Does anyone know if there have ever been any studies (I guess they are called double blind studies) with these two supplements? I was told there hadn't been. Or maybe it was that the studies hadn't shown anything significant. I can't remember which. Obviously people must be getting results with their dogs as both seem to be so widely used now....and not just on dogs with current joint problems, but also as a preventative. With something so popular I found it surprising that there would be no real clinical data on it's effectiveness....or maybe I've been misinformed.
I just found this on the web.......its for humans, not pets, but it answers the question of studies.
"A new era for arthritis?
But a new study may be good news for glucosamine. Published in the Lancet, the study was well designed, lasted three years, and included more than 100 people. It found that people with mild-to-moderate knee arthritis who took 1,500 milligrams of purified, standardized glucosamine once a day for three years had, on average, 20 to 25% less pain and disability than those taking a placebo (dummy pill). X-ray exams showed that in those taking glucosamine, arthritis progressed slowly or not at all, while the placebo group continued to lose cartilage at the expected rate. Moreover, glucosamine produced no adverse side effects. And it did not affect blood glucose over the three-year period.
Since people in the study had only mild-to-moderate arthritis, no one knows if glucosamine would help those with severe pain. Also, the glucosamine they took was a standardized prescription medication, of consistent quality. There's no supplement here that you can count on to supply a 1,500-milligram dose.
Nevertheless, the study showed that glucosamine helped slow deterioration of cartilage and relieved pain. A large study on these supplements is underway at the National Institutes of Health, with results expected in two or three years. Meanwhile, if you want to try glucosamine, it may help and seems safe, particularly if you don't have diabetes. It's fairly inexpensive—unless combined with chondroitin sulfate, which we don't recommend. If you do decide to take it, tell your doctor."
We asked our vet about giving it to Fergus when he tore his ACL. I don't quite remember what he said, but I think the studies haven't shown anything specific. He said there was no harm in giving it to him, but he wasn't confident that we'd see any results. We decided to give it to him anyways, it's not going to hurt & maybe it will help...who knows!
For humans, yes, there are quite a few studies...and they all say something different. You won't find a consensus on it, which is why you have some people claim it works, others say it doesn't.
To my knowledge, there are no studies for animals that have been published in peer-reviewed journals. There maybe some related to horses since it's been used in the equine field for quite some time now.
As to why the studies are contradictory, my hunch (and that's all it is) is that there are many variables that affect its usefullness. I think a big part of it is when you start. If the person/animal uses before there is severe arthritis, I think it's more effective. I don't think those that wait and use it when the problem becomes severe notice any differences. I'm basing this off one study that showed that a glucosamine/chondroitin combo does retard the degredation of cartilage. Obviously if the cartilage is gone, there's nothing to protect.
Nick this is why we have started Oona on suppliments this month. She will be 6 in September and I've noticed this past year she has started to slow down a bit. I've been giving her 1500 mg of a suppliment that I take, called Joint Soother. Vitiman World has it, and they have sales once a month where everything is 50% off. After a month I will back Oona off to 1000 mg a day. The only suppliment that I have heard that the FDA has tested and approved for dogs and cats is Cosequin, which can be purchased through Drs. Foster & Smith.
For a torn CCL (ACL in humans), I don't really see how glucosamin/chondrotin would help at all since the supplements are supposed to help joint fluid and cartilage issues, and the CCL is a ligament; however, for a joint that has any problems, I would err on the side of caution and use the supplement. We do for our boy who had 2 TPLO's last year.
My feeling is that the supplements are harmless, so why not use them to HELP joint health. All 3 of mine are on it, even my show pup with no joint issues.
For a torn CCL (ACL in humans), I don't really see how glucosamin/chondrotin would help at all since the supplements are supposed to help joint fluid and cartilage issues, and the CCL is a ligament;
It won't help with the ligament, but since CCL injuries cause instability of the joint, the risk of degeneration increases - which is why it is suggested in those cases even after surgery. I think there recently has been a double blind study done in humans and it raised a whole lot of controversy both because of how it was done and how it was commented in the press.
Large sums of money are not invested in these studies because - other than some specific chondroprotectors , most can't be patented and there are no $$.
Our surgeon who is VERY skeptical about non conventional medicine told me that the reason why supplements aren't as effective as people expect them to be in many cases is that they are given when issues arise. I was told to use them from puppyhood on. They don't *fix* problems, but they do help.
I have almost totally foregone using oral supplements and use Adequan shots - we do them weekly and have seen good results. Most protocols suggest using it every month, other month or six months. I tweaked the shots until we found what worked - long term, it's more effective and cheaper than using the oral ones.
You just have to find what works best for your dog - if you have a healthy dog with no joint problems, oral supplements will work well at standard doses. If you have dog with orthopedic problems, you have to test, try and tweak until you find the perfect mix.
We used Adequan after Maddy's recovery for elbow dysplasia and am considering getting a prescription for it on her next check up because she does still have flare ups in one elbow and the wrist on that same leg.