Glucosamine (GS) is commonly administered as a nutritional supplement to support joint function. Although many supplements are available, the effect of formulation on oral absorption in dogs is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the relative bioavailability of GS for liquid, chewable, and tablet formulations containing GS sulfate or hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate. In a randomized cross-over design, supplements were administered daily for 8 days with a 1 wk washout period between treatments. Liquid or Tablet A was administered to four dogs, whereas Liquid or Tablet B was administered to four additional dogs. When nutraceutical exposure was normalized to the administered dose of GS free base, similar relative bioavailabilities were determined for all three formulations. However, the dose-normalized maximum plasma GS concentration was higher for the liquid supplement (5.5 ± 0.5 μg/mL) than for the two tablets (3.1 ± 0.6 and 2.1 ± 0.6 μg/mL, P < 0.001). Similarly, the time at which maximal plasma GS concentrations occurred was shorter for the liquid formulation (0.7 ± 0.5 hr) than for the two tablets (4.2 ± 0.6 and 5.0 ± 0.6 hr, P < 0.001). These data show that the formulation of joint supplements affects the oral absorption of GS in dogs.

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