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Thread: Glucosamine

  1. #1
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    There are no scientific studies that I am aware of that say ANYTHING about the use of glucosamine, chondroitin, or MSM to prevent or treat dachshund disc disease. There ARE some well-designed studies showing benefit in humans as far as JOINT (not disc) problems like arthritis. There are even a couple of studies for dogs showing it helps with arthritis symptoms. It seems to improve the condition of the cartilage between the joints. Usually the combined supplements are used so it is hard to isolate which one is responsible. There is more data on the effectiveness of glucosamine than the other two (the other two can increase the price of the combos but there is less evidence they are effective).

    I am very cautious when recommending supplements for several reasons (they are not regulated by the FDA so you may be buying anything from a plain sugar pill to a dangerous contaminant, they ARE drugs "natural" or not and can cause kidney and liver toxicity just like rx drugs, and they are not the magic bullets a lot pf people think they are). That being said, glucosamine is one supplement I do recommend to some of my chronic pain patients who have severe arthritis. There have not been a lot of reported toxicities with it (or chondroitin or MSM). I would consider it for a dog with arthritis. Using it to prevent or help disc disease in dachshunds is theoretical based on the fact that joint cartilage and discs contain some of the same components. However, my take on it is that if your dog has stiff joints, he is going to move and carry himself in a way that lessens the joint pain but might put abnormal stress on his back. If glucosamine can help maintain his joint fluidity, he will be able to move in a healthy, normal way and adapt to shocks when he jumps, etc - it might also keep him more active which will prevent weight gain that could further risk back injury, etc., etc.

    Adding supplements to food (or treats) is usually just a way to get you to buy the food :D There is usually not enough of the supplement in there to make a bit of difference (so don't let that alone make you pay more for a food or treat - pick these based on quality of ingredients).

    Vitamins are a different story... they are CHEAP so you could definitely get too many of those giving a fortified food and a multivitamin (same with people who eat Total cereal and Powerbars and take Centrum - too many vitamins). Too many vitamins CAN be toxic ranging from symptoms like diarrhea to neurological problems to increased risk of cancer. My vet suggested vit C and vit E. I won't give E myself, there were too many studies saying it was a "miracle vitamin" for cancer and heart disease that were stopped early because people were dying faster when they took vit E. As far as the C, it is water-soluble (instead of fat-soluble) so for the most part I think the body will get rid of what it doesn't use. But I still think the back disease prevention is more theoretical and based on testimonials. Even the role of vit C in immunity is not conclusive - for every study that says it prevents colds or improves wound healing, there is one that finds it does absolutely nothing.

    If you want to use an herbal or supplement, I always recommend www.consumerlab.com which does independent testing of these products to see if they contain what the label says they do and that they are free of impurities - at least then you know you are getting your money's worth and giving what you want your dog to have . You can get some info free on the site but you need a subscription to access the full data (I do subscribe if anyone ever wants me to research something). Of course they are usually researching the human products (which dogs can use) but in the case of gluc/chon they did actually review a couple veterinary products.
    Kim & the Girls

    With me always, Cassie & Angel

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    I am not sure how many people read the stickies? But I refer to this one all the time! So I am re-bumping just in case someone missed it the first round.

    2006!! Where did it go?!?

    ..POGO....PIXEL.....PíNUT....PEPSI

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    Default Glucosamine

    My vet had recommended it as a supplement. However, I wonder if he thought it would make me feel better. I would like to believe it added to Penny's recovery.


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    Last edited by SasatheRusty; 03-10-2014 at 08:09 AM.

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    Thanks for the excellent reminder, Lisa (and of course, Kim!). Laura is really into natural supplements and I'm not always convinced. I know glucosamine has never worked for my arthritic joints, but I also know that it did work for James and Wendal. So I'd say it's worth a try. Just avoid the shark cartilage stuff...too many endangered sharks dying unnecessarily, and the stuff from other sources works just as well.
    Paula, Heidi,& Buster
    & my s Maxe, Alex, Wendal, Jules & James, Patti and Ferkel

    "The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can."

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    When Bogart was down, we used Boswellia for inflammation and a combo of Glucosamine and something else for support.
    Patrice and the Houston Crew (aka The Three Musketeers)

    DREAM Dachshund Rescue

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    Jack was just prescribed glucosamine chondroitin, but the tabs are HUGE and chewable. He just won't eat them. How did you get your furkids to take the pills?
    I'm thinking of crushing them up and putting them in his food.
    Iris (Jack's Mom, valet and cook)

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    Unless it specifically tells you not to crush, or break them, that'll work. If he's an "inhaler" , pill pockets do too. James was on Glycoflex III and the tablets were about the size of his head, I swear! I'd just break them up into pieces and put into his food. It worked.
    Paula, Heidi,& Buster
    & my s Maxe, Alex, Wendal, Jules & James, Patti and Ferkel

    "The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can."

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    bananas. That how I get mine to eat their pills. Even if I have to break up the pills, banana is easy to break up too and put around the pieces.

    It is what totally works for me. Better than peanut butter, pill pockets, cheese.

    Of course, your dog needs to love bananas or it will fail

    ..POGO....PIXEL.....PíNUT....PEPSI

  9. #9
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    I've never tried giving mine bananas. I'm going to try it and see if they like it (They probably will. These dogs even eat lettuce ) I agree that is has to be something squishy so you can moosh the pill in it.

    When I first had Miller, he had to take these big wafer things. I'd put them in peanut butter and he'd eat the pb off and leave the wafer. So I got chunky peanut butter and broke the wafers up. That way he couldn't tell what was the pb chunks and what was the peanuts. It worked!
    Patrice and the Houston Crew (aka The Three Musketeers)

    DREAM Dachshund Rescue

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    Kim, is totally correct about supplements, too. You have to be very careful about which ones you use. They may or may not contain what they are supposed to. I take lots of supplements and do holistic medicine for myself and my dogs. Standard Process is one of the big names in high quality supplements and the only thing my dogs take. I take some other brands on the advice of my holistic practitioner but stay away from just buying stuff in the grocery store. I would never recommend the cheap, low end stuff that is sold at Wal-Mart and places like that. You really have no idea if it contains what is on the label which is also why many people get less than stellar results with their supplements.

    Stepping off my soapbox now . . .
    Patrice and the Houston Crew (aka The Three Musketeers)

    DREAM Dachshund Rescue

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