Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a naturally occurring compound and popular dietary supplement used both for people and animals.  As we age, the amount of MSM the body produces decreases, therefore supplementation is useful. MSM has many helpful properties with improvement of pain and inflammation being the most significant. The supplement is well tolerated and has been shown to be safe in dogs.

 – Anti-inflammatory

    • Acts as an anti-inflammatory by regulating proteins in the body that control inflammation and the way our immune system responds
    • Treats or prevents arthritis and is commonly together in a joint supplement with glucosamine and chondroitin
    • Also has shown to help with inflammation of the large intestine, lungs and liver

– Helps with joint and muscle pain

    • Decreases the breakdown of the natural cartilage needed to keep joints healthy
    • Reduces muscle soreness associated with exercise
    • Improves range of motion and helps repair the connective tissue surrounding muscles
    • Relieves pain associated with common orthopedic conditions in dogs such as arthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as other joint problems

– Anti-oxidant

    • The natural molecules help to eliminate free radicals (molecules that can damage cells, proteins and DNA)
    • Antioxidants work by initiating reactions that do not allow these free radicals to damage cells
    • The natural properties may prevent or delay some types of cell damage that lead to many disease processes

– Immune system support

    • Has been used together with other medications to treat a serious autoimmune kidney disease which can cause kidney failure (Protein-Losing Nephropathy)
    • Autoimmune diseases that cause swelling of joints has been treated with MSM (Immune Mediated Polyarthritis and Shar Pei Fever)

– Helps maintain healthy hair coat and skin

    • Has been shown to be helpful to manage allergic skin disease which is very common in dogs

– New area of research shows that MSM may have an anti-cancer effect

Resources:

  • Acierno, Mark. “Protein-Losing Nephropathy”. Pacific Veterinary Conference. Veterinary Information Network, 2017.

  • Bartges, Joe. “When More is Needed: Nutraceuticals”. Pacific Veterinary Conference. Veterinary Information Network, 2015.

  • Brunker, Jill. Protein-Losing Nephropathy. Emergency Medicine Compendium. vol. 27, no. 9. Sept 2005.  

  • Butawan, Matthew, et al. “Methylsulfonylmethane: Applications and Safety of a Novel Dietary Supplement”. Nutrients. vol. 9, no. 3. Mar 2017 (290).

  • Dodds, Jeans. “Alternative Therapies for Pain Management”. Veterinary Medicine Club Symposium, Veterinary Information Network, 2013.

  • Mackin, Andrew. “Immune-Mediated Polyarthritis”. Pacific Veterinary Conference. Veterinary Information Network, 2016.

  • Wright, Bonnie. “Natural Drugs for Your Pain Management Toolbox”. International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium. Veterinary Information Network, 2017.

About Author: Dr. Leah Cowburn

Dr. Leah Cowburn is a graduate of Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed a post-graduate internship and worked as an emergency veterinarian at one of the largest emergency/specialty hospitals in the country. Leah now works in private practice in Maryland that is dedicated to community outreach for an underserved community. She has a special interest in pain management, quality of life, alternative and physical therapy and is currently being certified as a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner through the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

   
   
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