There are many different uses of glucosamine for dogs as it is a drug used to ease pain and joint inflammation. Some of the conditions it is useful for include canine arthritis pain, hip dysplasia, maintenance of joint health, repair of cartilage, tendons and ligaments, inflamed discs and sciatic nerve conditions. Dogs that are aging, losing their mobility or suffering from joint pain may be prescribed synthetically produced glucosamine primarily as a diet supplement.
As dogs age, their joints, ligaments and tendons age as well, just as in humans and other animals such as horses, cats and exotic animals. Glucosamine for dogs can be given proactively in order to avoid potential problems like arthritis which affects many animals as they age. This is particularly the case in aging dogs if their diet has been based on red meat which is high in uric acid, a main contributor to arthritis and other arthritic associated conditions such as osteoarthritis. It can also be used to treat the symptoms of dogs already suffering from arthritis pain.
Glucosamine is an amino sugar naturally found in the bones and cartilage of healthy dogs where is it synthesized to keep joints healthy. In aging dogs, the creation of glucosamine diminishes and so a supplement may be advised. Glucosamine for dogs may be beneficial if the animal exhibits difficulty in walking and playing, if they are lethargic and can not get up or lie down easily. Joint inflammation may be a problem if the dog has a sudden preference for lying on cold floors as this could be an attempt to ease their pain.
Dogs can show an improvement in energy and liveliness within 30 days of taking the supplement. Many dog owners prefer the liquid form of the treatment as this can be poured over food and swallowed easily. Pills are also available and just as effective but a little more difficult to administer. Dog chews containing the non-steroidal drug are also on the market and are ideal for fussier dogs which do not like the taste of the pills. As side effects are few, it is advisable in many cases for the dog to remain on the supplement for periods of six months at a time with continuous reassessment. Joint degeneration may return as the principle cause of the condition is not treated but only eased.
Humans suffering from arthritis are also given glucosamine as a dietary supplement and this is a similar formulation for glucosamine for dogs. The only difference may be the use of various salts in the former that are not included in the latter. For this reason, glucosamine for veterinary use is preferred when treating animals to that used for humans.