Glucosamine is an amino-sugar that young healthy dogs produce continually. It helps joints to build and maintain cartilage. Cartilage is vital because it is the tough spongy layer that shields the bones in joints from each other.
If your dog responds well to glucosamine supplements, he will have healthier cartridge, better mobility, and less pain. Like humans, not all dogs respond to glucosamine, so you need to try it to find out.
The AKC agrees
Since it has very few side effects it is worth trying because many studies have shown it does provide relief.
What is arthritis?
Inflammation of a joint or joints causing pain and/or disability, swelling and stiffness, and due to various causes such as infection, trauma, degenerative changes or metabolic disorders.
While there is no cure for arthritis, some treatments can lessen pain and improve mobility.
Signs of arthritis in dogs
- difficulty standing or sitting
- stiffness getting up or after resting
- slow, steady weight gain
- less interest in playing
- licking certain joints
- behavior changes like decreased appetite and snappiness or forgetting potty training
- difficulty getting comfortable at night
- sudden whining or crying we your Morkie moves or when you’re petting him
Dogs can’t tell us about their arthritis pain
Is glucosamine safe for dogs?
Fortunately, if your dog does get too much, the excess is flushed out in the urine.
Watch your Morkie for any signs of glucosamine allergy
Glucosamine supplements are usually made from something called chitin. Chitin is extracted from the crushed shells of crustaceans, which include lobsters, crabs, shrimp, and barnacles. So if your dog has an unusual allergy to shellfish, this could be a problem.
Symptoms of an allergy can include
- vomiting and diarrhea
Glucosamine plus Chondroitin sulfate
Another nutrient called chondroitin sulfate is often combined with glucosamine for dogs.
It combats enzymes that might damage the cartilage and fluid in the joints. Together with glucosamine, it’s like a double whammy for pain and stiffness.
Get the correct diagnosis
If your Morkie seems to have stiff, sore joints it’s important that your Vet diagnose what’s happening before you start treatment. Osteoarthritis is just one possibly with these symptoms. Others could be Lyme Disease, Tetanus or parasites.
6 More Ways You Can Help Relieve Joint Pain for Your Morkie
- use area rugs for traction on slippery floors
- keep nails cut short
- provide a warm, padded bed
- never let your Morkie jump down from a bed, chair or sofa
- keep food and water within close reach
- try skid proof socks
It may take at least 3 months to see an improvement in your dog who is taking glucosamine supplements.
Picking a Brand of Glucosamine
Nutraceuticals – dietary supplements – aren’t regulated by the FDA like regular pharmaceuticals, so it’s important to read labels and take extra care in picking a brand.
Some kibbles include glucosamine, but the quantities available in food like this are far too small.
Some foods like Bone Broth (see my latest post on this wonder food) contain good amounts of glucosamine for dogs.
Or you might choose a specific supplement so you’re sure your Morkie is getting enough of the good stuff. Check out bestglucosaminefordogs.org for more information.