Osteoarthritis is a slowly progressive and debilitating disease that affects canines of all breeds. Pain and decreased mobility resulting from osteoarthritis often have a negative impact on the affected canines quality of life, level of comfort, daily functioning, activity, behaviour, and client-pet companionship.
Despite limited and conflicting evidence, the natural products glucosamine hydrochloride (HCl) and chondroitin sulfate are commonly recommended by veterinarians for treating osteoarthritis in dogs. There is a paucity of well-designed clinical veterinary studies investigating the true treatment effect of glucosamine and chondroitin.
The purposes of this review article are to provide a brief background on glucosamine and chondroitin use in canine osteoarthritis and to critically review the available literature on the role of these products for improving clinical outcomes. Based on critical review, recommendations for practice are suggested and a future study design is proposed.
Key words: glucosamine, chondroitin, osteoarthritis, canine