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UPDATE Question for the vets here

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UPDATE Question for the vets here

Postby Danibeth » August 4th, 2017, 8:40 am

I saw this posted on another gundog website and I thought I'd post here. Have any of y'all seen this article or anything similar? Had any experience with L-Carnitine as a supplement? I can probably get the info of the study and what volume and pages the study was published in if you want me to, though I won't be able to get the entire article I'm sure.

A new study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science has shown that by adding L-Carnitine (an amino acid) to the diet of our dogs will help prevent the loss of muscle in older dogs and will also cause an increase in muscle mass in otherwise healthy dogs.
Almost all dogs (especially Labs) exhibit a loss of thigh muscle as they age, and here is the "fix".
Here are some key points from the article.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A recent study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science suggests that supplemental L-carnitine (an amino acid) is beneficial to both performance and recovery in working dogs, and contributes to a higher percentage of lean muscle mass, enhanced muscle recovery and less oxidative stress during vigorous exercise.
96 dogs were in this study. In the experiments the dogs were divided into two groups. All the dogs were fed a low L-carnitine commercial diet, but one group was supplemented with 250 mg/day of L-carnitine powder for up to 14 weeks; the other dogs (the control group) did not receive the supplement.
The study authors observed that the dogs whose diets were supplemented with L-carnitine were “significantly more active” than the control group during both sprints and endurance runs.
The supplemented dogs gained 0.74 kg (about 1.63 pounds) in total body weight during the study, while the control group lost 0.12 kg (about a quarter of a pound). The weight gain was the result of an increase in lean mass of 0.68 kg. The control dogs lost an average of 0.41 kg of lean mass, even though they were eating the same amount of calories as the supplemented dogs.

The L-carnitine dogs also had a significantly lower level of creatine kinase, which is a marker for muscle damage. Plasma myoglobin, which is another indicator of muscle damage, was also much lower in the supplemented dogs, both an hour after a run, and 24 hours later. Oxidative stress was also improved in the L-carnitine dogs, who had significant decreases in thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), and significant increases in total antioxidant capacity. The study authors concluded:

“Supplementing L-carnitine had positive benefits in Labrador retrievers for activity intensity, body composition, muscle recovery and oxidative capacity.”

The first experiment evaluated 56 dogs who completed one endurance run and two sprint runs per week. The second experiment included 40 dogs who completed two endurance runs per week. The researchers analyzed the dogs’ performance with running programs, activity monitoring measured by accelerometer collars, body composition scans and evaluation of muscle recovery using biomarkers.


Last edited by Danibeth on September 19th, 2017, 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question for the vets here

Postby silverking » August 4th, 2017, 9:26 am

This is a good topic for our resident vets, Salty Gator and One Fish Two Fish. Hopefully one or both will chime in.
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Re: Question for the vets here

Postby SHOWBOAT » August 4th, 2017, 11:00 am

looking forward to the input.

Not familiar with this supplement, but Boo is currently getting some Cosequin DS tablets with his food and the occasional Adequan injection. Adequan has been a fountain of youth thus far!
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Re: Question for the vets here

Postby Salty Gator » August 4th, 2017, 2:04 pm

I'll need to take a look at that study. It needs to be a peer reviewed study or it is not considered relevant. If it's not peer reviewed, you can "massage"your data and conclude whatever fits your hypothesis. Most are using carnitine for dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. It's not as essential amino acid as the body makes it. Another thing about nutraceuticals, they are not FDA regulated, so most of the products on the market probably have very little or no carnitine at all. I'll see if I can find the study and review it, but I was hoping to have the weekend off :wink:
Also, Brian, glad to hear adequan is working so well, I've never heard it called fountain of youth. And I haven't seen results like that. Usually it's a long term thing because what it does is helps rebuild cartilage. But glad you are seeing an immediate response. Did you notice that much improvement Dannibeth?
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Re: Question for the vets here

Postby Juan » August 4th, 2017, 2:53 pm

Interesting! If that stuff actually works would rebuilding muscle mass be beneficial in treating arthritis in labs?
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Re: Question for the vets here

Postby JIm Smith » August 4th, 2017, 3:36 pm

How about treating arthritis in my sholder
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Re: Question for the vets here

Postby SHOWBOAT » August 4th, 2017, 4:36 pm

I initially got a series of 8 injections, twice weekly for 4 weeks. I joked about quitting after administering the fist 6 b/c he was acting like a puppy. Apparently being lethargic was Boo's way of showing pain, and I had no idea I would see him that energetic again. That was Feb/March, and I given him two "boosters" since; once after a long Memorial Day weekend and the beach and another prior to some hiking on our trip to Asheville.

