Arthritis in dogs is a common, and sometimes immobilizing, condition. According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritic conditions affect at least 20 percent of dogs in the United States, making it one of the primary causes of chronic pain and disability in animals. If your dog shows signs of arthritis, such as difficulty standing up, reluctance to run or climb stairs, weight gain, attitude or behavior changes, or obvious stiffness or pain in the joints, he may benefit from a glucosamine supplement. Glucosamine is the main ingredient in nearly all arthritis products because research has continuously shown it to be effective at treating and preventing arthritic conditions.
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Glucosamine is naturally found in synovial fluid and cartilage, and the glucosamine in oral supplements is absorbed and distributed to the joints, where it reduces inflammation.
Glucosamine supplements, including glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine NAS, are available in tablet, capsule and liquid form.
In dogs, glucosamine reduces the inflammatory response associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, disc degeneration, inflamed discs and sciatic neuralgia.
The most commonly reported side effects associated with use of glucosamine include nausea, bloating and general gastrointestinal discomfort.
It is crucial to compare and select glucosamine products based on price per day, as some products may require you to use several times the number of pills or liquid ounces as other products in order to reach the recommended dosage.
Because the FDA does not regulate glucosamine, there is no way to be certain what concentration of the active ingredient is actually present in any supplement purchased.
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