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How Glucosamine Eases Arthritis Pain in Dogs 
11/30/99 Administrator

Healthy cartilage requires four things. These are: 

1. water for lubrication and nourishment 
2. proteoglycans to attract and hold water 
3. collagen to hold proteoglycans in place 
4. chondrocytes to clean away old proteoglycans and collagen and produce new ones 

When any one of these elements is missing, cartilage can deteriorate and osteoarthritis will begin to develop. However, with effective treatment much of this can be prevented and also rehabilitated if your pet is currently suffering from arthritis or hip dysplasia. 

The Info on Glucosamine 

One of the most effective supplements for arthritis and hip dysplasia in dogs and cats is a compound called glucosamine. Glucosamine is an amino sugar produced from the shells of chitin (shellfish) and is a key component of cartilage. Glucosamine works to stimulate joint function and repair. It has been proven effective in numerous scientific trials for easing osteoarthritis pain, aiding in the rehabilitation of cartilage, renewing synovial fluid, and repairing joints that have been damaged from osteoarthritis. 

Each animal produces a certain amount of glucosamine within their bodies. When people grow older, their bodies lose the capacity to make enough glucosamine. Having ample glucosamine in your pet's body is essential to producing the nutrients needed to stimulate the production of synovial fluid, the fluid which lubricates your pet's cartilage and keeps your pet's joints healthy. Without enough glucosamine, the cartilage in their weight-bearing joints, such as the hips, knees, and hands deteriorates. The cartilage then hardens and forms bone spurs, deformed joints, and limited joint movement. This is how the debilitating disease of arthritis develops. 

So How Does Glucosamine Figure Into Healthy Cartilage? 

Glucosamine is… 
a major building block of proteoglycans 
needed to make glycosaminoglycans, proteins that bind water in the cartilage matrix 
a source of nutrients for the synthesis of proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans 
a stimulant to chondrocytes 
a key factor in determining how many proteoglycans are produced by the chondrocytes needed to spur chondrocytes to produce more collagen and proteoglycans 
a regulator of cartilage metabolism which helps to keep cartilage from breaking down 

In addition, glucosamine has been shown to reduce pain for pets with arthritis and improves the joint structure. 

As you can see, glucosamine is a very important factor in maintaining healthy cartilage and aiding in rehabilitating cartilage that has deteriorated. It has been shown to be very beneficial in the treatment for arthritis in pets. However, glucosamine products can be very different. 

When purchasing glucosamine, you must make sure you look for a product which: 

is high quality - preferably pharmaceutical quality 
is a liquid - for quicker and full absorption 
contains other beneficial ingredients like chondroitin, boswellin, bromelain, manganese, yucca, etc. 

Do remember, that while glucosamine is very effective and may be used as a preventative measure, it can take between 1-4 weeks for an improvement to be noticed in your pet. The quality, delivery system, and synergistic ingredients can make a huge difference on whether or not your pet receives relief. 

If you have been putting off buying glucosamine for your pet, I would very much encourage you to not wait any longer. If you've tried glucosamine in capsule form or are currently taking glucosamine in capsule form, I would very much recommend giving a liquid glucosamine product a try.