Monday, May 24, 2010

Oh, My Dog's Arthritis Is Killing Him!

Maybe you're young too young to understand when your mom or grandmom, or dad or granddad, starts complaining, "Oh, my arthritis is killing me!"


If you can't understand your aging parents or grandparents reeling from the aches and pains of arthritis, you certainly aren't going to understand that your dog may be suffering from the same thing - and silently. And if you can, or if you yourself are an arthritis suffering, maybe you will be able to empathize with your dog.

Arthritis can be painful.  And it doesn't just establish itself in humans; it also establishes itself in dogs. And dogs have four legs, and need to take walks every day just to go to the bathroom, so arthritis is a real detriment to a dog, his health, and his happiness.

When Joey started getting up there in (dog) years, we started him on the glucosamine/chondroiten treats.

As always, be an educated consumer when shopping for your dog.
The serving size is based upon your dog's weight.
So let's talk brands.   We choose one popular brand of chewables whose product contains 80 chewables.  Let's do the math to get the correct dosage.  According to their directions, an 80 lb. dog, such as Joey, would need to take 4 tablets daily. That package of Product A would last, thus, about three weeks.

Glucosamine/chondroiten Product B provides 120 chewable wafers.  Sounds better.  Read the label:  The packaging tells you a serving size is "2 wafers" and then below the label it tells the consumer that the serving size is based on weight. Sorry, but couldn't it have said "see below" above, under "serving size"?  At any rate, they're recommending 2 wafers per 20 lbs. of the dog's weight. For Joey, that would mean 8 wafers per day. So our bag of 120 wafers is going to last us slightly more than two weeks.

And so it goes. And so it went, each bag emptying out before we could say "Rover".  So we gave Joey the treats, from time to time, but never with any serious regularity.

Until Joey was hit by the car and got the broken ankle and toes.

After Joey got hit by the car, after the questions "Will he ever run again?" and "Has he learned his lesson?" we heard "Arthritis may set in.

Signs of aging. The white hairs around our dog's mouth are a sign of aging, but maybe he gets some respect out of those white hairs! But arthritis?

So here's what we did right away, as soon as Joey came home from the hospital- and we have continued this religiously:
We add liquid glucosamine and chondroiten EVERY MORNING to his food.

Let's talk about the liquid form. (These were created for horses, so I understand, with their larger body weight.)

First, you can get one with a pump or one without.  (In this latter case, you will fill up the lid and pour the lid over your dog's food).

Either liquid application, with the pump or without, costs a fraction of what chewables with glucosamine/chondroiten would cost.

So what would be the dosage?  Actually, it's pretty easy to figure out.  Here's the dosage of our current brand: A dog Joey's size should have two-thirds of an ounce) 2/3 oz. per day.  This is (two-thirds) 2/3 of a capful.  Easy.  There are 32 ounces to one quart, which means that our liquid is going to provide our Joey with the building blocks for his healthy bones, joints and connective tissues for more than one month.

Now that's my kind of supplement!

And with the dog running every morning, something has to be right!

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