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D2003-20

Dear Daisy Dog

We have an older, mixed-breed dog who gets weekly injections of Adequan for his arthritis. These injections are getting expensive. Is there an oral medication that does the same thing?

Daisy Responds

I have used two chewable medications, Cosequin and Glyco-Flex II, and both have helped me a great deal.

Before we talk about them, let me mention that Adequan’s manufacturer recommends that it be administered twice weekly for no more than four weeks.

Adequan, Cosequin and Glyco-Flex II are chondroprotective (cartilage protective) agents. These products contain glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), substances that stimulate the formation of healthy cartilage, inhibit cartilage breakdown and nourish joint fluid.

The most abundant GAG in joint cartilage is chondroitin sulfate, production of which decreases with age. Another is glucosamine, which stimulates production of more GAGs and has a mild anti-inflammatory effect. Chondroitin and glucosamine have different but complementary actions, so they are often combined into a single product. For more information, see www.cosequin.com and www.glyco-flex.com.

Cosequin, Glyco-Flex II and related oral chondroprotective products are available without a prescription from your veterinarian or through pet supply stores and catalogues.

As you research these products, read the literature provided by each manufacturer to be sure its product has been tested for quality, safety and effectiveness.

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