Dasuquin(®) is a multi-supplement for dogs which contains the active ingredients glucosamine, chondroitin, avocado/soybean unsaponifiables and decaffeinated tea (the tea is added for general wellbeing). It can effectively inhibit the break down of joint cartilage reducing symptoms of arthritis, with a number of studies showing the ingredients of Dasuquin are more potent when combined than they are when given alone.
Some formulations include an additional ingredient known as DMSO2 or MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) which can be helpful in the fight against arthritis, though it may worsen insomnia, fatigue, itching and allergies.
Supplementation & Exercise Therapy
Usually your vet will advise exercising your dog during treatment to help the nutrients flow through the body. While a dog inflicted with arthritis is unlikely to feel like jumping around catching frisbees, you can take your pet for comfortably paced walks on soft surfaces such as sand, or have them go for a swim. Swimming or hydrotherapy is a good option if you have access to suitable facilities as it takes the weight off of your pet’s joints.
What’s The Dosage?
Note: Speak to your vet before giving supplements to your dog, he will be able to help you decide on the best treatment for your dog’s symptoms. In many cases, the vet will allow you to use supplements in conjunction with medication for additional benefits.
This supplement is formulated in two different strengths. The “Small to Medium Dogs” formulation is best suited for dogs under 60 pounds, whereas the “Large Dogs” formula is made for those weighing 60 pounds and over.
|Weight of dog||Dasuquin: Small to Medium Dogs dosage||Dasuquin: Large Dogs dosage|
|< 10 lbs||½ tablet once per day||–|
|10 – 29.9 lbs||1 tablet once per day||–|
|30 – 59.9 lbs||2 tablets once per day||–|
|60 – 120 lbs||–||2 tablets once per day|
The above dosages which are recommended by the manufacturer (Nutramax) should be used for the first 4 – 6 weeks of treatment. After this time, you should have a better idea as to whether or not the supplement has improved the symptoms of arthritis. Based on the improvement in your pet’s condition, the amount you administer can be altered. The goal is to maintain your dog’s comfort while giving the lowest possible amount of supplement. If you lower the dosage and your pet’s symptoms return, go back to using the chart above for around two weeks before trying for a lower maintenance dose again.
Suggested Maintenance Dosage
The following table lists our suggested dosage for maintenance.
|Weight of dog||Dasuquin: Small to Medium Dogs dosage||Dasuquin: Large Dogs dosage|
|< 10 lbs||½ tablet once daily||–|
|10 – 29.9 lbs||½ tablet once daily||–|
|30 – 59.9 lbs||1 tablet once daily||–|
|60 – 120 lbs||–||1 tablet once daily|
How Safe Is It?
The ingredients of this supplement are safe for use. Side effects are rare and unexpected, but formulations containing MSM could cause a mild reaction in some pets.
Should my dog take MSM (methylsulfonylmethane)?
It’s best to talk to a vet about which formulation is most suitable for your dog. Products containing MSM could offset or degrade allergies and insomnia, and the original formula is already strong enough to control most joint conditions without this additional ingredient. It’s often not recommended that owners give MSM to pets who are taking drugs with anticoagulant properties (for example, aspirin) as some trials have demonstrated blood-thinning effects, though these findings are disputed.
We recommend that you speak to a vet before treating your dog with this supplement. The ingredients are very safe but your dog’s condition may require stronger medication including analgesics to provide adequate relief. Aside from working out a plan of treatment, your vet will also be able to decide whether or not you should use the MSM formulation. The general steps you should follow when thinking of using Dasuquin to treat arthritis are as follows:
1) Visit the vet to discuss treatment options
2) If treatment is approved, administer the loading dosage for 4 – 6 weeks
3) Reduce to the maintenance dosage for as long as needed
Dogs with a sensitivity to avocados are thought to be safe from adverse reactions despite the inclusion of ASU which is derived (in part) from avocados. This is because the amounts used are so little and not comparable to taking a bite from an actual avocado. However, it may be safer to avoid giving Dasuquin to pets with a very serious allergy to this fruit.
How Can It Help?
This supplement is able to help relieve the joint inflammation and cartilage degeneration associated with arthritis or physical trauma. It can also be used to maintain and promote healthy joints when no medical conditions are present. The inclusion of ASU which has been proven to be more effective than glucosamine/chondroitin alone sets it apart from similar products. The addition of decaffeinated tea can help to improve your pet’s general wellbeing.
How can MSM help?
MSM is a sulphuric substance found in many raw fruits and vegetables. In studies it has demonstrated anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and an ability to promote the formation of collagen and glucosamine. These effects may help sufferers of conditions such as arthritis.
What if Dasuquin doesn’t help my dog?
If it isn’t able to relieve your dog’s symptoms you should speak to your vet about alternatives. You may need to use pain relief medicine if supplementation is not enough. You can continue using most joint supplements in conjunction with pain medication for even more effective treatment, but always check with a vet first just to be safe.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Side effects of this product (or any of its ingredients alone) are rare, and if they do occur, they are mostly limited to vomiting and diarrhea:
Combined With MSM
Formulations with MSM may cause additional adverse effects such as:
- Worsening of allergies
There are few contraindications for the use of this supplement (avocado sensitivity is thought to be negligible in most cases), and there are no known supplements or drugs which interact with the ingredients. However, inconclusive studies regarding the effects of glucosamine on blood sugar levels could suggest an unsuitability for pets with diabetes mellitus. Aside from this, other inconclusive studies suggest that MSM has blood-thinning properties which could make it unsuitable for use alongside drugs such as aspirin or in those suffering with ulcers and other conditions which can lead to internal bleeding. If using the formulation which contains MSM, dogs may experience more intense allergic reactions, insomnia and migraines should they already suffer with any of these conditions.
Cosequin is another joint supplement by Nutramax. It contains glucosamine, chondroitin and manganese, a mineral which helps with the formation of connective tissue. It does not contain any decaffeinated tea or ASU which means pets with severe avocado allergies may be less likely to experience stomach upset or other unwanted effects with Cosequin.
The double strength (DS) formula has less glucosamine but slightly more chondroitin than Dasuquin does while the regular strength formulation is weaker in both areas.
Omega-3 Fish Oil
Omega 3 fish oils (such as those found in Wild Salmon Oil supplements) are another option for treating joint pain and inflammation. They have anti-inflammatory properties which helps against inflammatory forms of arthritis. Studies performed on humans have shown the effectiveness of Omega-3s, as they relieved stiff and tender joints in patients who were taking them.
You will usually be able to give your dog natural supplements like Omega-3 in conjunction with other supplements or pain relief medication, but always ask a vet first!
NSAIDs & Tramadol
NSAID drugs (e.g. Previcox) are analgesics, meaning they help to reduce pain. They are also able to reduce inflammation which can make them a powerful tool in the treatment of inflammatory arthritis. However, not all dogs tolerate the drug well. In fact, some 3,200 were either put down or died while taking NSAIDs within the first eight years of their release.
Tramadol is also an analgesic, but it works in a different way. Unlike NSAIDs, tramadol acts on the brain to reduce the symptoms of pain without actually having any beneficial anti-inflammatory properties.
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