For those who don't know him, Boo is my chocolate lab that will be 11 in September.
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Re: Question for the vets here

Postby Salty Gator » August 4th, 2017, 4:40 pm

From the brief glance I took, it looks like they are targeting the atrophy labs ( and other big dogs) get in their hind limbs that makes them weaker. The signs are similar to arthritis ( hard to get up and down, falling) but are a result of weakening nerves to the area. I don't think it does anything for arthritis, but dogs with atrophy and arthritis have worse clinical signs and are often euthanized because they eventually become unable to get up and walk and eventually will urinate and defecate on their bedding and themselves. It would be AWESOME if there is something that will help with that.
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Re: Question for the vets here

Postby Danibeth » August 4th, 2017, 9:39 pm

What I am specifically interested in is the atrophy in the dogs' muscles and if that supplement will actually help to slow that or reverse it. I don't expect my dogs to start looking like AHHHHNOLD in his glory days, but Drake (my 10 year old black lab, for those who are reading and are interested) has had a great deal of muscle loss since he started getting older. More so than his half brother did at the same age. Kenz (my tolling retriever and he's somewhere around 13 years old), despite his pretty bad hip arthritis seems to be doing fairly well with the metacam and since B (the setter puppy) came into his life, he's been a lot bouncier and a happier dog. It warms my heart to see him so happy and we've joked that Kenz will probably out live us all cuz for an old fart he's doing pretty dang good. But he too has had a great deal of atrophy in his hindquarters and couple that with arthritis, it makes getting up and down for him difficult sometimes. So if there was something that I could give that would slow that down or even reverse it some that would be nice since both boys are doing pretty well otherwise. Which is why I'm so interested in this study and the vets' take on it.

With the Adequan and Drake, I noticed a VERY pronounced change him when he was getting the build up doses. His elbow didn't seem to bother him all that much. He's been on a once a month maintenance shot for I guess about a year now and lately you can definitely tell when it's time to give him another shot. I'm going to start giving him a shot once every three weeks to see if that helps him and keeps him from having his elbow bother him so much towards the end of the "shot life". But he did very well on the initial set of shots (not quite the fountain of youth but definite relief from the achiness) and it seemed to last a good while, though I can't recall how long. Shortly after he finished with the initial round of shots, he spent two months in Montana hunting. I got to hunt with him after he'd been out there for about six weeks and he seemed to be holding up well, but I could definitely tell he's getting old and his days of hunting all day multiple days in a row and miles and miles a day are coming to an end. Though he's always game to go. But it was nice to see that his elbow, even after six weeks of hunting was not bothering him as much as I thought it might. Steve said the he thinks given the amount of hunting he had been doing, the shots helped him a lot. So perhaps when he's hunting hard and heavy, he'll get a shot every other week. Then when he's not, try the every 3rd week regimen.

I need to get some more of the adequan so I'm gonna give the office a call to get an order of the generic and when I start giving him that, I'll let you know how I think he does with it.

Thanks for taking the time to review this and give your opinions...

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Re: UPDATE Question for the vets here

Postby Danibeth » September 19th, 2017, 9:00 am

Salty Gator...sent you a PM but for whatever reason, I can't make it leave my outbox...I seem to be a bit challenged in that regard....this was the jist of it though

