Mobility dietary supplements for dogs

My best friend is an eight year old, slightly overweight Golden Retriever named Sam. She’s always been very active but lately arthritis has been a problem for her. We first noticed her softly whimpering in pain on the way home from hikes. Then a few months ago, after an outing, we actually had to make a sling out of a quilt to carry her up the three steps to our back door.

About four weeks ago, I got some advice from a friend. I started giving her 1.5 g of Glucosamine, 1.2 g of Chondroitin, and 325 mg of aspirin twice a day. This has been a miracle cure for Sam. We just got back from a hiking and waterfall walk trip in western NC, and she was able to accompany us almost the whole way and seemed quite agile and pain-free. Lots of doggy joy the whole time.

My vet has no comment on this, but seems quite skeptical. She’d given us some medicine which does help, but also causes a lot of gastric distress and occasional incontinence in the house. Like many Goldens Sam is a sensitive dog and this was quite a shameful insult for her.

Anyone out there know if glucosamine, chondroitin and/or MSM are safe for dogs? If so, in what dosages? Have you tried this with your arthiritic canines? If so, what were your results?

Sam and I both thank you in advance for your input…

There are Gluc/Chon/MSM supplements formualted specifically for dogs (it sounds like you are giving her human-formulated supps right now?) This is one brand for dogs:

I know a few people who have used these supps for athritis in dogs and in horses. It seems to help some animals, others, not so much. There appears to be a high variability in response to various formulations (and no, there is no “standard” dose).

A study at Michigan State recently showed that horses given the Corta-Flex brand of Gluc/Chon/MSM supplement showed a greater symmetry in the pressure of their hooves striking the ground than a control group. It is kind of hard to say whether this means they were “more sound/in less pain.” But its something, scientifically speaking.

I have never read anywhere that Glucosamine in unhealthy for dogs, horses or people. At worst, you’re producing very expensive pee.