Commercials on human and animal drugs run on televisions, newspapers, and on the Internet everyday. What these commercials selectively fail to mention are the side effects of these drugs and other pharmaceutical products.
Even then, you will hear of a drug being pulled off the market every so often due to its side effects. The same thing happens to some of the drugs prescribed to pets such as dogs.
For a drug to be pulled off the market, its side effects have to be fatal or life threatening. However, this does not mean that there are no safe drugs out there with minimal side effects but quite helpful to the health of your dog.
A good example is glucosamine, which is a natural supplement highly effective against canine joint and arthritic problems. In order to evaluate glucosamine side effects in dogs, it is important to first understand what this substance is and its benefits to your dog.
What is Glucosamine?
Is basically a supplement given to canines to alleviate aches and pains resulting from old age or joint abnormalities. It is a substance that is naturally produced in the dog’s body from a combination of glucose and an amino acid known as glucosamine.
It is an essential component in the production of glycosaminoglycan molecules which help in repair of joint tissues and cartilage. It also serves other important functions in a canine body such as lubrication of joints, formation of tendons, production of synovial fluids, acting as a shock absorber, and generally maintaining the health and optimal performance of your dog’s joints.
However, as a dog advances in age, it gradually loses its ability to produce glucosamine naturally. In turn, this hinders its body’s natural ability to repair damaged joint cartilage and tendons.
Fortunately though, you can help your canine friend overcome the pains and discomforts of joint inflammation and lack of lubrication by giving it glucosamine health supplements. Dogs in their middle age or senior years respond well to these supplements.
Signs That Indicate Your Dog Requires Glucosamine
It is easy to tell when your dog needs a boost of this substance. Here are a few tell-tale signs:
- Reluctance or negative reaction to physical activities such as walking, running or playing
- Inability to keep up with you during walks
- Overall lethargy and dullness
- Long-term limping without any signs of external injuries
- Wincing signs when touched on limbs or even when being petted
Side Effects in Dogs
Most dogs will usually tolerate glucosamine comfortably without signs of any side effects. However, it is important to feed the dog with the supplement for a short period of time and observe it for any signs of the following:
- Frequent vomiting
- Long-term diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Signs of constipation
Glucosamine side effects in dogs can fortunately be eliminated when glucosamine is taken with dog food. Generally a dog with allergic reaction to sea food may show counter reactions to this ingredient. In such cases feed your dog with glucosamine made from plants such as corn. It is also important to consult your vet before starting your dog on a glucosamine health supplement.