I know this should go in the Health & Nutrition section, but Lab Chat is higher traffic, so I thought I'd get more opinions posting it here.
Lexi is somewhere around 6 years old. She is not showing any signs of arthritis, yet, but knowing our beloved labbies are pre-disposed to it, I was wondering when/if I should consider giving her a supplement to mitigate early signs of arthritis?
I keep her within the recommended weight range, she is generally between 60-65 lbs. She gets plenty of exercise.
My pretty girl, Lexi!
The #1 protection against arthritis is to keep her slim. I know she is within the recommended weight range, but that really doesn't mean anything, she should be the right weight for her frame first and foremost. Baloo is 60 pounds, anything more and he would be overweight, even though the standard states that males should be between 65-80 pounds. If I kept him within the standard, he would be overweight for his frame.
You want to be able to easily feel ribs when you rub her sides without having to push in hardly at all, but not see them unless she's really extending or turning hard in the opposite direction from you. Clearly defined waist from above and for MOST labs, a tuck-up from the side should be evident.
I only say this because I know of tons of folks that think their dogs are the right weight when medically speaking, they are not. Our close friends have a doodle that is really overweight, but they don't see it, just talk about how "calm" he is compared to Baloo. Well if I were 20% overweight I'd be pretty "calm" too, lol!
Anyhoo, having given the "right weight" spiel, when my guys get up there in age (Probably around 8 for Peanut and 5-6 for Baloo since they train and compete in active sports), I will use this stuff: http://www.sashasusa.com/
I've heard great things about it and from the research I have done it seems like a great product.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
The glucosamine / chondroitin supplements don´t do any harm, so you can give them if you please, like a treat (they love the chewable ones). In all honesty there aren´t any real scientific results of their benefit long term... I still supplement mine since Homer has ED...
Last edited by blackandyellow; 10-09-2009 at 11:03 AM. Reason: typo
weight really is HUGE when preventing joint pain.. the less stress on those joints the better.. i've kept tucker lean his whole life for this reason, and took 10 lbs off koda since she got here.. it must be obvious because when i saw the tech who sent her to me .. she was blown away by the weight loss.. this from the girl who insisted she didn't look over weight at all.. but at 85 lbs for a girl .. and with two blown knees, i'm not sure how she could think that..
Anyway.. when tuck turned 7 i asked my vet this very question, she was against me giving supplements for something tucker didn't have yet and may or may not ever have.. she said to keep him trim and just watch for signs to show up before supplementing.. otherwise you're wasting your money.. supplements won't prevent arthritis, it just helps ease the pain of it.
kelli, tucker and koda
I use Kirkland (Costco's house brand) tablets of G&C -- Glucosamine, 1500 mg/tab and Chondroitin, 1200 mg/tab.
Puff gets one each evening (with a gob of PB on it) and I take one, too. We also both take a Fish Oil capsule.
After taking a trip without it, I got pain in my knees that was finally relieved after I'd taken the G&C for about 3 weeks (it takes that long to build up the titer).
I figure, like Lexis Mom, that it can't hurt and could help Puff. So she's taken it since she was a year old. Many dog foods have G&C in their food BUT it's not likely to be a therapeutic dose.
Several years ago -- possibly 3? 5? -- Consumer Reports ran some tests on various brands of G&C and the Kirkland was rated the most effective and least expensive. They also examined claims of effectiveness in reducing symptoms and concluded that many people (maybe those with similar experiences to mine?) get significant help from daily G&C.
Our vets at KSU's CollVetMed Tchng Hospl know I give Puff G&C and FO daily and haven't ever asked me to discontinue either.
FWIW, Puff is very trim (she's from a HT & FT line) and vets consistently say her weight is ideal. And one can see her ribs when the light is at just the right angle (Puff's double coat is nowhere near as thick as that of many Labs).
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
I use Flexicose daily in all three of their diets. I buy my Flexicose at http://cactuscanyon.com/
It can be taken by humans as well as animals and it's liquid form mixes easily with food.
All of my dogs have taken joint supplements since they were about 1 year old. I demand a lot of them from training and playing and competition.
I've given Skippy Cosequin for several years now, because he is a large dog, and has had joint surgeries. I really don't know how much it helps him, but I also take glucsamine chondroitn myself, so I guess I believe in it. I don't give it to Emilu yet (she's 6) because she hasn't shown any signs of trouble.
I would like to respond to the post that said that supplements dont' prevent anything, just help with the pain. I disagree with this to a certain extent. I believe that glucsamine chondroitn DO help slow down the formation of arthritis and also salmon oil. Can't speak for all supplements - some do help with inflmmation and pain, and wouldn't help to give them if there aren't any symptoms.
Jeb has taken Glucosamine/Chondroitin since about a year old and also Fish Oil. Fish Oil has some anti-inflammatory properties. He takes both like a treat.
Bayou Bay's Jeb's Trouble Too, RN, CGC