Medical Info: Glucosamine

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Dear Folks,
I have outlined Jake's problem under the topic of acupuncture and am fading fast myself, right now, too, but will try to be brief. Jake is 12 1/2 with severe arthritis and degenerative myolopathy. He is on Piraxicam, Glucosamine Chondroitin, Cyotec (to protect his tummy from the Piroxicam), Soloxin and Amitriptolone (to help him get over his fear of going down stairs). Jake has lost about 8 lb. over the past month and it seems due to loss of muscle tone in his hindquarter and rear legs.
Has anyone else encountered such problems? How did you deal with them? Can muscle tone be returned or increased?
Thank you in advance for your replies.
I wanted to let you know of a supplement that we treated our sheepie with when he was diagnosed at 1 year with hip dysplasia. It is cosequin DS and you can get it at your vets. It has glucosamine and I experimented with him to see if it helped. We gave it to him and I know that it takes a few weeks to kick in. It really helped with his achiness when getting up and with walking. I then didn't give to him for a few weeks and he went downhill from there. So it really helped with pain and movement. I even take this for my knees and wrists. You can get it at your local health food store. I also had gold beads implanted in my OES when he was 2 and this procedure was done from a vet who specialized in accupuncture. The beads stimulate muscle mass and he really did well after this procedure. When he was four we started taking him for accupuncture, a few times a week. This helped also. Good luck with your sheepie.
Bill, I haven't heard anything about vitamin c, but I have used a glucosamine suplement, and just recently I found an all natural suplement called joint rescue that seems to help a great deal. You can find out more about Joint rescue at
Hi! My female sheepdog is 4 1/2 years old, and I, too have just found the same problem with her spine. So far there hasn't been any problem with her activity. My vet says that this is actually very common in sheepdogs, even more so than hip dysplasia. She recommend giving her a Glucosamine supplement, which I found in my grocery store pet dept. Hartz makes it. The vet said that it wouldn't reverse the condition, but may prevent any progression of it.

Muffinsmama wrote:
Hi! My female sheepdog is 4 1/2 years old, and I, too have just found the same problem with her spine. So far there hasn't been any problem with her activity. My vet says that this is actually very common in sheepdogs, even more so than hip dysplasia. She recommend giving her a Glucosamine supplement, which I found in my grocery store pet dept. Hartz makes it. The vet said that it wouldn't reverse the condition, but may prevent any progression of it.
My dog Barnaby also had bad athritis in his hips and ankles and had lots of problems getting up and with steps. He would do a little cry/ yelp. We checked out a few options of medicine and finally put him on etogesic, it works really well but I also recommend that you help her by giving her a few other things suchas a multi-vitamin, glucosamine (for joints) and a capsule of fishoil, he improved sooooo much on this plan.
Also I have to say be very careful what you give him concerning aleves and advils, these pain-killers can have horrible reactions to arthritis medication suchas horrible ulcers, so consult your vet before giving him anything other than his meds.

Let know how it goes! Very Happy
Dunno if this will help or breeder recommended putting my new puppy on Glucosamine (hope I spelt it right) starting at 3 months due to fast growth. I'm suprised actually as I do have my two older dogs on this for arthritis, it's the first I heard it suggested for puppies.

Anyone else have this recommendation before? I wouldn't want to suggest something if they have heard otherwise.
Our Holistic veterinarian has recommended MSM for our 2 year old sheepdog as well as our 12 year old American Eskimo. We had started the American Eskimo on glucosamine, however he couldn't handle it (was vomiting). So, we changed over to MSM and it seems to work extremely well.
Try looking and comparing Solid Gold, Nutro for Large breeds, Nutro Lite, and there's a couple of more that are mentioned here all of the time. Iams is fine, but tends to fatten dogs. You can always give glucosamine/MSM supplements to you dog along with a good well balanced dog food.
Don't let a dog with hip dysplasia get fat. Exercise regular, but not lengthy sessions. Give the dog a mat or something to lay on to cushion its bones.
Ask the doctor about giving him a baby aspirin or pain killer when he seems to stiff to move, but be very careful. Don't want hemorraging or ulcers.
Use our search feature and look over others advice on food and hip dysplasia. There has been some very good posts here. Hip dysplasia is a muscle type disease that gets worse with age, weight, and lack of movement. It can be held at bay with Glucosamine, MSM, a good diet, and even a type of vitamin C I believe. Please hit the search button up in the header and put in some of these words along with SEARCH the POSTS.
An OES shouldn't be eating a puppy chow after 9 months, I don't think. Excessive amounts of protein, fat, and calcium can aggravate the condition-- I THINK. I am just typing this from memory. Hopefully you will get better advice from the others here.
Good luck!
My gradfather use to run 200 head of cattle, among other things. Whenever a calve started having knocked knees or stated walking on the knees, out came this big syringe and the vitamin D.
When they started walking again, they are cured according to gramps (who has long since left this world). I think most would do a folow-up on their cattle and give them another injection in 3 months to be on the safe side. Farmers of the 1960's were an independent lot and folowed various shot "schedules" as they saw fit. Not sure how that is all handled in these modern times.
I hope the dog continues his recuperation. Rotweillers, like all large breeds, do better with less weight in their puppy years. I think they find giving them some type of citrate and MSM and glucosamine helps also them later in life. Strange, but I have even read studies that advocate moderate exercise only, as they can injure themselves as they are growing.
It is amazing what is out there on the web now. Some of it has to be taken with a grain of salt. Sort of like the human studies they release in the media.
If your dog comes from healthy stock,you feed it a well balanced feed, you don't over-use preventtives or follow too rigorous a vaccine schedule and get the follow-up vaccines that are only needed or required, then a supplement of this sort is just not needed.
In my opinion.
The only think that is very different about this supplement than others is the phosphorous and vitamin D levels. If a dog is outside enough it should be able to form its own vitamin D, using sunlight and vitamins and nutrients found in a well balanced food. Phosphorous, like vitamin C comes from vegies and fruit as well, but not in the quantities listed in this supplement. bone meal usually does have lots of phophorous though.

