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We have a 6 year old Boxer who is beginning to have hip issues. Our vet has recommended Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM, and we are just about through our first bag of it. Its pretty costly, so I'm wondering if there is a generic, less costly, formulation of this, or even an alternative that we could try.

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  • I have used CadaFlex, the ingredients are 98% the same but you can save about 30%. My Australian Shep has shown no drop in progress since switching 3 months ago! I found it on Amazon. Dec 7 '17 at 1:57
  • OT but we have a dog with hip dysplasia, signs of arthritis (x-rays from march so it might have gotten worse) and cauda equina syndrome (diagnosed last month). We started physio therapy (osteopathy at first, then mainly water treadmill) with her in May because she couldn't go without daily pain killers. And her progress is stunning. After less than a month we went without pain killers and she is pain free as far as we are aware. We only use pain killers when she's in acute pain (happened 2 times since we started therapy) and she's otherwise perfectly fine and running.
    – Sambovi
    Dec 7 '17 at 12:03
  • So while this does not help the joint itself it helps by building strength to take some off the joint. Most people I tell look at me like an alien when I tell them we do physio so many people seem to be opposed to it but for us it's worked miracles. Maybe it's something to consider for you as well.
    – Sambovi
    Dec 7 '17 at 12:08
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Dasuquin with MSM claims to contain the following active ingredients:

  • Glucosamine Hydrochloride
  • Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate
  • Avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU) Powder
  • Methylsulfonylemthane (MSM)

There is no scientific evidence that any of these ingredients provide a clinically significant improvement in arthritis pain (in either people or dogs).

They are generally recognized as safe, so vets often recommend them so that people can feel like they are doing something. If you can't afford it, there is likely little difference in not feeding these supplements.

If your pet's pain is severe, you could ask your vet about giving him NSAIDS. In this paper, reviewing canine arthritis treatments, the authors state:

There was a high level of comfort (strong evidence) for the efficacy of carprofen, firocoxib and meloxicam

Overview of Recommendations for Arthritis in People

The best research on arthritis treatments is on people. The AAOS reviewed existing literature and had the following recommendations.

Each recommendation is followed with Strength of Recommendation (SoR) ranking, which rates how compelling the evidence is for that treatment. A strong SoR means that the recommendation (to use or not use) is well supported by scientific research (adequate sample size, double blinded, randomized, etc) and further research is not likely to change the recommendation.

For example, glucosamine use has a Strong SoR and is classified as "not recommended". This means that the subject has several well-designed studies that are generally in agreement, and that those studies found that glucosamine did not result in clinical (i.e. noticeable) improvements during the study period.

Conservative Treatments Recommended:

  • Increase exercise (Strength of Recommendation: Strong)
  • Weight loss in overweight patients (Strength of Recommendation: Moderate)
  • NSAID or Tramadol medication (SoR: Strong)

Conservative Treatments Not Recommended:

  • Acupuncture (SoR: Strong)
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin (SoR: Strong)

Conservative Treatments Cannot Recommend For Or Against

  • Physical agents such as electrotheraputic modalities (SoR: Inconclusive)
  • Massage (SoR: Inconclusive)
  • Brace that unloads force from affected joint (SoR: Inconclusive)
  • Acetaminophen, opioids, or pain patches (SoR: inconclusive)
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  • Is the SoR for the recommendation or the treatment -- i.e. does a Strong SoR for Glucosamine (which is Not Recommended) mean the evidence is compelling fo rnot using or using it?
    – user10093
    Sep 5 '17 at 17:15
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    @ColeValleyGirl sorry for the confusion. When SoR is strong, that means the recommendation (in bold) has a lot of evidence to support it. So, glucosamine has a strong SoR to NOT use it, it means there's believable scientific research that it does not help.
    – Zaralynda
    Sep 5 '17 at 18:30
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    @AndyWarren there's a lot of pressure for medical professionals (in human and animal medicine) to DO SOMETHING, so in situations like this (there's not a lot that can be done) they often fall back on 'treatments' that don't harm but also may not help. That scratches the DO SOMETHING itch, but there's a cost/benefit analysis that's not being done. If there's no evidence that it helps, and it actually hurts you financially, it may not be worth the cost.
    – Zaralynda
    Sep 5 '17 at 20:16
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    @AndyWarren Some vets will sell you unnecessary things but this is where you need to look around as many are good people trying to help your animals. Trusting your veterinarian is very important. At our hospital we sell Flexadin Plus (for minor arthritis) as we have had many clients see improvements. For severe cases we use Metacam as joint supplements alone will not help, blood work should be ran before giving this NSAID as it can cause kidney and liver damage from prolonged use or worsen the disease if it's already present. Sep 5 '17 at 21:21
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    @AndyWarren I spoke with the veterinarian I work with and he mentioned that although there are not any concrete studies on glucosamine + chondroitin, clinically it has shown on a microscopic level to help slow down progression of OA. It will not aid in pain of course as it is not a cure which is why it is paired with some sort of anti-inflammatories. Also he mentioned that there are a few studies out there on horses that have proven the effects of glucosamine + chondroitin. Sep 7 '17 at 17:01
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I have had five dogs over my lifetime with joint issues in old age. I have tried dasuquin for all of them. Only two of the dogs responded, but the response was miraculous, and definitely not something I could attribute to anything other than the dasuquin. The dasuquin with MSM definitely worked better than the dasuquin without MSM. I tried going without dasuquin at all, and using other supplements on the first dog with whom it was successful, and she gradually reverted back to the same problems she had before the dasuquin. As soon as I resumed the dasuquin, within a few days - less than a week - she was markedly improved. The other three dogs never responded to the dasuquin, nor to other medications that I tried, including other glucosamine/chondroitin supplements, some with tumeric, some with MSM. I am not a vet, and I can only report my observations on my limited sample size of five dogs. I can say that the results were obvious very early on in using the medicine for the dogs that received a benefit. The first dog that received a benefit began taking the dasuquin at age 10, and lived to age 15. Even at age 15 she was walking better than she had been at age 10. I am not going to name brands that did not work, but I did try three other cheaper supplements with similar ingredients. Although none contained the ASU powder, they otherwise matched ingredients in dasuquin. As for finding the best price on dasuquin, I recomment eBay. That has been the consistent cheapest source for the drug that I can find.

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Some studies:

Randomised double-blind, positive-controlled trial to assess the efficacy of glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate for the treatment of dogs with osteoarthritis

Onset of significant response was slower for Glu/CS than for carprofen-treated dogs. The results show that Glu/CS has a positive clinical effect in dogs with osteoarthritis.

Therapeutic Efficacy and Safety of Undenatured Type II Collagen Singly or in Combination with Glucosamine and Chondroitin in Arthritic Dogs

Data of this placebo-controlled study demonstrate that daily treatment of arthritic dogs with UC-II alone or in combination with glucosamine and chondroitin markedly alleviates arthritic-associated pain, and these supplements are well tolerated as no side effects were noted.

Therapeutic Efficacy and Safety of Undenatured Type II Collagen Singly or in Combination with Glucosamine and Chondroitin in Arthritic Dogs

In lame OA dogs, a VTD that contains high level of omega-3 from fish origin improved the locomotor disability and the performance in activities of daily living. Such nutritional approach appears interesting for the management of OA.

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    While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review
    – Jacob B
    Dec 19 '21 at 0:01

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