Dasuquin for Cats: Uses, Dosage, & Side Effects

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Cat with arthritis comfortably resting on a doormat

Dasuquin is a joint supplement formulated for cats with degenerative joint disease. It contains a unique formula to help promote joint health and is available in soft chews or capsules that can be given whole or sprinkled. In this article, find out how Dasuquin works, the dose for cats, and any potential side effects.

Dasuquin for Cats Overview

Medication Type:
Joint supplement available from veterinarians
Medication Form:
Soft chews or capsules (that can be sprinkled onto food)
Brand Names:
Dasuquin Sprinkle Capsules for Cats, Dasuquin Advanced Sprinkle Capsules for Cats, Dasuquin Soft Chews For Cats
Glucosamine HCL, sodium chondroitin sulfate, avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU), boswellia serrata extract, decaffeinated green tea extract, manganese (advanced formula), omega-3 fatty acids (soft chews formula)
Promotes cat's joint health by stimulating production of cartilage matrix while inhibiting cartilage breakdown
Available Dosages:
Dasuquin is available in one size for cats, with different dosages based on weight
Potential Side Effects:
No known side effects
No known contraindications but discuss with your vet before using Dasuquin, particularly if your cat is already on supplements or a specific diet

About Dasuquin for Cats

Dasuquin is a long-term supplement available from veterinary clinics for cats and dogs. It’s made by the supplement company Nutramax Laboratories (United States) or Protexin Veterinary (United Kingdom and Ireland).

Dasuquin is designed for cats that have degenerative joint disease, also known as arthritis. Arthritis occurs when the cartilage in the joint has been worn away leading to chronic pain and discomfort for cats. This can be debilitating and lead to a poor quality of life.

There are many treatments on the market for pet’s joints, including many oral joint health supplements. They may be used for aging cats or for mild joint disease. They may also be used as part of a multi-modal treatment plan in moderate-severe joint disease along with anti-inflammatory medications or pain killers. Joint supplements usually contain chondroitin and glucosamine, and might also include omega fatty acids.

Dasuquin is just one joint health brands. It differs from other supplements in that it has a unique formulation of 125 milligrams glucosamine hydrochloride, 100 milligrams sodium chondroitin sulfate and 25 milligrams avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU). But what does this proprietary blend of ingredients do?

According to the company information, glucosamine provides vital components of cartilage structure and supports a smooth cartilage surface. Chrondroitin is needed to keep cartilage strong and healthy, and ASU helps to support joint function and the normal function of cartilage cells.

This review reports that ASU helps to boost the pain relief already provided from the combination of glucosamine hydrochloride and chrondroitin sulfate supplements, making Dasuquin stand out from other supplements.

These effects would certainly help to reduce pain and improve quality of life for cats with degenerative joint disease. Arthritis occurs when cartilage wears away and joints become very painful as a result. It makes sense that preserving cartilage integrity and supporting cartilage health might help to prevent and treat arthritis.

However, the evidence supporting joint supplements can be conflicting. For example, in this 2021 clinical trial there was no major difference noted between the Dasuquin treated group and the placebo group.

There were some factors that might have contributed to this, such as a placebo effect and a shorter trial period. Despite the lack of evidence for use of joint supplements in cats, many owners notice an improvement when their cat is on a joint supplement.

Personally, I always recommend a joint supplement in any arthritis treatment plan as they’re generally very safe to use and might help to alleviate symptoms.

Dasuquin Dose for Cats

For the first four to six weeks, cats are on a higher daily dose of Dasuquin. This is called the loading period. After that, cats enter the maintenance period, which requires half the dose or every other day dosing.

Dosages depend on your cat’s weight:

  • Cats that weigh less than 4.5 kilograms (10 pounds) require 1 capsule daily for the loading period. This is reduced to 1 capsule every other day in the maintenance period.
  • Cats that weigh more than 4.5 kilograms (10 pounds) require a maximum of 2 capsules daily for the loading period which is then reduced to 1 capsule daily for maintenance level.

Always follow the advice of your veterinarian when dosing your cat with Dasuquin, and ensure that your cat has been weighed recently in order to dose them accurately.

How to Administer Dasuquin to Cats

Scottish Fold cat indulging in soft wet cat food, savoring each bite with evident enjoyment and satisfaction

Dasuquin capsules can be opened up and sprinkled into your cat’s food.

