Your Pet Question:
Is it safe to give our cat glucosamine, and if so how much?
Fay Murphy, Nova Scotia
The Expert Says:
I am assuming that your cat suffers from some kind of stiffness when walking or has been diagnosed with arthritis which is what glucosamine would be used for to alleviate pain and joint problems. But you should never give your cat, or any other pet for that matter, any form of medicine, natural or otherwise without knowing the proper dosage and also the definitive cause of the ailment. Problems with walking or stiffness can also be signs of hyperthyroidism or kidney failure. You should have a vet check blood work, do a urinalysis, and possibly even take an X-ray to determine the cause. If it is only arthritis, then proper diet and glucosamine would be recommended, but only the kind intended for animals prescribed by a vet, the glucosamine that humans use for medicinal purposes is far too strong! It comes in powdered, capsule or liquid forms and your vet will inform you of the proper dosage for your cat.
Dr. Eva Hadzima is a veterinarian at Dewinton Pet Hospital in Dewinton, Alberta.