The first thing you want to know is, what is Cosequin? Cosequin
is a product made by Nurtramax Laboratories (www.nutramaxlabs.com)
that is used for osteoarthritis in dogs, cats and birds. The active
ingredients are glucosamine and chondroitin, which are also being
used to help people with osteoarthritis. It comes in a capsule form
that you can both feed to your pets whole or open and sprinkle the
contents on their food.
Does it work? In a word, yes. I have been using Cosequin in my
patients, especially the dogs, who have arthritis pain and I have
been generally impressed with the results. I have not had much success
in the cat, but this is mainly due to the fact that we tend not
to diagnose arthritis in the cat until it is in a very late stage.
When it comes to evaluating products, I think the dogs make a good
control group because they do not have the "placebo" effect. Psychology
does not factor in, they either respond favorably to a product or
they do not.
We have used Cosequin in our patients as soon as they start to
show signs of slowing down (See
health hipdysplaysia as an example). We have seen anywhere from
a 20% to a 75% improvement in their mobility after a month on Cosequin.
One thing is for sure, the product does not do any harm. It is
a relatively natural product that can only help. It can be pricey,
but if you can afford it, it is worth the money because it helps
decrease the pain and also slows the arthritic product. My dog Willie
(and my wife Diane) takes it every day. There are generic products
on the market that claim to be as good as Cosequin. The problem
with generics in this category of products is that there is no quality
control, no FDA oversight. So if you are getting the same product
in the generic it may be just as good, but regardless of what the
label says you cannot be assured of what is in the bottle. I always
recommend that my clients begin with the real Cosequin, see how
it works, decide how much it is costing them per month (the larger
the dog the bigger bill) and consider generics only if they have
Not all dogs will respond. If after a month we see no improvement,
we tend to look for other causes of pain or look to other medications.
Overall, I give Cosequin 3 Paws of Approval (out of 4). Willie (my
dog) wanted to add a half paw, so for our dollar, Cosequin gets
3 and 1/2 Paws of Approval.