Author Topic: Can glucosamine cause constipation?  (Read 2604 times)

Offline JessL

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Can glucosamine cause constipation?
« on: August 07, 2007, 09:19:48 PM »
This explanation may get a tad winded but I'll try to keep it concise.

My cats have pretty much been on dry food all their life (except for just recently).  Earlier this year Roscoe, my old guy, has gotten really stiff...and while he's always been a bit talkative (he'll meow before jumping up on something), he started sounding a bit more pained in his meows, especially when he rolled over suddenly, and he was really stiff and slow laying down.  So I started giving him some wet food in the mornings and adding about 250 mg of glucosamine every other day.  He seemed to be doing pretty well....was still stiff, but definitely seemed less so, at least to me. 

Well at the time, the wet food I was mixing the glucosamine with was the Nutro senior pouches, which some of got recalled so I stopped giving them to him and scheduled a vet visit just to make sure he hadn't gotten sick from the bit that he had been eating (about a tablespoonful a day) and also because he really hadn't been in for a checkup in a long time.

Long story short, his bloodwork came back fine....but he was severely constipated.  She showed me the X-rays and he was backed right up, she could barely get the thermometer in to take his temperature  :(  I felt like a terrible pet owner; I had no idea he hadn't been going because he's an outdoor cat, and since it was spring he was outside quite a bit.  They kept him overnight and gave him fluids and then put him on lactalose for 10 days and gave me some Medi-Cal high fibre canned food and said keep him on that for the rest of his life.

So he'd been getting that every morning, just about a tablespoonful cause any more and he'll leave it.  In recent research on this board I've learned a bit more about a more natural diet (thanks guys!) and so my two guys are in the process of transitioning to Wellness CORE (from ProPlan senior) and they're also getting about a quarter of a 5.5 ounce can twice a day, morning and night....morning they get Merrick's and night they get Wellness. 

So I have two questions:

1) I'm sure this new diet is much better for them....they're eating way less dry food and drinking a lot more water...could the all-dry food have been a large contributor in the constipation?  He did drink a fair bit of water before (or at least some...I did see him drink fairly regularly).  I haven't bought the high-fiber food in a couple weeks because my vet is about 20 minutes away, but with him getting increased moisture, that should take away any constipation chances, right?

2) HAS anyone had any experience with glucosamine causing constipation?  It lists it as one of the side effects in general, for humans, but those are generally just warnings.  He hasn't had glucosamine for about 6 months now and I'd like to get him back on it cause he is looking stiff again.  I just want to make sure it'll be safe.  It's not a problem giving it to him, as long as I mix it into his wet food (and Nutro was great for that because of all the gravy) he just slurps it down.

Ok one more question.

Is 250 mg. every other day ok?  I thought I saw somewhere that you could give 200 or 250 mg every day....and I'd probably start him every other day just to get him used to it again, but could I give it to him every day?

Thanks if you stuck around and read all this :)  He does seem to be doing ok right now.....BF and I bought a house a month ago and the cats have been with us and they were indoor for a good while, they go out during the day now but do have a litterbox at night and had one for the first three weeks when they were straight indoor (we were unsure how outdoor-cat friendly our new neighbourhood was).  There is signs of defecation, but with two cats I can't tell who it is.  Roscoe pees a lot so I know he's getting lots of water.