hydrochloride moiety" to begin with and, more importantly, the purity of glucosamine sulfate salt is only about 80 % versus over 99% purity of the glucosamine hydrochloride salt. The result is, as mentioned, 1.7 times more glucosamine from the glucosamine hydrochloride salt as compared to the glucosamine sulfate salt on an equal mg weight basis.

It is interesting to note that the vast majority of the veterinary (and human) research on glucosamine in the United States has been done with the combination of glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate primarily using Cosequin®


Hope that helps!
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Old April 12th, 2008, 05:40 PM
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Quick note on shark cartilage.

First the studies have shown that it is much LESS effective than glucosamine or chondroitin. This is assumed to be due to the species difference being wider

Also I urge all people to help boycott shark products because the average age of the sharks being killed are 2-3 years younger than their sexual maturity. We are killing the teenagers sharks on average. Many of the shark fishing is done illegally and the methods of fishing for sharks commonly is this.... the shark gets pulled up in the net alive, the dorsal and pectoral fins are cut off and the shark is then dumped back into the ocean to drown.

For anyone looking for green seafood choices, here is a great website link...

http://www.mbayaq.org/cr/seafoodwatch.asp

if I got !
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Old April 12th, 2008, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
if I got !
On the contrary, Dr. Lee, this is very relevant. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 08:41 PM
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I really appreciate you taking the time to answer and provide lots of great information.

(And I will definitely stay away from shark cartilige...that's just terrible
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Old April 13th, 2008, 10:57 AM
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Like mastifflover , I guy mine at costco. I just hide the pills in their kibble. If they don't eat them , I put them in a piece of banana that they share after supper , since it seems there's always one of mine on antibiotics or else , a piece of banana is great to hide pills and bananas are probiotics
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Old April 13th, 2008, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Lee
1) 60 minutes did a story last year that in America, the average amount of glucosamine and chondroitin in the average supplement was 15% of what was labelled. Meaning, that the label may say two pills have 1000mg when in fact they only have 150mg!!! For this reason you need to find a company that you trust. For the veterinary side, I carry DVM products. The DVM formulat I like is called Synovi G3. It has glucosamine, chondroitin as well as MSM and Omega 3 fatty acids. It is a chewable tablet. The reason I carry this brand is that they make this tablet in the same factory that makes their FDA approved medications. Thus this tablet is made to FDA standards (which nutriceudicals are not required to do here). This means that they have to hold samples from each batch for 5 years to be able to prove exactly what is in each sample.

YIKES ....only 15% So this basically means that if we do not purchase glucosamine/chondrotin supplements from the vet then we are just wasting our money?
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Old April 13th, 2008, 03:03 PM
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pfftt , I'm not about to pay $100.00 for gluco at the vets. I'll stick with the human one thank you very much.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 03:03 PM
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Great info! It's something I definitely have to look into for Tova. Which human one are you using Frenchy? I'm with you, I'm not willing to pay $100 for something just because it came from the vet.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 03:14 PM
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I buy mine at Costco , it's from Webber Narutals , about $25.99 for 240 capsules. 900 mg gluco / chondroitin.

Sam has been on a trial period on Deramaxx , and I can't believe the price I've been charged by my vet. So I can't afford it. It would be $110.00 per month. That's about $3.60 a pill !!! It's steeling ! This is not helping customers caring for their dogs at all ! Someone from our rescue can get the same pills by a pharmacist for about $2.17, the same freaking pill ! And I called a pharmacist near my work , he found an equivalent that would cost me $30.00 a month , instead of $110.00 at my vet. So if I choose to continue (it's real hard on their stomach so I'm not sure) but if I do , I will certainly not buy from my vet !
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Old April 13th, 2008, 03:14 PM
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I know the glucosamine/chondroitin supplements from the vets are expensive but aren't they around $30 a bottle? That's twice as much as what I pay for human supplements but if the human ones are only half as effective then wouldn't it work out the same?
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Old April 13th, 2008, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by rainbow View Post
I know the glucosamine/chondroitin supplements from the vets are expensive but aren't they around $30 a bottle?
Every bottles that I saw in vet offices (about 3-4 different vets) were $100.00. I don't remember for how many pills though.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 03:36 PM
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I buy mine at Costco , it's from Webber Narutals , about $25.99 for 240 capsules. 900 mg gluco / chondroitin.
We don't have Costco here but I can get supplements for $12.99 for 120 pills if it's on sale. If it's not on sale then it's about $15.99 but I don't know how good the quality is for those brands.

