What is Cosequin®?

Cosequin is a patented, scientifically researched nutritional supplement dispensed by thousands of veterinarians to help pets maintain healthy joints. As pets age, it is common for their joints to become less flexible which impacts their mobility and quality of life. You may have noticed that your pet has difficulty walking up stairs or jumping on the bed. While he used to be eager to play, now he is content to rest. Even at younger ages some pets are subject to joint health concerns which affect flexibility and mobility. Cosequin contains TRH122®* chondroitin sulfate, FCHG49®* glucosamine and manganese ascorbate. These ingredients have been scientifically formulated to support and maintain the health of your pet’s joints. Published studies have shown that the specific combination of ingredients in Cosequin works together to maintain the structure of the cartilage in your pet’s joints while inhibiting the enzymes that break down cartilage. It is very important to note that the published studies on Cosequin do not apply to other brands.

What is joint cartilage?

Cartilage is a slippery and resilient tissue produced and maintained by its own specialized cells. It cushions the surfaces where two or more bones meet to form a flexible joint. When a pet is in motion there is tremendous pressure on the joint. Cartilage, joint fluid, and underlying bone work together like a shock absorber allowing flexible joint function. Because cartilage lacks a direct blood supply, nutrients must pass into the cartilage from surrounding tissue. These nutrients sustain cartilage cells and provide the components necessary to maintain a healthy cartilage structure. Scientists are not sure about all the factors that cause cartilage breakdown; however, they have discovered enzymes that play a role in the process. With age, injury, or over-activity, the process of breakdown can exceed the process of replacement leading to problems in the joints. These problems result in less flexibility. That’s when it’s time for Cosequin® which maintains the cartilage structure and inhibits the enzymes that break down cartilage.

How does Cosequin work?

The exclusive combination of TRH122® chondroitin sulfate, FCHG49® glucosamine, and manganese ascorbate in Cosequin works together to maintain the structure of your pet’s joint cartilage while slowing the enzymes that break down cartilage. Glucosamine hydrochloride acts as a building block of cartilage by supplying a key nutrient that keeps cartilage cells healthy and functioning properly. Chondroitin sulfate blocks the enzymes thatbreak down cartilage. Manganese ascorbate is added to help optimize the production of cartilage components. Cosequin has been used since 1992 in animals to maintain joint health. While the ingredients have been used separately, published controlled studies show the patented combination of ingredients in Cosequin is superior to using the ingredients alone.

Is Cosequin superior to other joint health supplements?

Yes. On the label, different brands may appear to be the same, but unlike drugs, the ingredients in supplements are not equivalent. Cosequin, with its exclusive combination of high purity glucosamine, low molecular weight chondroitin sulfate and manganese ascorbate, is the only glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate supplement that has been shown safe, effective, and bioavailable in peer-reviewed, published, controlled, U.S. veterinary studies. Chondroitin sulfate is a large molecule that is difficult to absorb. Low molecular weight means the particle size of the molecule is smaller and more easily absorbed by the digestive system than other less pure forms of chondroitin sulfate. While the low molecular weight chondroitin sulfate is more expensive, it is supported by published, controlled U.S. clinical studies for efficacy, safety and absorption. Cosequin is manufactured in the United States by Nutramax Laboratories, Inc. following manufacturing standards adopted by the pharmaceutical industry. Each batch of Cosequin is subjected to stringent quality control measures and meets label claim. However, a number of reports including a study published in the Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association showed that up to approximately 80% of glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate brands did not meet their own label claim.

I give my pet a food that contains glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Do I still need Cosequin?

Yes. None of the foods contain the researched combination of high quality ingredients in Cosequin. The amount of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate in pet food is often minimal. Even if these diets contained high quality glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, a large-breed pet would need to consume more than the daily requirement of food to obtain the amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate found in Cosequin DS. In addition, both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate may degrade when subjected to the heat or extreme pressure in the manufacturing process of commercial pet food.

Can I give a supplement labeled for human use to my pet?

Many human glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate supplements use substandard ingredients, and, as noted earlier, studies have shown that many do not even meet their own label claim for the ingredients listed on the bottle. With Cosequin each capsule or convenient tasty chewable tablet contains exactly what is stated on the label. These trademarked ingredients have been shown to be safe and effective in pets.

When is the use of Cosequin recommended?

Early action is always the best advice. Different breeds of pets age at different rates. With regular check-ups your veterinarian can talk with you about your pet’s aging process. Your veterinarian may discuss weight control, selective use of medications, exercise and the administration of Cosequin. It is important to have your pet examined by your veterinarian if you notice the pet having difficulties climbing stairs, jumping into the car, going for walks or even getting up. Your veterinarian can advise you if Cosequin can help. Your veterinarian may also suggest using Cosequin as a protective measure. This can be important for maintaining an active life for many pets, especially large breeds and working pets of all sizes. Cosequin may also be used to help support cartilage following joint surgery.

My pet just started Cosequin. What should I notice?

Observe your pet closely, and notice whether he seems more comfortable performing everyday activities such as climbing up stairs, going for walks, or even getting up. Most people will observe gradual changes in their pet’s comfort level. In a published survey of over 3,000 veterinarians, over 80% of pets administered Cosequin improved significantly in their mobility, level of comfort, and attitude. Overall, the veterinarians rated Cosequin as good to excellent.

How long does Cosequin take to work?

Since Cosequin is a supplement and provides nutrients to maintain your pet’s joint health, it works more gradually than drugs. Improvement on Cosequin can range from gradual to dramatic. Following the administration schedule on the label for your pet’s weight, we recommend an initial administration period of four to six weeks. Some pets may show a response in a shorter period of time.

Should I give Cosequin to all of my pets?

Research in pets administered Cosequin has shown that if Cosequin is given prior to an injury, the animal returns to normal function much more quickly. In light of this research, Cosequin is recommended to protect cartilage in pets that are overweight, working breeds, and large breeds, as well as the average “weekend warrior.” In order to gain the protective benefits of Cosequin in healthy animals, a low level of Cosequin may be used. The level for these pets varies, but the suggested maintenance level given every other day may be adequate.

Are there any side effects?

Cosequin offers unparalleled safety. A safety study in pets demonstrated no adverse effects of Cosequin administration on blood work parameters, including complete blood count, biochemical, and clotting values. Some pets may experience a mild gastrointestinal upset such as that which occurs when switching foods. If this is the case, you can try offering Cosequin with a meal.

Should I exercise my pet while he is on Cosequin?

Exercise is important for optimal joint function as well as weight control for the overall health of your pet. Joint movement is needed to circulate fluid around the cartilage as well as to bring nutrients and to remove waste products. It has been shown that when joints are immobilized, cartilage structures break down at a rapid rate. Consult with your veterinarian, but in most cases, moderate exercise is recommended. Walking on sand or another soft surface or even swimming will help circulate needed nutrients and reduce excessive stress to the cartilage. It is important not to push your pet but to exercise at a comfortable pace.