There have been studies on large dogs that indicate they can get TOO much calcium while they are growing puppies. Seems the fast growing dogs are generally more efficient in absorbing Calcium, so they don't actully need that much.
Then there's othe studies that show that IF your dog has a joint disease that hings like citrate, MSM, and glucosamine will help delay the onset and decrese the severity.

Like all studies, you have to wonder who is paying for them and how objective they are .... and even if they were well done and objective, unless 100% of the test subjects were actually helped b a supplement , then how can you know if it is going to help your dog.
Basically a balanced diet that you supplement with these things would be just as good. Even better would be to supplement the food with food natually high in these compounds like vegies, fruits, and (I know I am going to catch flck for this) but some large bones (MSM and glucosamine are found in bone material I have been told).
I have never used this product, but it has several web pages. One search lead to this link:

It seems to be more of an advertisement, and though most of what it states is commonly thought true, I am not sure that a dog that is born with a hip disease will ever be "cured" any more than someone with parents with arthritis could optimistically think they will never get it either.
If it has everything it says it has it could be considered a well-rounded supplement. Still most large breed dog foods contain almost the same things, so wouldn't this just be over-kill?
It should be interesting to see what others think. My 5 year old Abbi is well beyond the 18 month old age, so I will just have to hope for the best i guess.
I'd stay away from those popular brand names of dog food... these dog foods have a ton of corn (cheap filler) and by-products. Many dogs are allergic to corn, too! I fed my dog a similar brand of food for years because I thought it was the best (heavily advertised). Now my food is toenail, beak, and hair free. When in doubt, read the label!

A good medium grade food would be Nutro, which has a large breed formula with the glucosamine and chondroitin, or Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul. No wheat, no corn, no soy, which are the three most common dog food allergens.

High grade foods (aka human grade) would be Wellness, Natural Balance, and Innova.

You want a food that does not use Lamb fat, is by-product free, does not contain meat and bone meal (aka roadkill), has plenty of vegetables in it... I like the Chicken Soup because it is reasonable, and has carrots, apples, peas, cranberry, yucca...
Congratulations on your new addition!

9 is senior for a large breed and most do have a touch of arthritis, my vet had Shaggy my very old Sheepie on Glucosamine (not sure if I've spelt it correctly) This is available at any pharmacy. The last six months of her life she was switched to Medicam which is a perscription med, which is a bit stronger. This ole girl lived until 15 and 1/2, but was very small for a Sheepie.

I applaud you for taking on this boy at his age and not all are willing to take a big dog into their homes. Good for you!!! PS You'd be suprised as not all are that big underneath all that hair. I think you'll have pure joy experiencing what it's like to be a Sheepie owner and this old guy is lucky to have you willing to open up your home.

Don't worry about his age too much. I've read a lot of sheepdog books that say they can live to 15. I have an 11 year old sheepdog who is in excellent shape still. The major things that I have noticed is that he would sometimes rather bark at than run around with the other dogs, his hair is a little thinner, he doesn't tug ropes quite as much because his teeth are a little softer and it takes him a little longer to get up some days. Our vet did put him on glucosamine for his stiffness and it helps. Some dogs can be a little sensitive to it so you may want to ask your vet for the side effects as well if they suggest it for your guy.
Norman is still very much bright eyed and I would say bushy tailed if he had one. He runs after rabbits and the puppy and plays like crazy. He is only slightly cranky in his old age and I think that is more his elder statesmen, "I've earned it" thing.
Older dogs can be great. They are still a ton of fun but not nearly as demanding as those young whippersnappers. You should have many years to enjoy him!
Congrats on your addition and THANK YOU for adopting an elder!

