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Supplements for Mobility

December 29, 2015


This section will be dedicated to supplements that can improve the quality of life dogs and cats with mobility concerns.  Even though there are a multitude of conditions that can affect an animal’s mobility, for the scope of this blog I will be focusing more on pain and arthritis. This topic is dear to me as my own dog, Newman, has suffered from joint disease since he was a puppy.  I have used a variety of these supplements with him and have seen dramatic improvement in his comfort and movement.

In general I recommend using a particular supplement for about 4-6 weeks, observing your pet closely for signs of improvement.  If you see positive changes, continue the supplement.  If you do not see improvement, consult with your veterinarian on what to do next.

As always, a reminder to consult with your veterinarian before implementing any supplements with your pet.

Adequan: Adequan is an injectable solution that contains polysulfated glycosaminoglycans (essentially the building blocks of joints).  This solution helps to repair and regrow damaged cartilage.  We can teach owners how to administer these injections at home, underneath the skin.  The protocol is to do a loading phase of twice weekly injections for the first month then the injections are reduced based on an individual’s need.

Dose:  Adequan is sold through veterinarians and your pet’s dose will be determined by your veterinarian. 

Boswellia: Boswellia extract comes from an African frankincense tree.  It is a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory hence can be useful to reduce the inflammation associated with arthritis.

Dose: Ranges from 100-1000 mg up to three times daily, depending on the size of the patient

Fish Oil: Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA). This is a useful supplement for arthritis due to its strong anti-inflammatory effects.

Dose: Higher doses of fish oil should be used in cases of arthritis.  Give about 300 mg EPA/200 mg DHA per 10# body weight

Glucosamine/Chondroitin combinations:  Glucosamine supplements are very popular in both human and veterinary medicine for joint pain.  It is a safe supplement and for some patients can provide great relief.  Glucosamine is often combined with other substances such as chondroitin, MSM, and even avocado/soybean unsaponifiables.  The products we currently carry and endorse at Grand Avenue Veterinary Center are Dasuquin for dogs and Cosequin for cats.

Dose: Follow the instructions on the product label

Microlactin:  Microlactin is a concentrated milk protein shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.  A common product that can be purchased online is Duralactin.  Microlactin can be safely used with adequan, glucosamine, NSAIDS, and steroids.

Dose: The dose for your dog or cat is on the label

Traumeel: Traumeel is a homeopathic remedy using a combination of ingredients, such as arnica, for pain relief.  You can find Traumeel in several forms – gels, creams, and even oral remedies.  The topical preparations would be more appropriate for focal injuries, pain or inflammation.  The oral preparations would be used for more wide-spread discomfort.

Dose: Use the dose on the label, adjusting for the size of your dog or cat

Supplements are just one part of the multi-modal approach we use for patients with mobility issues.  In some cases more than just supplements are needed to provide comfort and pain relief.  We certainly have access to prescription pain medications and in some cases these are greatly needed.  Our very own Dr. Karen Christopherson also uses acupuncture and physical therapy to aid our patients with mobility ailments.  If you have a dog or cat who appears to have acute or chronic pain or had sustained an injury, you should consider scheduling a visit with Dr. Christopherson.

Be on the look-out for more supplement topics to come!

Written by:

Dr. Jen Seidl

Grand Avenue Veterinary Center

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