Hi All, What is the recommended supplement that most are using for our senior dogs with occasional arthritic flares? Ive been using Cosequin, but not sure if that is the best as he ages. 12+ now and had some weakness and difficulty with getting up from laying positions. Can't jump up on beds or into cars anymore either. Sad to watch. Any advice?

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  • Dasuquin and Cosequin are the two arthritis supplements that were recommend to me by Jack's specialists. Both are made by Nutramax. Dasuquin ASU in particular was recommended by the vetrinary physical therapist, but we were not able to use that as it is a chewable that contains protein sources (beef or pork, not sure which) that Jack couldn;t have due to his IBD. I don't know of anything better.

    There is only so much that the joint supplements can do. They can't reverse the joint damage. They also don't help with inflammation or pain from what I understand. They mostly help with further loss of cartilage. 

    Have you considered cold laser therapy? It's non-invasive and widely available. I do think it helped considerably with Jack's mobility issues. 

    • We considered cold-laser therapy a couple of years ago for Wally, but two vets advised against it since it can accelerate the development of cancer. 

  • The Omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA (only found in fish oil) are also really helpful for easing the joint inflammation. In addition to giving DHA & EPA supplements, you want to be sure that the Omega 6:3 ratio in their food/ diet is under 5:1, and lower is better. Omega 3 fatty acids from plants like flax seed, which is what you see in a lot of dog foods, are not helpful for dogs. Too much Omega 6 fatty acids in the diet can contribute to inflammation. Evening primrose oil supplements contain GLA, which has shown some efficacy in reducing inflammation, as well. 

    • Karen, 

      What about cod liver oil? Is it controversial? Thanks!

      • The main difference between plain old fish oil and cod liver oil is that the latter contains huge amounts of vitamins A & D, both of which are fat soluble, which means that any excess is stored in the body rather than being excreted in the urine. If your dog already gets sufficient amounts of vitamins A and/or D from their diet, which is a near certainty if he/she eats a good commercial food,  the excess getting stored in the body can cause the liver to work harder than it needs to process the surplus. Probably not a good idea, especially for older dogs who may already have liver issues. Both Vitamin A & D can also be toxic to dogs in large amounts.  
        I'd stick with plain fish oil.

        • Yes I do remember a discussion about cod liver oil not being the preferred omega source for dogs. I also wonder if human glucosamine and condrition supplements are appropriate. Has there been any research on those? My two still get Fromm dry food, with added probiotics ( Proviable ) golden paste, fish oil and cosequin. I occasionally add ground flax seed when have it. Also human probiotics for that matter? Any version good for dogs? 

          • Okay, so flax seed is useless for dogs. They cannot convert or utilize plant based Omega 3 fatty acids. 
            The only commercial "human" probiotic I know of that would be any better than Proviable is Visbiome; the human and canine forms are identical, only the labeling is different. But probiotics have not been shown to be helpful for arthritis in dogs, and the Proviable is good enough for maintaining a healthy colony of beneficial gut flora in dogs with no digestive issues.
            I did some research on human versus canine benefits and dosages of glucosamine & chondroitin back when it was first recommended for Jack. It appears that dogs with arthritis get better results from glucosamine/chondroitin supplements than humans with arthritis. But the dosages and ratios that seem most effective are different for dogs than for people. I desperately tried to find a human supplement for Jack, something unflavored that he could swallow, using the Dasuquinn ASU amounts as a guide, and nothing matched up. The proportions were way diferent. So I really think it's wise to stick with the ones that are specifically formulated for dogs. 
            What is golden paste? 

            • I thought so as I have done some reading ? research as well over the years, just not recently so was hoping there might be something else. The Flax seed was recommended for coats and the probiotics I use routinely for gut health, not arthritis. Golden paste is a mixture of Turmeric, coconut oil and freshly ground black pepper. Cooked, cooled and give about 1 tbsp per day. Ive been giving him this for so long that I don't know if its made a big difference, but too aftraid to stop in case he'd regress or suffer more without it. Helps with inflammation, as turmeric does with humans as well.  I think I will switch off to the Dasuquin ASU formula since ive been giving a few big bottles of cosaquin now.  Thanks once again Karen for you insight and wisdom.  We just lost one of our daughters other doodles in January, one year after our/her first doodle in Jan 2020.  And Murphys brother was just put to sleep last month due to mouth tumors.  Our Murph is going strong at 12.6 years old and Bella will be 11 in July. 

              • God bless them, I hope they have many many more good years ahead.

  • You might check this out.  https://dogcare.dailypuppy.com/hyaluronic-acid-injections-dogs-5607....  I don't know anything about hyaluronic injections for dogs but I  received a series of 3 injections in my knee last year which was very successful. 

    Hyaluronic Acid Injections for Dogs
    If your aging dog starts showing the effects of arthritis, you want to do everything you can to make him comfortable and get him moving again. While…
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