There are some things you can do to postpone the typical health issues an older sheepie may have.

First of all, be sure to provide Spud with plenty of exercise - keep the muscles and bones working! Also - keep down his weight - overweight dogs tend to have a worse problem with arthritis, etc.

You may want to start him on Glucosamine/Chondroitin (1500 mg / day) - as well as Ester C and Vitamin E (check with your Vet of course!).

Keep him active - that's so important!

Good Luck! May Spud live a long and happy, healthy life with your family!

Take to another vet, have cyst removed and tested.
Have x-rays and bloodwork done, including Thyroid T4 panel.
Feed high quality dog food like Canidae, Innova, etc, and spread out the feeding 2 or 3 meals a day. Eliminate treats and people food.
Have teeth cleaned and then brush them every few days.
Supplement Glucosamine/Chondroiton/MSM.
Consider a few Acupuncture treatments.
Provide clean/fresh water always.

They need to find another Vet! A cyst that large should be dealt with. They can't determine what it is interfering with - and/or what the type of tumor/cyst it is without investigating - and at least draining it! The cyst needs to be taken care of immediately. Even fatty tumors need to be removed if they are causing problems (location, etc.). My sister's dog, Zoe, had what the Vet said was a "fatty tumor" - and when it started to grow - my sister demanded it be removed and it turned out to be cancerous! They can't always tell what they are dealing with - until they operate (or do a needle biopsy at least).

I would recommend xrays as well. 6 is young to start having symptoms of arthritis! I would also recommend lab work - Thyroid (through Dr. Jean Dodds) as well as testing for some of the illnesses that may cause lameness (lymes disease for one).

This is serious - it should not be "let go" and passed off as "aging"! Even if it is found to be arthritis related - then they need to do something about it - (pain relief, supplements such as chondroitin/glucosamine, weight loss, exercise, etc.) and the Vet should be advising them.

Good Luck!
I think that "bark gag" is part of old age - and probably a sign of some heart/lung disease (due to old age). Brittney - my 12 1/2 year old does the same thing. She is also having the same problems with mobility as Sheepy. I'm not sure if you mentioned whether Sheepy was on any pain medication - but if he isn't - you may want to consider that (Rimadyl, Metacam, etc.) - it may help him with his hips/arthritis.

Also - I give Brittney Chondroitin/Glucosamine, Ester C and Vitamin E - daily - I find that those supplements - along with her Metacam have helped her to keep going.

Brittney has been having some pretty bad days lately - and it seems to do alot with the weather - the higher the humidity - the worse she is. She's also pretty bad in the stormy weather. It's possible that the weather in combination with the stress of your father not being there - caused a flare up with Sheepy.

Best Wishes to Sheepy! I know how hard it is when their health starts to deteroriate - it seems to happen overnight! I'll keep him in my thoughts!


Old English Sheepdog

Size: Large
Age: Young
Sex: Male

Notes: DUNCAN is a very smart, very friendly and very lovable 9 month old purebred male OES, who was surrendered to a shelter because he "herded" the 3 youngsters in the family. He is a very nice, energetic young man who needs a home that will enjoy him and have the time and energy to devote to some obedience and manners training. He would enjoy older children, but is too energetic and playful for children under 10. He is excellent with other dogs and seems fine with cats. Duncan has one blue and one brown eye, he is quite tall, lanky and underweight right now. I apologize for the funky hair-cut on his head, but his face and ears were very matted with something sticky in them. Duncan has been neutered, has had all his shots, has been wormed, is housebroken and is heartworm negative. He is even micro-chipped for the new owner to register him in their name. Duncan needs a very loving family, a nice big fenced yard to play in, and would enjoy a playful doggie companion, and someone home most of the time. He loves to play soccer with his feet, carries toys around and enjoys tug-o-war. He plays gently, but he does jump on people in his exhuberance. But, he is truly a delightful fellow with a great attitude, and will make a super companion with some training. If you feel you can offer Duncan the home he needs, please write to me and tell me about your family. Don't forget your location please!

Mid-Atlantic Old English Sheepdog Rescue
Baltimore, MD

Old English Sheepdog

Size: Large
Age: Young
Sex: Male

Notes: TOPPER is a wonderful, playful, purebred 10 month old male OES, who was turned over to rescue because he had "gotten too large to live in the house." He is about 65 pounds. Since coming into foster care, Topper has been groomed, given all his shots, tested negative for heartworm, is on heartworm preventative, and is being neutered on 9/8/04. He will be ready to go to his new home after that. He is in foster care in Charleston, WVA, where he is learning some obedience, plays wonderfully with the family's other pets, and he is great with children. We would like a home for him with a fully fenced yard (at least five feet high or an invisible fence to which he would have to be trained), a playful large breed dog, and children over 7 years old are fine. He is totally housebroken and is a great house pet. If you are interested in providing a wonderful, caring home for Topper, please send me an email with information about where you are located, your family and your home. We will reply promptly and appreciate your interest in this sweet fellow.

