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My St. Bernard (see sig) now weighs a very slightly plump 165 lbs. This summer I've started walking him 2 miles at a time, 4x week (it is good for both of us, if truth be told).

My question is about using glucosamine and/or chondroitin for his joints. When we first brought him home from the pound, we had him xrayed and the vet told us that there was no problem at the current time, but that some of his joints were close to the bone, and that this might become a problem later on.

So far, he is showing absolutely no signs of any discomfort or stiffness at all. He is always eager to go for a walk, and neither on his walk nor later on during the day, does he show any stiffness at all.

I am merely trying to head off a future problem. I called the vet, and the nurse who answered looked him up, and said that I might just want to keep an eye on him, as the walking would be good for him. She also said that I might want to administer glucosamine to him.

Do folks here think this is worthwhile? Or would it just be processed out of his body? He eats Purina Pro Plan Large Breed mature food, which has 500 ppm of glucosamine. I don't know if this is considered enough for large dogs or not. He eats about 4 cups a day of his food. I know that glucosamine companies will sell tablets or doses for dogs with a prescribed daily doseage, but I'm not sure if anyone really knows how much dogs need. I'd rather not give him expensive urine if he doesn't need that stuff.
 

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Hills makes a Healthy Mobility Large Breed food in a 30 lb bag for $50. I suppose getting this glucosamine in the form of bone meal would be best (most natural). Anyways, I suppose I could always feed him that for starters. It is only slightly more expensive than the Purina that I have him on now. It has 902 ppm of glucosamine. From the Hills website list of ingredients, they only have the glucosamine in there through natural foods, as opposed to supplements.
 

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That's 500ppm per kilo. Is he eating 2.2 pounds of this kibble a day? Chances are he is getting 1/4-1/2 that amount. 2000mg is a loading dose for a 100 pound dog. See dogaware.com's page on arthritis for info on this.

I gave Sassy a human formula once she turned 8 I think it was. She wasn't limping or having trouble jumping or slipping on tile floors or getting up but her speed running agility improved dramatically. There was some pain or stiffness present that she didn't show.

Try giving it to him at loading dosage for 3 months then stop giving it to him. If you see a change then keep it up, if not then he doesn't need it right now. I did that with Max. Max didn't need it at 8 or 10 years of age but he needed it when he was 12 years old. That was also running agility, he wasn't showing any issues in other areas.
 

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He eats 5 1/2 cups a day (just did an exact check). Purina says each cup has 106 grams, which makes 583 grams of food a day. The ppm number is also the same in terms of mg (of glucosamine) per kg of food, so that means he is getting 58% of the 500 ppm, which would be a tad under 300 mg/day.

The Hills Healthy Mobility calls for him to eat 8 cups of that food a day. At 3.5 oz/cup, that gives him some 101 grams per cup, so 808 grams a day of food. 81% of 902 mg per kg would be 730 mg.

I think that is enough math for the day. Hope my calculations are right. :lie:

At any rate, the Hills would more than double his daily glucosamine, as well as give him chondroitin as well, which I'm not sure the ProPlan has (it is not listed in the ingredients or in the nutritional highlights of that food).
 

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I have been using a glucosamine chondrotin supplement for my 8 year old male for about 3 months now since he started to show signs of hip arthritis. It has given noticeable results after the 6 weeks or so that it takes to build up enough to take effect. I don't think any of the foods really have enough to make a difference.

My vet is a fan of glucosamine (and no, its not a sales tactic) and uses it for his own dog along with having done the research on it.

The supplements are mainly derived from shellfish, so if a dog or human in the house has an allergy than you would need to seek out a non-shellfish source which is harder to find. If a dog is prone to some types of urine crystals, then consult with the vet before using supplemental glucosamine.

I have also seen it work well in horses, so i think its a useful supplement for older animal in general
 

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More math required - now figure out how much it cost to feed each food!
Well the cost isn't the issue for me--its just the understanding that the food he needs each day will get him double the glucosamine with Hills SD.

As far as the cost, that would in all likelihood make Pro Plan cheaper, as Hills wants 8 cups a day, instead of 6 for Pro Plan. And the Pro Plan bag is usually cheaper than the Hills.

I think I'll just feed him the Hills until I see stiffness or any other symptom.
 

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I take back what I just wrote about cost not being a factor. I found out that the Hills SD (with twice the glucosamine) would cost $40 more each month (because the bag itself is more expensive, as well as the fact that Pro Plan calls for much less food to be given each day).

Hmmm looks like giving Buddy a tablet each day might be more economical. I'd rather not take him off the Pro Plan if I can avoid it.

OK---I see there are lots and lots of glucosamine supplements.

Are there any that anyone uses that you'd recommend? I'd rather not pour a powder onto his food, or mix a tablet. He doesn't always eat his food right away (I just thought dogs always did this---I guess mine always have before), and I'd rather not pour something yucky onto it.

What glucosamine supplements have you folks seen your dogs devour? And also, which ones would you recommend for their healthy properties?
 

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For average large dogs, 60 -70 lb, that live to be about 12yo, the general practice seems to be to start at around 7yo, before the symptoms are obvious. For a giant 6yo dog, I agree that now is a good time. However, I suggest that you wait a little time until you've trimmed him down significantly to 'fighting weight'.

I use Cosequin DS Plus MSM for my 65lb, 15yo dog. I get it from Costco on sale for about $80.
 

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For a giant 6yo dog, I agree that now is a good time. However, I suggest that you wait a little time until you've trimmed him down significantly to 'fighting weight'.
Perhaps I was a bit too quick to talk about his weight. I just checked and I can feel each of his individual ribs. He sure hasn't lost any weight since we started walking---the extra large harness I got him still goes on with difficulty. But he's really not fat at all.
 

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Are there any that anyone uses that you'd recommend?

What glucosamine supplements have you folks seen your dogs devour? And also, which ones would you recommend for their healthy properties?[/QUOTE]

I was giving my dogs Head to Tails Hip & Joint supplements. I've since switched to giving Green Lipped Mussel Extract.
Noticed a significant improvement from stiffness in my older wolfhound.
 
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