Can horses have a human glucosamine supplement? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-01-2011, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Can horses have a human glucosamine supplement?

My boyfriend brought this topic up because growing up, their old dog had pretty severe arthritis. Their vet gave them some expensive dog glucosamine, etc. mix to feed to her that worked well, but his mom started doing research and found that you can feed them a human glucosamine/chondroiton pill. They did that for years and it worked wonders for her. I'm wondering if the same is true with horses or if anyone has tried it or heard of it? It would be much easier to feed our horse something like this because he is an extremely messy eater. He takes a bite and spills half of it out on the floor and steps on it and makes a huge mess. I'd like to be sure he is getting the whole dose..

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post #2 of 16 Old 05-01-2011, 12:05 PM
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I wondered the same thing about dog glucosamine vs human, I had a client who suggested the human version. I asked 2 different pharmacists, they told me that no you should never give any animal human supplements because:

1. they will only retain 5% of the glucosamine because ours is processed differently
2. they cannot digest the plastic coating around the glucosamine itself and it hurts the stomach lining of the animal and that can lead to complications.
3. you need ALOT more of a human pill vs a dog pill.
4. it's just bad.... anything that is made for humans should not be given to animals unless expressly recommended by your vet.

I spend 100$ (plus tax) every 3 months for my dog's glucosamine pills, she is currently on Novo-Flex 900mg tablet, she gets 2 per day (she's a king shepherd 112 pounds) thats about 33$ per month. As long as I can afford to spoil her, keep her at 100% health, idc what it costs, she will get what she needs, 33 bucks a month is chump change to the love I get back from her lol, neurotic though she may be XD
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-01-2011, 09:27 PM
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Don't know about the dog/human question. It was my vet that told me not to bother buying special doggy variety glucosamine. I thought the capsules were made of gelatine, not plastic... perhaps another reason for ME not to have human glucosamine caps either if that's the case!

When I used to have them, my dog & I would have the same human caps... & the same human salmon oil caps too. But I've been since advised(by some people I respect as knowing about these things), that particular joint supps & the likes are not really helpful & if you have well balanced nutrition, that's the best you can do. Also that as glucosamine is just about all sugar, it's not great anyway. So now I & my dog just have the salmon oil along with our good diets & other nutritional supps.

As for your horse, I'd imagine it would get incredibly costly to feed it enough human glucosamine to make a difference (assuming it works & you're not worried about him getting extra sugars), so the horse variety is likely cheaper. I'd be more inclined to ensure he's got good general nutrition & then make sure the mechanics are good - feet well managed, unshod & able to function well & him being kept out 24/7 with lots of exercise on yielding ground. As for his messy eating, putting some bricks or large rocks in his feed tub, or some heavy gauge weldmesh over it should slow him down so he can't bolt it. I'm assuming his teeth are in order & that's not the reason he drops feed.
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-01-2011, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katze View Post
I wondered the same thing about dog glucosamine vs human, I had a client who suggested the human version. I asked 2 different pharmacists, they told me that no you should never give any animal human supplements because:

1. they will only retain 5% of the glucosamine because ours is processed differently
2. they cannot digest the plastic coating around the glucosamine itself and it hurts the stomach lining of the animal and that can lead to complications.
3. you need ALOT more of a human pill vs a dog pill.
4. it's just bad.... anything that is made for humans should not be given to animals unless expressly recommended by your vet.

I spend 100$ (plus tax) every 3 months for my dog's glucosamine pills, she is currently on Novo-Flex 900mg tablet, she gets 2 per day (she's a king shepherd 112 pounds) thats about 33$ per month. As long as I can afford to spoil her, keep her at 100% health, idc what it costs, she will get what she needs, 33 bucks a month is chump change to the love I get back from her lol, neurotic though she may be XD
I used the word "plastic" to describe it incorrectly, my brain function as soon as I get up is not at 100% so I apologize for incorrectly describing the coating...... I never asked anyone here about human vs dog glucosamine, and I wont ever give any of my pets supplements that are not made specifically for them.

Glucosamine is not made up of sugar.... it is derived from chitin, a substance found in the shells of shrimp, crab, lobster, and other sea creatures. They combine it with chondroitin sulfate which "lubes" the joints so to speak, gives it back it's elasticity.
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-01-2011, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katze View Post
I asked 2 different pharmacists, they told me that no you should never give any animal human supplements... <snip>
Well, a pharmacist is not necessarily knowledgeable in animal care, so I wouldn't go by what a pharmacist says. However, if my vet says that human gluco is OK, then I will go for it. And my vet says yes. So I went to the natural food store and bought Glucosamine and MSM for my horse AND dog. It was successful with both. Unfortunately, the dog was put down after about 2 years on the meds due to old age issues. The horse was on it for about 6 months showing huge improvements and the vet was very impressed, but unfortunately he died due to completely unrelated causes.

Buying in bulk powder form from the store was much cheaper than buying special dog and horse items.

Edited to add: I forgot to comment on the coating of capsulated powders -- I didn't even ask my vet about that because it would never occur to me to give it to the animal. I did try breaking open the capsules and sprinkling the powder over his food, but it took too long and was more costly anyway.

Last edited by NorthernMama; 05-01-2011 at 11:25 PM.
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-01-2011, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katze View Post
I never asked anyone here about human vs dog glucosamine,
You & OP both made comments about human vs dog stuff, so I thought I'd tell what I'd been told too.

Glucosamine is not made up of sugar.... it is derived from chitin, a substance found in the shells of shrimp, crab, [/QUOTE]

Yes, I'm aware of where it comes from. Apparently tho, according to a biologist I know who's done studies in nutritional supps and also by a naturopath, it is 'made up' predominently of sugar, hence the name 'GLOCOSamine'. I've been told this by them, but haven't looked into it personally, so happy to have more info if that's not correct.
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-02-2011, 02:35 AM
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I know lots of people who feed their dogs the people version of joint supp. No problems. Just sayin.


As for horses...I bet it would be cost prohibative to try to feed people version. A horse is 8 to 10 times a person and there is usually a loading dose isnt there? there are lots of lesser expensive joint supps for horses now. Look into the Corta-Flx lines. I get almost 3 months worth for about 100 bucks. Also you can try smart pack it too which helps divvy the costs out monthly. they have loads of choices.
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-02-2011, 12:48 PM
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Loosie, the "glucos" part of the word probably is because glucosamine is an amino sugar derived substance. As opposed to an amino acid, eg. But it is not sugar.
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-02-2011, 12:54 PM
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I am not sure how it would be cost affective. With dogs you are giving them a similar dosing to humans or less. With a horse I would think you would have to up the dosing to a point that it would make more sense to buy a horse version.
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-02-2011, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting thoughts..

I honestly have no idea how much the human stuff costs. He just said his mom can get it in bulk for super super cheap. How cheap that is? I don't know since their dog has been gone a couple of years now. I figured I'd see if anyone had tried it or knows about it before I started to even investigate prices, etc. I put in an order for a 28 day supply of SmartFlex Senior yesterday, so we'll see how that goes.

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