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Best joint supplement for older dogs?

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  • Best joint supplement for older dogs?

    First of all, YAY for the new forum! I've been waiting for off topic day to ask this.

    I have a dog who adopted our property and family 6 or 7 years ago, and she guards our barn and horses like nothing I've ever seen. She patrols the fenceline, she takes her squeaky toy out in the pasture and sits with the horses, chases racoons away, all that stuff. Our best guess is that she's some sort of chow/golden retriever mix. She's about 75 lbs. and part of her problem is that she's about 10 lbs. overweight. We're trying to fix that.
    Anyway, she was more or less fully grown when she showed up, so she has to be at least 7 or 8 years old. In the past year or so, I've noticed she's starting to look a little uncomfortable when getting up from a sitting or lying down position. Her hips seem to be bothering her, and I know that larger dogs tend to have hip issues as they age. The vet hasn't been all that helpful in suggesting anything, just saying that some people think supplements work, some don't, blah blah blah.

    So, has anyone had good results with any joint supplements? What have you tried, what worked, what didn't? She's eating one of those diet foods, and gets a good bit of exercise during the day and sleeps in the house at night. I know she's getting older but I hate to think of her being uncomfortable if there's something I can do to help her.


  • #2
    I wasn't able to get my dogs to take the joint supplements well so I put them all on senior foods that have joint supplements in them. I've had some of the best results using Bil-Jac Senior. I recently have tried Blue Buffalo Company natural food. They seem to do well on both. My "dumpster dogs" were limping like crazy on the cheaper stuff without glucosamine in it but are doing great on the better quality food. I find it's cheaper than buying extra joint supplements. They are all products of bad breeding so their joints are shot before they are old. I have a limping chow, bull dog, & something that looks like Santa's Little Helper from the Simpson's. I keep my 2 JR's on it just because they run & jump so much I think they need a joint supplement.
    Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!


    • #3
      My dog is much farther along with the arthritis than yours but here's my 2 cents.

      I gave my dog a course of canine adequan. There was a definite improvement in her gait. She went from a slow walk to willing to trot. If you can find a vet that's willing to prescribe and show you how to do an IM shot on a dog, that's one possibility, albeit expensive. I wish I had started adequan many years ago before she became so old and weak.

      There's numerous glucosamine supplements out there. Having had good success with Cosequin with my horse, I would be inclined to go with that one for a dog.

      I bought a really nice dog bed with "orthopedic" foam. Make sure your dog has something supportive to lie on. Also warmth is wonderful for arthritis. If you're in a cold climate, a heating pad can be heaven for those old joints. Also, there are numerous anti-inflammatories for dogs that can help with the pain of arthritis.

      Also, I'm a believer in gentle exercise to keep the muscle mass. My dog has lost so much muscle through her hips as she became geriatric. The longer you can keep them fit, the better. And keeping her weight down is key.

      Good for you for looking out for the welfare of your dog.


      • #4
        I used and liked Drs Foster & Smith joint supplements when I had an arthritic dog several years ago. They have good products for a good price, and most dogs seem to like the taste.

        If I had to do it all over again, though, I would look at Adequan.

        Oh, and since you're also trying to get her to lose weight: when we switched my older dog from a PetSmart food (Nutro, maybe? Something like that?) to California Natural, she went from old dog to PUPPY. There wasn't any joint stuff in the food, but the fact it was meat based with not a lot of carbs did AMAZING things for her. It also helped her lose some weight. If you're not feeding an ultra-premium brand, I really recommend something like Cal Nat


        • #5
          My 10.5 year old Lab is on injectable Adequan and oral Arthrisoothe Gold. He isn't terribly arthritic, as he's been managed well (plenty of exercise, and on a good joint supp since he was 5), but he is an older, big, stocky built Lab. He does well on this regimen.

          My vet sells me the Adequan and I give it myself, and I order the Arthisoothe Gold. Best price I've found on the big jar is at www.carealotpets.com.


