What Does Glucosamine do in Dogs?
Glucosamine is a critical building block for bones and cartilage. This makes it essential for healthy joints. In dogs (and humans), glucosamine supplements are designed to improve and preserve joints.
One of the most significant goals of glucosamine for dogs is to stop the degradation of cartilage. Cartilage is critical to the function of a joint. It provides the cushion between bones and a slick surface to allow the joint to move smoothly. As cartilage degrades, the joint will fail to work properly and will become extremely painful. Glucosamine is designed to slow or stop this degradation.
For dogs with significant joint problems, it’s a little late to worry about preventative treatments. Fortunately, a number of studies have found glucosamine can foster cartilage growth and repair. This can reverse the damage to joints and allow a dog to regain some of the functionality of the joint.
There have been reports that glucosamine can also improve the production of synovial fluid. Synovial fluid is the lubricant in a joint that allows the joint to move smoothly. Without adequate synovial fluid, the joint will not move properly, it will be painful, and the cartilage will wear quickly. If glucosamine does stimulate production of synovial fluid, this may explain some of the positive results reported by owners of arthritic dogs. Glucosamine supplements have been used to promote cartilage health and repair, but may benefit joints with the production of synovial fluid as well.
Effects of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate on Cartilage Metabolism in OA: Outlook on Other Nutrient Partners Especially Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Jörg Jerosch, Department of Orthopedics, Trauma Surgery and Sports Medicine, Johanna-Etienne Hospital, 41462 Neuss, Germany
Scintigraphic evaluation of dogs with acute synovitis after treatment with glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate. Canapp SO Jr, McLaughlin RM Jr, Hoskinson JJ, Roush JK, Butine MD. Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan 66506, USA