I thought I'd drop a line and let you know I put both my boys on the L-Carnitine supplement starting last month. I don't know that I've really noticed that much of a difference in Drake since Drake's issues seem to be more structural than structural and major muscle loss like Kenzie, but there has been a HUGE difference in Kenzie and how much easier he moves and gets up and the time he spends playing. He is still kind of achy of course from arthritis but he is having a much easier time getting up and moving around. I mention that because I saw this posted on Upland Journal Forums and I thought you might also find this interesting. DocE is another vet if I'm remembering correctly. I know you mentioned that the study that I had posted seemed to have positive indications for helping dogs with hip arthritis and muscle loss as many dogs get put down because they just can't get up anymore. I have feared, and still do, that at some point Kenzie would be in that group especially since I was noticing he was having a harder and harder time getting up and he was spending less and less time moving around. He would just look at us if we went out in the front yard and lay on his bed more times than he would join us. If he did go out, he would explore around the front yard for a little bit, maybe chase a dummy or two and then go lay down and not get up again until we went inside. I started giving him approximately 250mg of L-Carnitine (dosage that was used in the study and both boys are getting it) and it has made a huge difference in how easy he gets up and moves around and how much he plays. He is bouncy again and wants to wrestle with other dogs again. He has been actively coming to me to want to play and has been doing his best to get Drake to wrestle with him. I've got to watch him a lot more now when we're out in the front yard cuz he will try to sneak off to go visit the neighbors if he gets the chance. He doesn't seem to get as tired in the evenings if we go for our walks down the street.

I didn't think to measure thigh girth when I started giving the boys the L-Carnitine so I can't really give you any numbers but there is a huge change in activity level with Kenzie.

http://uplandjournal.ipbhost.com/topic/ ... -feedback/
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Re: UPDATE Question for the vets here

Postby Salty Gator » September 19th, 2017, 4:42 pm

That's great Dannibeth
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Re: UPDATE Question for the vets here

Postby Danibeth » December 4th, 2017, 3:40 pm

Here's another update on the L-Carnitine for those that have been interested:

I started both boys (lab 10 YO and a toller 13 YO) on L-Carnitine in mid-late august. Approx 250 mg each. It has a bit of a bitter taste so I add it at dinner time when they get a bit of wet food added to their dry food.

13 YO: arthritic, was having a lot of trouble getting up and sometimes staying up before starting the L-Carnitine. It has really helped him in staying up and being able to move around more. He is still very achy but he doesn't take nearly as long to get up and he can stay up and can move around longer and isn't shaky about it like he was. He wants to play a lot more and he will wrestle with my buddy's 1.5 YO English Setter a whole lot more than he did prior to starting it. He struggles far less in jumping into the truck or onto the bed (and he goes crazy if you try to help him in the truck...always has...and I'm not sure that he'd use a ramp), in fact he jumps into both considerably better now than he has had in the last year and a half or so prior to starting the L-carnitne.

10 YO: somewhat arthritic but still very athletic. I hunt him as often as I can on whatever I can and when I can't he wants to fetch until the world ends. Last year he spent about 2 months in MT and he would hunt hard for a morning and then he'd rest that afternoon, the next morning and then he'd hunt the afternoon. He wanted to go but getting left behind in the morning didn't seem to break his heart. Over the winter through duck and woodcock season, it was becoming a worry on if he'd get to go to MT this year for the whole time because his elbow and shoulder seem to really bother him after a hard hunt. After starting him on the L-Carnitine, I really didn't notice anything until we did get to MT. We didn't get to MT this year until about Oct 15 (almost a month later than normal...thanks Irma) and when we started hunting, that's when I saw the difference the L-Carnitine made in him. He is still achy and arthritic but his recovery time was what really changed for him. He could hunt hard though thick, thick cattail sloughs doing 7 to 9 miles in an afternoon and then the next morning he was back to being BOUNCY wanting to go, even at the end of 2 weeks of hunting every day. Leaving him behind really would have broken his heart this season. He's not the speed demon that he was when he was younger and at the end of the day if we hunted hard, he is definitely worn out and achy but the next day he has been raring to go again.

I don't have any "hard" data on this stuff, but at least for my boys, it has made a world of difference in different ways.
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Re: UPDATE Question for the vets here

Postby rockyg » December 4th, 2017, 4:37 pm

Does it work for "somewhat arthritic but still not very athletic older men" cause I need some bad...... :lol:

Hook me up Salty Gator. :thumbup:
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Re: UPDATE Question for the vets here

Postby Danibeth » December 5th, 2017, 11:29 am

hahahaha you're welcome to try it....I get the stuff off of amazon
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