          • #6
            The human variety of glucosamine works just as well with dogs (if not better) for a fraction of the price of the doggie versions (which are filled with vitamins and other supplements, which drives up the price). You can get the powder version, so you can break open the capsule and sprinkle the powder on his food (if you make a mistake and get tablets, you'll have to crush them, which gets annoying). There's also a liquid version, but I've not tried it yet.

            Glucosamine comes in three versions: Glucosamine Sulfate, Glucosamine & MSM, and Glucosamine & MSM & Chondroitin (which is like the super-strength for the more ouchie dogs). You may want to talk with your vet first about dosage amounts, but for about a 50lb dog, a good starting point is 500mg. Then you raise or lower depending on the results after about a week of using it.

            My dog developed arthritis at age 6 (lovely genetics), and when I decided to try Glucosamine & MSM, after a week, he was flying around the yard with nary a limp. He's now 10 and actually doesn't get glucosamine anymore because he just isn't sore anymore, not even with our horrid Alberta winters. It's probably a combination of losing much-needed weight and being put on a better food (RAW), along with the glucosamine repairing his joints (he tore his ACL a few years ago and no doubt the glucosamine helped repair that after the surgery). Glucosamine isn't a painkiller, it works along the lines of a vitamin or supplement, being used over time to work with the body. So don't give him a pill and expect him to feel better a few hours later
            Some people are like slinkies...not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.


            • #7
              May I suggest you find out if it is really a joint issue. Our black lab great dane cross, at ten years old, and one hundred and ten pounds, woke one day in great pain, limping behind. I always assumed it was a hip issue, and treated her for joint pain. After some radiographs, turns out, she has torn ACL's in both her back knees. We have her on rimadyl, and it has changed her life.

              Good luck.
              FMO:OMG I almost put my eye out hunting clique.


              • #8
                When we adopted our older dachshund, she was very overweight and had back and hip issues. We put her on Solid Gold adult maintenance food to lose weight, with only baby carrots for treats (oh, the horror), and she slimmed down really well on it and has kept the weight off since. For joint supplement, we use Wholistic Pet Canine Complete Joint Mobility. Between that and the weight loss, her back and hips have been so much better and she runs around like a puppy. We only use a pinch at a time so the little bag of it has lasted for a year now already...
                "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

                Graphite/Pastel Portraits


                • #9
                  Foster's Smith Advanced Joint Care granules... covered with a tiny bit of gravy (or you can get, they have it as do other spots, the glucosimine infused gravy stuff). I used to have rotties and be in rottie rescue. A lot of my friends (still with rotties and mastiffs and other large breeds) use this. Their are 3 stages. They have found that Stage 1 is best as a preventative, stage 2 for slightly more advanced, but several have just started with the Stage 3 and said it's great. If she's already showing some signs of pain getting up and down, I'd probably start her on the Advanced Stage 3 and then if it helps a lot, go down to Stage 2 (or 2+) if you want to.
                  "Sadly, some people's greatest skill, is being an idiot". (facebook profile pic I saw).


                  • #10
                    I used synovi G3 softchews for both my older dogs and it helped a lot. I originally got it from the vet but then bought it online for less. You can search online and see who has it the cheapest. That, and losing the weight, that you already mentioned.


                    • #11
                      I've yet to need to give a dog joint sups (Monty was spry and healthy until the day she just keeled over and Stella is still in great shape). A client, however, has a lab with some hip issues, and they SWEAR by Cosequin. Without it, he can't get up the steps. With it, he is, well, a lab. They get a generic version somewhere, which works just as well. My brother's older dog gets plain old glucosamine, which helps, though I think he could do better on Cosequin.


                      • #12
                        She's so pretty! And somehow just so 'farm dog' looking, like a dog from a Norman Rockwell painting. My dog (50lb, around 9 years old) has been on Dasuquin since August. She likes the chewable tablets. She doesn't have any obvious arthritis, was just seeming a little less perky than usual over the last year, and it seemed like a good idea to give her some extra joint support as she's aging.

