Overview of Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Canines and Felines
- Glucosamine is more commonly known as Cosequin® and used to help promote mobility and joint function in dogs and cats.
- Arthritis refers to inflammation or swelling in a joint. The cause can be abnormal bone or joint development, instability of the surrounding ligaments and tendons, damage or injury to the joint, an infection or injury caused by the immune system. While anti-inflammatory medicines are popular treatments for arthritis, another approach involves protecting the cartilage in the joint and “nourishing” the joint.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin belong to a class of drugs known as nutraceuticals. They are not drugs in the usual sense, but are prescribed for a druglike effect. Such drugs are NOT regulated by the FDA. Nutraceuticals are considered nutritional supplements, not drugs.
- Cartilage and fluid within joints are crucial to normal joint function. With age, or after trauma, this cartilage may not be fully functional and fluid levels may diminish.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin help provide the necessary nutrients for cartilage repair and function.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin are available over the counter but should not be administered unless under the supervision and guidance of a veterinarian.
Brand Names and Other Names of Glucosamine
- The usual standards of efficacy and safety do not have to be met and this drug is NOT registered or regulated by the FDA.
- Human formulations: Glucosamine and chondroitin are supplied by numerous drug companies with a variety of trade names and various generic preparations
- Veterinary formlations: Cosequin® (Nutramax), CosequinDS® (Nutramax), Restor-A-Flex® (Fort Dodge) and various generic preparations
Uses of Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Dogs and Cats
- The primary use of glucosamine and chondroitin is to help mobility and joint cartilage function in dogs and cats.
Precautions and Side Effects
- As with other nutraceuticals, there are no significant precautions.
- Adverse effects are very rare and may include gastrointestinal upset.
How Glucosamine and Chondroitin Are Supplied
- Depending on the brand of glucosamine and chondroitin, various concentrations are available. Some brands are available as chewable tablets can sprinkle capsules containing 250 mg glucosamine and 200 mg chondroitin. Other brands are available with 500 mg glucosamine and 400 to 500 mg chondroitin. It is also available as a sprinkle capsule containing 125 mg glucosamine and 100 mg chondroitin for cats.
Dosing Information of Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Dogs and Cats
- Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
- For dogs and cats less than 10 pounds (5 kg), 1/4 to 1 capsule is recommended every 12 to 24 hours depending on the brand administered.
- For dogs and cats 10 to 25 pounds (5 to 15 kg), 1/2 to two capsules is recommended every 12 to 24 hours depending on the brand administered.
- For dogs 25 to 50 pounds (15 to 25 kg), 1 to two capsules is recommended every 12 to 24 hours depending on the brand administered.
- For dogs 50 to 100 pounds (25 to 50 kg), 1 1/2 to three capsules every 12 to 24 hours depending on the brand administered.
- For dogs over 100 pounds (over 50 kg), 2 to 4 capsules every 12 to 24 hours depending on the brand administered.
- The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse.