Generic Drug Name: Glucosamine
Other Common Names: Cosequin, Glyco-flex
Glucosamine is a nutraceutical commonly used as an adjunctive treatment for osteoarthritis or other painful conditions in horses, cats, and dogs. It is known to promote healthy cartilage and joint fluid. It may also be useful in treating cats with feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).
Negative reactions to glucosamine are rare, but can be observed as minor gastrointestinal effects, such as flatulence, stool softening, and diarrhea. While this drug is known to exacerbate symptoms associated with asthma in humans, no such effects have been reported in animal patients. However, caution should be taken in patients with bronchoconstrictive conditions.
Glucosamine should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. While an oral overdose is unlikely to cause much damage to the animal, effects should still be watched for. Gastrointestinal effects have been observed in patients suffering from an overdose. Some glucosamine products have also been known to use manganese, which could lead to menganese toxicity in cases of overdose. If an overdose is suspected, a veterinarian should be contacted immediately.
Because of the wide variety of products available, the label should be checked for any product specific storage requirements. As with most drugs, glucosamine should be kept at room temperature and stored in a container that is light resistant and childproof.
Because of its wide variety of uses, a typical dose of glucosamine can vary greatly. It is recommended that the drug purchased should match the species it is being administered to. For dogs and cats, a typical dose can range from 13-30 mg/kg once daily. For horses, the typical dose is 16.5 grams (5 scoops) twice daily with food. Should a dose be forgotten, it should be administered as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next scheduled dose, it should be administered and the regular schedule should be resumed. No matter what, two doses should not be administered at the same time.
Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.