Someone mentioned here (I think TeriM) that Cosequin is a good brand but I know they are more expensive so maybe better quality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frenchy View Post
Every bottles that I saw in vet offices (about 3-4 different vets) were $100.00. I don't remember for how many pills though.
The last time I looked they were in the $30 price range but I didn't look at the ingredients or the number of pills either.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 03:39 PM
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Another thing....I did email Jamieson and Webber last year about the quality of their ingredients but never got a reply.
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Old April 14th, 2008, 09:45 PM
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fyi

I have heard from a reliable source that Webber is one of the ones you stay away from. They are not bad or won't hurt tour pet or you if you are the person taking it (say multiple vitamins or Cit C or E or... etc) BUT they are last on many lists - like people who are in a position to know. Think nutrition and Heath Canada and FDA peple and Consumer groups. I tell all my patients to purchase other brands.

For legal reasons, I do not want to say more.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 12:46 PM
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I don't know if I was unclear or not but the 60 minutes story was on HUMAN glucosamine and chondroitin, NOT veterinary! They looked at average purchased supplements at places like Safeway, Costco, Walmart, etc...
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Old April 19th, 2008, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberKitten View Post
I have heard from a reliable source that Webber is one of the ones you stay away from. They are not bad or won't hurt tour pet or you if you are the person taking it (say multiple vitamins or Cit C or E or... etc) BUT they are last on many lists - like people who are in a position to know. Think nutrition and Heath Canada and FDA peple and Consumer groups. I tell all my patients to purchase other brands.

For legal reasons, I do not want to say more.
Thanks CK .....I have been doing a bit of checking and it seems that Swiss Herbals is a good brand. Also Flexicose but I don't think I've seen that brand here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Lee View Post
I don't know if I was unclear or not but the 60 minutes story was on HUMAN glucosamine and chondroitin, NOT veterinary! They looked at average purchased supplements at places like Safeway, Costco, Walmart, etc...
Dr. Lee, I don't think you were unclear, but most of us use the human brands for our pets as they are not as expensive as the veterinary brands.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 03:24 PM
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Here are the websites....

Swiss Herbal
http://www.swissherbal.ca/main.php?lang=EN#initProducts

Swiss Herbal Solutions
http://www.swissherbal.ca/main.php?lang=EN#initProducts

Flexicose
http://www.flexicose.com/flexicose-pets/index.html
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Old April 19th, 2008, 03:52 PM
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My vet recommended "Sasha's Blend" for Bailey for her joints. I just read the ingredients (why do they print it soooo small?) and I see one ingredient is shark cartilage 431 mg/teaspoon full. Ughhh!!!! Guess I'll have to go back to glucosamine capsules. I was using them and just sprinkled it on her food and she didn't mind the taste. Thanks Dr. Lee for info on sharks cartilage.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 07:48 PM
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This is such a hard point to make up my mind on. I have spoken to 3 different vets, 2 horse vets and one dog vet and they all say the same thing. Not to waste my money because this is just the latest hype and really does nothing for horses or dogs as far as helping joints. I have watched some people give it to their animals and they quit after a year because they saw no change. My vet told me to go to the drugstore and buy the coated aspirin and after trying it, I did find a huge difference in my dog. The pharmacists all seem to know which one is for dog use.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 02:31 AM
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I believe that glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, etc... work. There is still data that needs to be made but what has become available supports its efficacy. Some points to remember - 1) as previously stated, a lot of available sources have only 15% of the active ingredients present. So many people and pets try this with no real effect. Is it any wonder? If I took 15% of an Excedrin - is my headache going to improve? 2) Not every osteoarthritic patient will improve clinically with this. Each patient can respond differently from another. Bottom line - these supplements are safe and may help relieve pain and inflammation so are worth at least a trial.

As far as aspirin, I cannot disagree more with its use for pain. It is great to help reduce clot formation by inhibiting platelets to work. This state of increased bleeding risk is found at 1/10th of the dose needed for pain. A study that was done a few years back took normal dogs on 'normal' pain doses of aspirin. None of the dogs had clinical side effects but when evaluated endoscopically, all dogs showed some level of stomach hemorrhage. Also if aspirin was so great, there would not be such a demand for new and better canine NSAIDs - like previcox, zubrin, metacam, etc... Aspirin is not sufficient in its Cox-1 sparing ability and as such places higher risk of stomach ulceration, reduced kidney blood flow and platelet inhibition. Furthermore if an inexpensive pain medication is sought for, then tramadol is very safe and fairly inexpensive.

