Which one and do they work?
There are a large number of joint supplements or “nutraceuticals” available for managing arthritis in pets.
They come in various forms—powders, capsules, foods and they make varying claims (sometimes questionable) as to how well they will treat arthritis in your aging cat or dog.
Unfortunately there is no one wonder drug or supplement to manage arthritis in dogs and cats. Nutraceuticals are one part of successful arthritis management.
Successful management of arthritis involves :
Regular physical activity
Pain relieving medications
Comfortable bedding in winter
Surgery to repair an injury
How well your dog or cat responds to an arthritis medication is dependent on all of these factors.
Nutraceuticals are known as slow acting treatments and can take weeks to months
to work, requiring higher doses during the initial period. There is variability in the products available and it is always best to choose a product that has been tested in clinical studies on the species of animal for which it’s marketed, therefore always read the label.
Some products are now supported by meaningful studies. There is plenty of controversy over how well some products work and some have little evidence to back up their claims. You should think hard about which one to use and have an open mind as to their effectiveness.
Nutraceuticals produce their effects by one or a number of the following ways:
Assisting cartilage production
- Producing healthier joint cells
- Reducing inflammation
- Slowing down the deterioration of already damaged cartilage.
- Possible unknown effects
Here are some notes on the commonly available nutraceuticals to consider before you grab the next wonder product off the shelf or even throw your dog one of your own arthritis supplements.
is used to produce the building blocks of cartilage cells, it is thought as cartilage cells age they may not pro- duce as much glucosamine. It may have an anti-inflammatory effect. Use a product that contains glucosamine hydrochloride
as clinical studies done use the hydrochloride form not sulphate. The hycrochloride form is more readily absorbed than sulphate and may be more effective.
helps to maintain healthy joint fluid and stimulates cartilage production. Good quality products contain low molecular weight chondroitin that can be absorbed; lesser products have poorer quality chondroitin that may not be absorbed at all.
PRODUCTS SHOULD CONTAIN GLUCOSAMINE & CHONDROITIN
Together they are superior to using either alone
Green Lip Mussel Extract (GLM)
Green lip mussels are one of the main sources of glucosamine and chondroitin—the extract provides a concentrated source of these products as well as fatty acids. There are clinical studies to prove
the effectiveness of GLM Extract.
Therefore use the extract
and not just green-lip mussels, there is a difference.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
(“fish oils”)- these are used for their anti-inflammatory properties. They are often combined with other nutraceuticals. There are diets available containing high levels of Omega 3s that have accompanying clinical trial work that prove effectiveness in the management of arthritis. Flax seed oil is not a good source of Omega 3s for dogs and should not be used.
(METHYLSULFONYLMETHANE)- This provides a source of sulphur for cartilage production and may
have an anti-inflammatory effect. Evidence for the usefulness of MSM in treating arthritis is scarce.
Using Nutraceuticals is part managing arthritis in dogs and cats. Franklin Vets can advise you which products are the best to use and which supplements come with clinical trials to support their claims.