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Ingredient Spotlight: Green Lipped Mussels

Does your dog struggle to get up the stairs? Has she stopped chasing the ball the way she used to? Does he often seem stiff and sore? Do you sometimes hear him whining during walks? 

Behaviors like these are often signs of arthritis, which can occur in dogs of all ages. But your dog doesn’t have to suffer. When joint pain gets in the way of your dog's quality of life, adding a natural anti-inflammatory like Green Lipped Mussel for dogs can help put the pep back in your pup’s step.


Osteoarthritis in Dogs

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic joint disease that effects about one-quarter of all dogs. Aside from joint and limb pain, it also causes limited mobility, sometimes to the point of complete loss of the use of either a dog's front or back legs.

Ever see an older dog struggle to get up after lying down for a while? There’s a good chance that dog has some form of osteoarthritis.

OA is usually a byproduct of another orthopedic disease, like hip or elbow dysplasia. But it can also occur in older dogs. Large breed or obese dogs, those that get little to no exercise, and those who have lived most of their life on a poor diet are most at risk for age-related arthritis.

Several treatment options are available for dogs with OA, including adding a joint supplement to their daily routine. These supplements feature natural anti-inflammatory ingredients that can reduce their suffering. In a previous blog post, we talked about the benefits of turmeric. Here, we explore Green Lipped Mussel benefits.


Benefits of Green Lipped Mussel for Dogs

When it comes to anti-inflammatory properties, Green Lipped Mussels are a superfood. Found only in New Zealand, they're packed with omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin, zinc, and magnesium.

Talk about inflammation-busting!

But that's not all. It's also got a rare but powerful anti-inflammatory compound called eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA).

With so many anti-inflammatory ingredients, Green Lipped Mussels are a potent tool for dog owners with pups suffering from osteoarthritis.

The proof is in the research.

In a 2002 study, 35% of 17 dogs given Green Lipped Mussel-based semi-moist treats showed a 30% or greater reduction in total arthritic scores. Even better? Seven dogs (41%) showed a 40% or greater improvement and two dogs (12%) showed a 50% or greater improvement.

In 2006, the “Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research” published a study that showed dogs fed Green Lipped Mussels showed greater concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in their systems. They also displayed an improvement in gait assessments between days 30 and 90 of the trial.

Researchers found yet more evidence of the benefits of Green Lipped Mussel for dogs in a 2018 review of veterinary trials. With one exception, the studies "provide evidence on the beneficial effects of GSM extracts for alleviating symptoms of osteoarthritis,” the authors wrote.

Green Lipped Mussel supplements for dogs are most effective when combined with other treatments. When used alone, they can provide some relief but will not completely reduce your dog’s pain.

In a 2007 study, 45 dogs with chronic pain and a diagnosis of OA were divided into three groups. One group received a prescription pain medicine. One received Green Lipped Mussel extract. The third group received a placebo. The group receiving the prescription medicine showed the most improvement. But, more importantly, dogs receiving Green Lipped Mussel extract showed greater reduction in pain than those getting the placebo.


Veterinary Formula Clinical Care & Green Lipped Mussels

At Veterinary Formula Clinical Care, we include Green Lipped Mussel for dogs in two of our products: Ultimate Joint Health and Senior Support.

Our Ultimate Joint Health chews feature a combination of Green Lipped Mussel extract and other high-performing ingredients like wild Alaskan salmon oil, turmeric, and hyaluronic acid to create a powerful anti-inflammatory.

In our Senior Support once-a-day chews, we combine a Green Lipped Mussel supplement with other anti-inflammatories, as well as immune boosters like agave inulin and vitamins C and E.

A quick note on timing. According to PETVET Magazine, it takes four to six weeks for the omega-3 fatty acids in Green Lipped Mussels to be absorbed into your dog’s joint tissue. It’s around this time that you should start noticing improvements in your dog’s mobility and level of pain.