Let me make a disclosure here: I have never used this product. It is a beef – flavored powder and I personally like the taste and texture of the chicken-flavored chewy tablets. Just kidding. Actually, the reason I have never used it is that if it is really true that All Dogs Go To Heaven, that’s where my Beagle King is. He doesn’t need it. So, since I don’t use it, am I qualified to review it? Yep. Sure am. As Zak and Smoke’s “uncle,” I still have a vested interest in the health and welfare of canine family members. Besides, I am a retired journalist. I know how to seperate the wheat from the chaff.
Why This One?
I didn’t just pull Extend Joint Care For Dogs out of a hat. It is the result of a comprehensive search for the best medication for your dog’s joint pain I could find. In an earlier post, I wrote about senior dogs health problems. The logical next step is to recommend something that will help. There’s a whole bunch of joint pain meds out there. Many of them you could switch the labels and never know the difference. That’s because the ingredients are pretty much the same across the board. What separated this product from the crowd for me was the huge number of positive reviews from users. I was particularly moved by the number of them that slammed a vet that said it (or any of them for that matter) was only “snake oil.” According to them, if it was snake oil, it was damn good snake oil.
I didn’t just take their word for it, however. I researched objective reviews from veteranary professionals. I didn’t put too much stock in the few reviews that said this product didn’t work for their dog. Heck, there are some over-the-counter meds that my friends swear by that does absolutely nothing for me. Dogs, like people, are not “one size fits all” when it comes to medication. That’s why it’s important that your vet has the last say about your dog’s medication regimen.
If you’re reading this, you are probably not looking for a whole lot of rhetoric about the myriad of joint pain medications out there. You just want to know how to stop your dog’s pain. Is Extend Joint Care For Dogs the best medication for the job? Depends on who you ask. Will it get the job done? Yes. It will. The “best” can be an arbitrary term anyhow. Let’s have a look at the ingredients:
What’s In It
Extend Joint Care For Dogs is an over-the-counter medication that will help maintain and improve joint health in your dog. The active ingredients are:
- Glucosamine – a natural compound found in cartilage, which is the tough tissue that cushions joints – yours, mine, Smoke’s and Zak’s too. It helps to form and repair cartilage. As your dog ages (and us too, for that matter), the natural production of glucosamine slows down, which leads to joint pain and stiffness and eventually Osteoarthritis. Supplements of glucosamine can help rebuild cartilage and restore your dog’s joint function and activity levels, and reduce or eliminate the use of NSAIDS (nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs), which relieve pain, but does not repair the joint. Extend Joint Care For Dogs claims to have developed a faster-acting form of glucosamine. This seems to be borne out by the fact that users report a faster-than-average recovery time for their ailing dog.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) – a naturally occuring sulfur compound found in plants, animals and humans. It helps to reduce joint pain and inflammation. It also works to heal and elasticize connective tissue for greater mobility and resiliance. MSM helps your dog to make better use of the nutrients in his food, and it is essential for maintaining and supporting healthy cells (ours too!). It also helps clean the blood stream and flush toxins from the cells.
- Type II Chicken Collagen – a protein that is part of cartilage, bone and other tissues in animals and humans. Also known as UCII, Type II Chicken collagen is used to treat joint pain associated with many types of arthritis. It works with the immune system to reduce inflammation and restore cartilage.
- Ascorbic Acid – another name for vitamin C. Unlike the human body, which does not naturally produce vitamin C, dogs do naturally produce some vitamin C. Ascorbic acid boosts their level of vitamin C, which provides immune system support and helps to relieve pain and discomfort associated with muscular-skeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis.
The remaining ingredients are: beef liver meal, maltodextrin ( a flavor additive ), and oat fiber. The dosage of this product is
somewhat ambigious. According to the company, “one packet per day should suffice for most dog sizes.” What that means is that a very small breed dog (have you ever seen a teacup Yorkie? a teacup Poodle?) would require less, and a very large breed will probably need more. Other than that, one packet a day is the recommended dose. Since it is an all-natural supplement, it is perfectly safe to try different dosages.
“An Ounce Of Prevention…
is worth a pound of cure.” In other words, you don’t have to wait until your beloved canine family member begins to experience joint pain to start giving him joint care medication. You can start right now. Regardless of your dog’s age. Joint care medication not only helps senior dogs suffering from joint pain, it helps to maintain healthy joints in younger dogs. Depending on the breed of your dog, some vets recommend starting your dog on a joint care medication as early as 12 months old. Breeds that experience early and more severe symptoms of arthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia (abnormal growth or development ), and general joint inflammation include:
- German Shepherds
- Golden Retrievers
- Labrador Retrievers
- Pit Bulls
- Saint Bernards
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Check with your vet to see if your dog is on this list and if he is, start him on Extend Joint Care for Dogs right away. After all, an ounce of prevention…
Don’t Play Vet
It’s not a good idea to try to be your own doctor. It is also not a good idea to try to be your dog’s doctor. If you have taken him for a checkup and know that like you, he’s just suffering from the attendent manifestations of growing old, an over-the-counter joint care medication should make life easier for the both of you. However, there are some symptoms, that if displayed, require the immediate attention of a veteranarian. These symptoms include, but are certainly not limited to:
- Odd eating habits – It’s not unusual for your dog to skip a meal or two, especially in the summer, but any more than that is cause for concern. Conversely, if all of a sudden he starts raiding the pantry and/or snatching food off the table, this is also a sign that something is wrong.
- Excessive thirst – You know about how much water your dog usually drinks in a day, so if the amount increases dramatically, check with the vet.
- Scooting or dragging rear – This could be a sign of worms, a blocked or infected anal gland, a urinary tract infection, or diarrhea
- Cloudy or red eyes – If your dog is squinting, or there is excessive discharge coming from his eyes, this could indicate an infection or an injury. Diseases affecting the eyes can get really bad in a hurry, and lead to blindness.
- Unusual stool – Your dog’s poop can tell you a lot about his overall health. A healthy dog should have small, firm, moist stools (or that “t” word). Nobody likes to look at dog poop, but every now and then you should check it for worms, blood, or anything that looks unusual.
- Vomiting – Dogs will puke from time to time to get rid of something that doesn’t agree with them. Or when they’ve had too much to drink. Oh, wait, that’s humans. Anyway, if he vomits frequently, or several times in a row, or if he vomits blood, call the vet right away.
Don’t assume that any ailment that your dog might have can be cured with an over-the-counter medication. Some of your senior dogs health problems (and the whippersnapper’s too) will require prescription medication. You know your dog. Check with your vet about any behavior that you deem out of the ordinary.
Your Personal Experience
If you have used Extend Joint care For Dogs, I would love to hear from you. If you are just starting to use the product, I would love to chart your dog’s progress. Share your experiences with me in the comment section below.