By Kelly Dais
Many pet owners wonder how much glucosamine for dogs is appropriate. The correct dosage depends on many factors including the weight of your pet, age, breed and how severe the arthritis may be. The malady affects about 30% of all canines and is a common problem for concerned pet owners. When dogs suffer from arthritis and their bodies are no longer able to produce an adequate supply of the compound naturally, glucosamine is necessary to maintain healthy cartilage and connective tissue. Supplements provide relief from inflammation and help regenerate joint tissues.
How much glucosamine for dogs is needed to cure the condition?
When an older animal develops arthritis it will have trouble getting up and will move much more slowly. Previously friendly pets will not like to be touched or handled because those actions can cause them pain. When your dog begins to show these symptoms, you should begin a course of treatment immediately. The dosage is usually calculated based upon the dog’s weight and the method of administration. Sulfate and hydrochloride are generally the best forms of the compound for canines, so dosage information is based on their use. It is good to start out with 20 mg per pound per day. A pet weighing 50 pounds should receive a dosage of 1000 mg.
Many veterinarians believe that an increased dosage during the early stages will enhance the restorative process, kicking it into high gear. Some suggest doubling the dosage in the beginning for at least two weeks, then cutting back to a regular dosage. Unfortunately, this can have side effects that include vomiting and diarrhea. But the same symptoms may be caused by even a mild dose for the first few days. The best solution would be to administer the increased dosage and if the symptoms do not disappear within four or five days, then reduce the dosage. Your dog’s body will take at least three or four days to make the adjustment, so waiting four or five days should give a good indication how well your pet is tolerating the medication.
How much glucosamine for dogs is needed for prevention?
The larger the breed of dog, the more susceptible he or she will be to arthritis. Breeds such as Collies, German Shepherds, Kelpies, Rottweilers, Labradors and Retrievers are very likely to develop the problem. Small breeds likely to develop osteoarthritis include Dachshunds and Pekingese. You can begin treating these animals in middle age at 500-750 mg for a 50 pound dog and adjust accordingly by weight. If your dog is injured, arthritis may develop during convalescence. Treatment should begin during this time at a full curative strength.
After a couple of weeks you can reduce the dose to a maintenance level of 750 mg per 50 pounds and continue this dose for the rest of the dog’s life.
The above information should provide an accurate guide for determining how much glucosamine should be given to your pet. Supplements should always be paired with good basic nutrition and exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
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