Dasuquin comes in soft chew form or capsules. Your cat might eat the soft chews readily, especially if they’re a fan of treats. If not, the capsule is another option. You can administer capsules whole or sprinkle the powder contents of the capsule into food. Use some of your cat’s favorite wet food to hide the tasty sprinkle capsules.

We have some tips on the best food to hide medication in. Read more here.

Side Effects of Dasuquin for Cats

Dasuquin has no known side effects or adverse effects. It appears to be very well tolerated in cats.

However, it’s worth noting that any new food, medication or supplement has the potential to cause an allergic reaction or tummy upset (vomiting, diarrhea, or change in appetite). Monitor your feline friend closely whenever you introduce something new to their diet and contact your vet if you’re concerned. They will contact the drug representative with any noted side effects.

Overdose and Emergencies

There is no evidence of overdoses with Dasuquin; it is a very safe supplement to give. However, if you have any concern that your cat has overdosed on Dasuquin call your emergency veterinarian straight away. You can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435) or Pet Poison Helpline (1-855-764-7661) for more information.

Potential Drug Interactions With Dasuquin

There are no known drug interactions with Dasuquin and other medications. Before starting Dasuquin, always check with your veterinarian to see if this is an appropriate supplement for your cat’s case. This is especially relevant if your cat is already on a joint supplement and you’re looking to change supplements. Your vet will advise you on what to give your cat.

How to Store Dasuquin

Dasuquin should be stored in a child-proof container, in a cool dry area. Avoid freezing temperatures and direct sunlight. Keep it out of reach of children.

Don’t use Dasuquin that has passed its “best before” date and always replace the lid after use.

Final Thoughts

Persian cat energetically playing with a toy on a cat tower

Though scientific evidence is mixed, many cat owners report that their cat seems to show improvement when taking Dasuquin.

Dasuquin is a commonly used joint supplement available for cats that are aging or have signs of degenerative joint disease (arthritis). It can be purchased from small animal veterinarians and requires daily dosing.

Although evidence is lacking in regards to animal supplements, Dasuquin has a promising combination of supplements that aim to promote joint health support, and it has no known side effects.

An individual pet’s needs vary, but Dasuquin might well help in cases of arthritis to support healthy joints. If anything, it certainly won’t do any harm. Always check with your veterinarian before you start a new supplement to ensure that it is suitable for your cat’s case.

Drug Dosing Disclaimer: We are only able to provide doses for medications that are FDA approved for use in cats and only as the label guidelines dictate. For medications that are used off-label we can only provide guidelines and safety information for use. Safe and appropriate dosing for off-label medications can only be determined by a primary care veterinarian.

We encourage you to work with your veterinarian to determine if a particular medication is appropriate for your cat. Changing or adjusting a dose for your cat on your own without consulting with a veterinarian can carry risk. We do not encourage use of medications prescribed for human use in pets without first consulting with a primary care veterinarian.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dasuquin safe for cats?

Yes, Dasuquin is safe and there are no known side effects or drug interactions. If you’re worried about the safety of Dasuquin, discuss it with your vet.

What if I miss a dose of Dasuquin? 

Missing a dose of Dasuquin is nothing to worry about. If it’s just an hour or so late, you can still give the dose. Alternatively, if it’s too late, start again at the next dosing time and give the usual dose, don’t be tempted to double up.

How long can cats take Dasuquin? 

Healthy cats can take Dasuquin as a long-term supplement to promote joint health.

How long does it take for Dasuquin to work in cats?

Dasuquin has a loading period of four to six weeks with a maintenance period for long term use after that. It’s advisable to wait for the loading period of four to six weeks before assessing if your cat has responded to the supplement.

Should cats take Dasuquin with food? 

It’s not necessary to give Dasuquin with food but it will be easier to administer the supplement to your cat with food. Sprinkle the contents of the capsules into wet cat food to disguise it.

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About Dr. Aisling O'Keeffe MVB CertSAM ISFMAdvCertFB MRCVS

Aisling qualified from University College Dublin as a veterinarian in 2015 and went on to work in a mixture of small animal hospitals here and in the UK, including a cat-only veterinary clinic where she currently works. She has completed a postgraduate certificate in Small Animal Medicine and the International Society of Feline Medicine's postgraduate certificate in Advanced Feline Behaviour. She wrote a children's book called 'Minding Mittens', which aims to educate children on cat behaviour and care. Aisling featured on the RTE tv series 'Cat Hospital'. She is a Fear Free certified vet, which aims to make vet visits as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. In her spare time, she enjoys looking after her pets, which includes 4 felines.