Glucosamine Sulphate has been used to treat osteoarthritis for over two decades and more recently veterinarians have been prescribing this naturally occurring substance (found in the shell of crustaceans) for dogs, cats and horses in their care.
Osteoarthritis leads to increased degradation of the cartilage that normally protects the bony surfaces in a joint. The bone on bone contact is quite painful and can lead to lameness, an unwillingness to jump up on objects, groom and even walking can be a challenge.
Glucosamine sulphate helps with the production of new cartilage and is usually prescribed in the early stages of osteoarthritis or later on as a supplement along-side anti-inflammatory drugs. For the first eight weeks the dose is usually double the long term dose. The cat should then remain on the glucosamine for the rest of its life to help slow down the effects of osteoarthritis.
Glucosamine sulphate is very safe and essentially has no side effects however vomiting or diarrhoea can occur if the dose is too high or in the initial stages of dosing. If you know the dose is correct then reduce the amount to half and then slowly increase it again, making sure to give the glucosamine with food.
Human glucosamine sulphate is safe to give pets but remember that the dose and taste have not been specifically tailored for our furry friends and may lead to side effects such as vomiting if the dose is too high. For this reason it’s better to ask your local veterinarian to recommend a product or dose that is suitable for your cat. There are also several other excellent medications for the treatment of osteoarthritis, which your vet can recommend depending on the severity of osteoarthritis in your cat.
Best of luck!