                        Just as a personal hangup, I am very leery of arthritis because both of my previous dogs were initially diagnosed with it when they were actually showing very early signs of more serious illnesses. I think vets can sometimes be a little too quick to assume stiffness or mild body pain in a dog over 5 is natural aging and arthritis. Not to jinx anyone, just my unfortunate experience.


                        • #13

                          Without a doubt HyCel is great for stiff older dogs! Keeps my 15 yr old Sheltie active and running about.
                          Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
                          Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
                          New edition of book is out:
                          Horse Nutrition Handbook.



                          • #14
                            Wobenzym, 4-6 per day is easily the thing that's helped our oldies the most (works great for people arthritis/stiffness, too). We've had a couple who've needed Glycoflex III towards the end too, and now use the Costco equivalent (it's missing one of the lesser ingredients but that's easily supplemented if you decide your dog needs it) at about a 5th of the price.

                            My 14 year old recently started on a low dose of Rimadyl as he keeps throwing out something in his back, so far it's helped and his liver values are OK.


                            • #15
                              I have had great luck with Cosequin for my dog.


                              • #16
                                My vet told me the latest research has shown no difference between glucosamine/chondroitin supplements and placebo at relieving or preventing joint pain. He's of the opinion that if the dog's in pain, you treat it with NSAIDs.

                                I've tried glucosamine/chondrotin/MSM supplements with both dogs and horses and haven't seen a particle of difference.

                                For my critters who weren't at the stage to need pharmaceutical help, gentle consistent exercise and getting rid of any excess weight benefitted them more than anything else.
                                I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
                                  My vet told me the latest research has shown no difference between glucosamine/chondroitin supplements and placebo at relieving or preventing joint pain. He's of the opinion that if the dog's in pain, you treat it with NSAIDs.

                                  I've tried glucosamine/chondrotin/MSM supplements with both dogs and horses and haven't seen a particle of difference.
                                  I have seen a huge difference.

                                  My dog is very arthritic. She has bad conformation so her elbows are arthritic and her rebuilt knee is arthritic. Without her cosequin she is very stiff and slow.


                                  • #18
                                    You can try supplements with glucosamine, chondroitin and/or MSM. I would hold off on the MSM given her age and the fact that the arthritis is not that bad. You can also give her Omega 3 supplements, it helps with joint inflammation. I have a 6 year old French Bulldog who has bad hips and I give her Joint Care +1 from Drs. Foster and Smith, but really any brand should be fine. I also second putting her on a high quality, premium dog food. I switched my Frenchie from Pro Plan to Innova Senior Plus and she acts like a puppy again!! She is so excited to eat and runs around with her squeaky toys. Most of the premium dog foods (ie ones not sold at the grocery store or PetSmart) would be a good choice. Just make sure you pick one with at least 20% protein. Also, exercise and getting that extra weight off of her will help a lot.


                                    • #19
                                      Platinum Performance, both of my dogs are on it- they have great coats and you would never know that the one had a badly broken leg the way she runs around!


                                      • #20

                                        I had a 110lb Bernese Mountain Dog that slowed way down at the age of 8. At the recommendation of my equine vet I put him on SynoviG3 and it made a huge difference for him. Up to the point that we lost him to cancer a year later he bounced around like a puppy.....you'd never know that he'd been having joint problems. But the other thing that made a huge difference was the fact that I started having my vet do chiropractic and acupuncture work on him. Aside from the general joint issues brought on by age, he also was having issues with his back.....that's where I saw the TREMENDOUS difference from the body work.

                                        And then we had an older Husky who had torn both of her ACLs (one when she was 7 and then the other when she was 9), and we put her on the SynoviG3 when she was around 11. She was really gimpy until her joints fused and then she got along much better. And then when we started her on the SynoviG3 we noticed a pretty big difference in her ability to get up from laying down and in the fact that she started chasing birds again.
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