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As a result, I’ve always been on the lookout for anything that could help them be happier, be healthier, or live longer.
Twice in the past, Max has had very bad back problems. I’m sure that the underlying causes were twofold:
- He’s a dachshund, so he has a long spine that makes him more susceptible to injury, and very short legs that aren’t very good at absorbing the shock that occurs each time he jumps up or down on anything.
- He has back injuries that are very obvious in x-rays, from being hit by a car before we adopted him eight years ago, when he was 3 or 4 (according to our vet’s estimate at the time). Someone found him, injured on the side of a road, and took him to an animal shelter. A woman who worked with my wife at the University of Minnesota at that time, foster-cared for him while he was healing from his injuries and fell in love with him, but her husband wouldn’t let her keep him, so she asked us if we would consider adopting him. That was one of the best decisions we ever made.
Each time, Max did something to hurt his back while we were out somewhere, and each time, he was in so much excrutiating pain that I thought we might have to have him put to sleep, to put him out of his misery.
Fortunately, both times, it turned out that all he needed was a very strong pain medication and lots and lots of rest for several days.
Also fortunately, even though it took about a month for his back to heal each time, after that month, he would be completely back to normal, with no apparent residual pain, loss of motion or loss of enthusiasm.
Until the next time he would mysteriously hurt it.
Regular readers of this Journal know what I think of our wonderful next-door neighbors, Mike and Annamarie. We’ve been through a lot together, and have always been there for each other for more than four years. I think of them as family.
Annamarie has a real heart for animals. She fostered many dogs before she met Mike, and the two of them have fostered several more since they became a couple, including Scooter. One of the things that they sometimes give to older dogs is Anicare Glucosamine Glide 50001, a cherry flavored liquid. Just one ounce of that stuff contains almost 3 1/2 times as much glucosamine and as much chondroitin and MSM as a daily dose of the glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM pills that my wife takes every day.
Here’s what’s in each ounce of Glucosamine Glide 5000:
- Glucosamine Sulfate: 5000 mg
- MSM: 1500 mg
- Chondroitin Sulfate: 1200 mg
- Vitamin C (buffered Ascorbate): 1250 mg
- Perna Mussel: 1200 mg
- Boswelia: 50 mg
- Sea Cucumber: 50 mg
- Tumeric: 50 mg
- Hyaluronic Acid: 50 mg
- Hydrolyzed Collagen II: 25 mg
- Bromelain: 25 mg
- Papain: 25 mg
Here’s what it says it will do:
- Maximize Performance
- Thickens Joint Synovial Fluids
- Helps Prevent Stiffness
- Strengthens Muscles
- Strengthens Ligaments
- Strengthens Tendons
- Reduces Joint Friction
A couple of days ago, it was Annamarie who suggested that we might want to give some of it to Max.
Of course! What an incredible idea! Why didn’t I think of that?
So, yesterday, Annamarie gave me a nearly empty jug of it to take to my vet, to see what he thinks of it. One of his technicians called me a few hours later to say that he thinks that it would be very helpful for Max to take it every day — and since it is so strong and he only weighs 10 pounds, the proper dose for Max is only 1/2 teaspoon of it each day. But he also said that it certainly wouldn’t hurt Max, and could possibly help him even more, if he were to take more of it.
That was great news for my wife and me — and for Max, too. Instead of 1/2 teaspoon every day, I’m going to give him at least 1/2 teaspoon of it twice every day, at his two normal mealtimes. I gave him 1/2 teaspoon of it last night and another 1/2 teaspoon of it this morning, and he absolutely loves it! Although a gallon of Max’s cherry stuff isn’t cheap, I consider it to be very cheap insurance because an antire year of cherry stuff costs just a tiny fraction of what each of Max’s back injuries have cost in the past.
UPDATE, November 3, 2009: After the last time that he hurt his back, it took about a month for Max to recover to where he could run, jump, and sit up on his haunches and “wave” at us with his front paws. For more than a year, he has loved taking 1/2 TABLESPOON of his “cherry stuff” every morning before breakfast and again every evening before supper. I know it’s way more than he needs to take, but I’m just making sure that he’s getting as much as his little body can possibly use.
During the first month or so of taking it every day, his entire back — from his shoulders to his hips — permanently grew almost 1/2-inch wider, and he gained more than 1/2 pound, even though, underneath, his little tummy stayed just as flat as it had always been.
I’m sure that’s because his cherry stuff did its job and made his back a lot stronger.
It’s been more than a year since I first wrote this Journal post. Max is about 13 years old now, and we’ve had him for 9 years. But even though he’s very much a senior dog, he still jumps and runs around and is still just as active as he was when he was a youngster.
And he hasn’t had any more back trouble!
UPDATE, September 13, 2010: Dawn’s comment (#3) below reminded me that now Max has been taking his cherry stuff every day for more than TWO years! His tan muzzle, paws and eyebrows are a lot whiter today than they were two years ago when I took his photo (below), but he’s still just as happy, healthy and active as he was back then — and he still hasn’t had any more back trouble!
UPDATE, September 30, 2010: Pet & Kennel Supply has added a link to this story to their Glucosamine Glide 5000 Web page.
1NOTE: As described above, you can order Anicare Glucosamine Glide 5000 from Pet and Kennel Supply, and they will ship it to you from their store in Abilene, Kansas — or, for a few dollars more, you can order it directly from the supplier, Anicare Animal Supply, LLC, and they will ship it to you from their store in Longwood, Florida. Or, if you’re in Abilene, Kansas or Longwood, Florida, you can save yourself the shipping time and cost by going to either store and buying it in person.
Update, March 2, 2013: Max’s happy, healthy life lasted more than 16 years — until 8:30 AM this morning — and, in all that time, he never had any more back trouble.
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