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Question
Is it safe to give my 100lb. dog human glucosamine?  He takes pills well and thought it would be cost saving for my family.  He is currently taking chews containing 900mg.  I would of coarse find tablets so I could give him the proper dose.

Answer

Hi Tammy,

Depending on what you're using for pain control, using a  Glucosamine supplement may not be a savings.

You mentioned your dog has been getting a Glucosamine chew, but you didn't say how long he's been getting it. Despite its widespread use, success using glucosamine for the treatment of joint disease is variable. Some animals respond exceptionally well, while others experience no improvement. Be sure your dog is not overweight, as that adds to joint pain.

Not only is it safe to give your dog a Glucosamine supplement made for humans, in many ways it's preferred. Human grade Glucosamine supplements are much more likely to be high quality and in a purer form. The flip side of giving human grade supplements is, the products made especially for dogs often are chewable and have ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or manganese which to help aid in the uptake of Glucosamine in dogs.  Pet supplements often cost more than the human supplements.

You want to look for a supplement (either made for humans or dogs) it should contain Glucosamine Hydrochloride (HCI) with Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate. The two work together in a way thatís better than either supplement when used alone.  Some formulations of Glucosamine and Chondroitin also contain Methylsulfonylmethane (also called "MSM") and/or Avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU) as optional enhancers. The MSM is an anti-inflammatory for pain and swelling. The ASU is a combination of healthy oils that are good for a dogís skin and coat.

If you want to try using a human grade Glucosamine supplement, look for the USP seal of approval which indicates that the USP has tested and verified the ingredients, potency, and manufacturing process. The dose of a human grade supplement that many veterinarians recommend for dogs weighing more than 90 pounds is 1,500 mg daily. For dogs weighing more than 80 pounds, 1,800 mg of Chondroitin daily is recommended.  These are doses for an oral glucosamine supplement, it's a higher dosage level than what a doctor would use in an injection to accommodate some of the degradation that takes place during digestion. If there is Glucosamine in your dog's food, be sure to add up the amount thatís in each supplement, plus the amount that is already in your dogís food. That way, you can be sure that youíre not giving your dog too much based on his weight. Brands of Glucosamine made for humans to consider are: Cosequin, Cosamin, Dasuquin, GLC-1000, GNC, Puritanís Pride, Twin Lab maxilife, Walgreens Doctorís Best, and Hydrajoint.

Some vets may recommend starting off with a double dosage for a set amount of weeks to determine whether or not improvements can be made with glucosamine, and then a reduced dosage level after that trial period. You should involve your vet in giving your dog this supplement, as Glucosamine can have drug interactions with other medication. Your vet is the real expert here!

There is an FDA approved injectable form of Glucosamine called Adequan that you might want to discuss with your vet. It's given twice a week for four weeks. After that, a shot would be given "as needed" every two weeks, or possibly once a month.

Popular  Glucosamine supplements made for dogs to consider include Cosequin DS, Synflex, Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM, and Drs. Foster and Smith's Joint Care.

Be aware that for dogs diagnosed with diabetes or at risk for diabetes, Glucosamine is sugar-based and is not appropriate for diabetic animals. For dogs having trouble with bleeding, Glucosamine may increase blood clotting times in dogs, so dogs with bleeding problems should not take Glucosamine.

If your dog is on pain medication, give it 6-8 weeks for the Glucosamine supplement to begin to work, and then see if you can wean your dog off of the pain medication.  Some dogs can't be totally weaned off of the pain medication, and being on a lower dose of medication in conjunction with a Glucosamine supplement is as good as it gets. You need to maintain the daily doses of the Glucosamine supplement for the life of your dog. If you were to stop,  the degenerative joint disease would resume.

I hope I've been a help.
Feel free to get back to me with other questions or comments.

-Patti

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Patti

Expertise

To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.

Experience

My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Education/Credentials
Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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