Creature Feature: Help for pets up a creak

20 Apr

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1E, April 20, 2011

BY RHONDA OWEN, Special to the Democrat-Gazette

My dog and cat are getting older and my cat already has a little arthritis, the vet says. I take glucosamine supplements for mine. Does glucosamine help pets too?

Glucosamine as a dietary supplement has been shown to improve an arthritic pet’s mobility and soothe joints.

Although there are scientific studies supporting this, many people who give their pets supplements regularly report they are effective, and more veterinarians are recommending them.

Osteoarthritis affects the joints of cats and dogs just as it does humans. The signs that an animal may have arthritis include difficulty walking, lying down or jumping. An arthritic pet may seem to be in pain when you try to pet him or pick him up.
Glucosamine occurs naturally in humans and animals, according to pet education. com and vetinfo.com. Cartilage — connective tissue in joints between bones — contains the highest amount of glucosamine, which is necessary to keep the cartilage healthy.

“In a nutshell, cartilage consists of several different cells, one of which is chondrocytes,” peteducation.com says. “Chondrocytes are responsible for synthesizing new cartilage. … Glucosamine provides the building blocks to synthesize new cartilage.”

Normal, healthy animals are able to produce enough glucosamine to keep the joints working smoothly. But as an animal ages or has a joint injury, his body loses the ability to synthesize enough glucosamine. That’s when supplements are needed. READ FULL ARTICLE

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