Mid-Atlantic Old English Sheepdog Rescue
Baltimore, MD

Old English Sheepdog

Size: Medium
Age: Senior
Sex: Male

Notes: AMSTEL is a delightful, purebred OES who was sadly given up to rescue because of his owner's divorce and relocation including traveling for work. He is 10 going on 5, with a light-hearted, playful, very social attitude, and a heart as big as gold. He loves to play soccer ball, fetch, and is excellent with other dogs, cats and children. He grew up with children, and, providing they are gentle and respectful of him, he is very content with them, so we will consider homes with one or two children over 7. He is neutered, current on all shots, takes monthly heartworm preventative, LOVES to go for rides, and is totally housebroken. He is equally at home with or without other pets, as long as he has plenty of love and attention from his human family members. This boy is a true joy to have around, a very "up" fellow, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, listens very well, and only takes glucosamine product for his slight arthritis. He gets up and down easily, loves to run and play, and would love to share his remaining years with a family who who has time for lots of playtime and love. If you think you could provide a wonderful home for Amstel, please write to me, tell me your LOCATION, and about your home and family. I will reply promptly. Amstel weighs about 65 lbs and is in foster care near Baltimore.

Mid-Atlantic Old English Sheepdog Rescue
Baltimore, MD
Hi everyone. I just registered as a user, although I've been reading this forum for quite some time. It has always given me very useful information on my very favorite subject, so now I am turning to everyone for your input into my problem. I apologize in advance because I'm sure this will be a long post.

I have an 11 year old OES named Dresdan, or Drezzie, for short. We adopted her at 2 yrs old from rescue. She was the product of a puppy mill, and although her first owner loved her (she was not abused), they felt they didn't have enough time for her with their family schedule. So they turned her over to rescue - lucky for us! She is the love of our lives. She is our third OES (all have been rescues) and the best so far. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body. She is always happy and always wants to kiss everyone in the room. Her smile is infectious, her antics hilarious. Our lives would be so empty without her. Our 22 year old son has grown up with her, and as he has aged and developed his mature facade, she is the only one who can still bring out the soft side of him. Our 18 year old daughter just started college this fall, and she misses her "sissy" terribly.

Now for the problem. Drez has hip dysplasia, degenerative joint disease and arthritis. She has been stiff for awhile now, but our current vet just kept telling us that there was nothing they could do for her. Steroids wouldn't help her problem. Chondroitin/glucosamine helps but is not a cure. We had her on Rimadyl for a short while, but it didn't seem to do anything for her, and with everything I've read about it, I took her off it since it wasn't helping anyway. We currently have Deramaxx that we were told to give her only when she's in pain, and only a half of a pill. Other than that, all we could do was make her as comfortable as we could. Thinking there had to be SOMETHING we could do, we took her to another vet for a second opinion. He tested her for other things as well, and all came back normal - kidney and liver function are fine, heart is strong, eyes are clear, ears are normal. Her only problem is her hind quarters. The second vet suggested femoral head ostectomy surgery as an option. I've been reading up on it, and it seems promising but is said to work better on smaller dogs under 50 lbs. (Drez is about 80 lbs.) He would do one hip at a time, allowing for healing in between. Because of her size, there could be complications that wouldn't bother a smaller dog (may not form "false" joint very well). The surgery is expensive, but not undo-able. The other option was total hip replacement, and that is definitely too expensive. The vet said that without any surgery, she probably only has about a year left. With the surgery, she would live as long as she was meant to - meaning that if her hips were naturally fine and she would live to be 14, then she would live to be 14. If I can have her with us for another 3 years and in no pain, versus one more year and in pain, it's a no-brainer. Even if I can have her for one more year and in no pain, it's still a no-brainer. I just want to make sure this is truly the best option for yer.

We're going to talk to our regular vet tomorrow to get his opinion. He's been our vet since 1979, and my in-laws vet for many years before that. We've always trusted him and his instincts, so we're curious as to why he didn't suggest this surgery.

Can anyone offer any advice? Has anyone had a femoral head ostectomy performed on their dog? I spent my whole lunch hour crying hysterically today. I just can't bare the thought of losing my baby girl. In all other ways, she's still perfectly healthy. She still is her smiling, happy self. She still wants to play, as best as she can, still wants nothing more than to please us and to get all our love and attention. All of my OES's have been "forever puppies", a trait I know you are all familiar with. If she had other medical problems along with this, it wouldn't bother me as much. But to face losing her only to this problem is killing me.

Again, I apologize for the length, but right now I just can think straight, or see straight through my tears. Any and all advice is so very appreciated.


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