As I have stated before, multimodality is the key. By combining glucosamine/chondroitin, with omega 3 fatty acids like EPA, and NSAIDs (like previcox, metacam, zubrin, rimadyl etc..) and tramadol - we enhance the ability to reduce inflammation, slow the degenerative process and provide better pain relief. Also recommended is proper weight management, physical exercise, and physical therapy. Additional holistic and non traditional measures like acupuncture, magnet therapy and K Lasers should also be considered.

I hope this helps.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 11:43 AM
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Has anyone heard of Glyco Flex for dogs?
http://www.glycoflex.com/glyco-flex-canine.php
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Old April 21st, 2008, 01:16 PM
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I guess I should have explained that the aspirin that our pharmacisits give for dogs are coated and different than the ones for human use. For the last 8 yrs, myself and others have been using it and have seen no side but excellent mobility and pain management in our dogs.
I think it might depend on the dogs and what people prefer to invest their money in. Our vets have found absolutely no difference in horses or dogs taking the supplement.
As for acupuncture I have used it for some of my dogs and witnessed a vast improvement. As for the magnetic therapy it has been proven to be total hogwash for animals as well as humans. I was talked into the magnetic therapy for myself until I noticed it did absolutely nothing but waste my money. We have a lot of fly by nights who will try to sell us anything that sounds good, I've learned to trust my vet and save my money .
Raw fed dogs, weight management, exercise, and daily grooming goes a long way to enhance your dog's health, a common sense approach.
I don't know if anyone has ever noticed a horse with pain of any kind...that horse will search out and eat willow branches when they find them...willow is a natural pain killer.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 01:22 PM
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We have the Gluco-flex here. We have it for horses and dogs. I think the reason it helps is the DMSO they use in it. DMSO is a great carrier for other supplements, or pain relievers.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 03:53 PM
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Years ago dad's Vet recommended Glucosamine for Gus ( 16+ year old chocolate lab). It seemed to help his joint pain for a while. My dad an ever deal hunting ex Marine started using a human Glucosamine since it was cheaper and had the same ingredients.

Gus died last year. He was a great old dog but old age finally got him.

I am 52 and have a bad hip so took the extra stuff (with doctors approval)and have been using it and it helps me a lot. Told dad (72 ) about it and (with his doctors approval) it has helped his shoulder pain. Now Shady (dads 15 year old hound dog) is taking it too. Seems to be helping all of us

Didn't know about the shark cartilage thing. This stuff does have it in it so we will stop using it as soon as the current supply runs out. It also seems to not have chondroitin in it. I guess Ill have to go look that up.

Sorry about posting a sort of cross human dog medication thing. I just figure that if it works for me and works for my dad and works for a 15 year old hound dog, well?

I'm not sure if I should post brand name but am thinking that mods can edit it out so it is Synflex

Last edited by Hazmat; April 21st, 2008 at 03:55 PM.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 04:55 PM
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This is the brand (Synovi G3) I sell at our hospitals. (it is widely available on line). There are many quality brands, this is just one that I like - it has MSM and some Omega 3 as well, seems affordable and most dogs like the taste.

http://www.ivxanimalhealth.com/Detai...c-e90609287eec
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Old April 21st, 2008, 05:13 PM
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Are liquid glucosamine/chondroitin supplements better than capsules? And, are capsules better than caplets?
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Old April 21st, 2008, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbow View Post
Are liquid glucosamine/chondroitin supplements better than capsules? And, are capsules better than caplets?
Specifically, this can be difficult to answer but I will try to answer in generalities. Liquid, granule and chewable formulas are generally great because they are often more readily absorbable and less likely to stay encapsulated or in a compacted form and be excreted without absorption. I also like these formulations because I will get better owner compliance (an understandably so) from a daily medication that is thrown in with the food or given as a happy treat than as a pill that needs to be hidden or forced down.

Some liquid medications need to be looked at carefully as to whether they are mixable with food. Luckily for omegas and cartilage supports, the liquid formulations mix well and palatably with dog food. Hope that helps.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 05:39 PM
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Yes, it does help....thank you. I have a yellow lab, and as you likely know, they will eat anything so I don't have to worry about trying to hide pills.

The supplements I am using now until the brand runds out are capsules. Would they be absorbed better if I break them open and sprinkle the powder on his food?
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