Preventing Knee Problems
Using Chondroprotectives for Knees
Chondroprotective (cartilage-protecting) supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin help keep knee joints healthy for several reasons. Chondroprotectives increase the moisture within cartilage so that the cartilage acts more like a mattress that provides cushioning as the bones come together. Chondroprotectives encourage the production of healthy joint fluid that lubricates and nourishes joint structures. Chondroprotectives stimulate cartilage production.
Which Injectable Chondroprotective Is Good?
Adequan, an injectable medication, is among the best. Many veterinarians find Adequan works well injected into the muscle or below the skin in the subcutaneous layer. Most dog owners can learn how inject their own pet so that if the veterinarian prescribes Adequan, they can administer the injections themselves. Injections are given once a week for a month, then once a month for a few months.
Which Oral Chondroprotectives Are Good?
Cosequin or Glyco-Flex are excellent chondroprotectives and can start to be given when dogs are young. Research shows that joint injury is less severe and return to function is faster if the dog or cat was on a chondroprotective medication when an injury occurs.
If the joint is injured, switch to products with MSM, such as 1-800-PetMeds Super Joint Enhancer. MSM works like an herbal aspirin to control pain, but MSM doesn't have any of the side effects of aspirin, such as stomach ulcers. Injured dogs can be supplemented with Yucca Intensive to help prevent abnormal inflammation—heat, pain and swelling. Injured dogs can also be prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to control pain. Among the best are Rimadyl, Etogesic, Deramaxx, Metacam, and Previcox. Although NSAIDs are effective at controlling pain, they have the potential to cause stomach ulcers, liver and kidney disease so they must be used with caution.