MSM is a sulfur compound that has a vitamin-like normalizing function on the body. MSM is an antioxidant, cell rejuvenator, and joint healer. It is being used more and more commonly as one of the various joint supplements for dogs. It is believed to be able to prevent and treat dogs with arthritis.
MSM (Methyl-sulfonyl-methane) is a naturally-occurring form of sulfur compound that is produced by ocean planktons, and can be found naturally in foods such as cow's milk, meat, seafood (e.g. kelp), fruits, nuts, and vegetables. MSM is extremely water soluble and evaporates quickly. It is destroyed by cooking and during storage.
Sulfur is stored in almost every cell in the body. The highest concentrations are found in joints, hair, skin, and nails. Sulfur is essential to the formation of blood proteins, amino acids, conective tissue, and healthy skin.
However, as the body ages, the concentration of MSM in the body begins to decrease, so deficiencies may occur as part of the aging process. A low concentration of MSM in the body may result in both physical and psychological stress, organ and tissue malfunction and fatigue.
In the case of dogs, sulfur deficiencies will result in dull fur or skin problems, poor GI and immune systems, as well as joint pain and arthritis.
This page takes a closer look at the following topics regarding MSM for dogs:
MSM is found to be an invaluable substance that can greatly benefit our dogs (and people too!). The main functions and benefits of MSM are:
As sulfur is stored in almost all living cells, MSM is essential for maintaining and supporting healthy cells. In particular, MSM has a unique action on body tissues. It decreases the pressure inside the cell and makes the cell walls permeable, enabling water and nutrients to flow into the cells and at the same time allowing toxins to flow out. Functioned synergistically with Vitamin C, MSM enables the body to rejuvenate cells and maintain the healthy levels of cells.
MSM is also responsible for the flexible bonds between cells, including those that make up the skin. MSM enhances tissue flexibility and promotes repair of damaged skin.
MSM is an antioxidant as it helps to clean the blood stream and flush toxins from the cells. It is also a "scavenger" of foreign protein and free radicals. As mentioned above, MSM makes the cell walls permeable. When skin cells are permeable, many toxins can be eliminated through the skin, easing the burden on the liver and kidneys. While MSM itself is not a cure for allergies, it may help reduce symptoms by allowing allergens to be removed from the body more quickly.
Most of the total body sulfur is stored in the muscles, skin, hair, and bones. One of the most important functions of MSM is its effectiveness to relieve pain and inflammation. When rigid fibrous tissue cells (such as joint cells) swell and become inflamed, pressure and pain result. Since MSM can restore flexibility and permeability to cell walls, fluids can pass through the tissues more easily. This helps equalize pressure and reduce or even eliminate the cause of pain resulting from inflammation.
MSM supplements are mainly given to dogs for:
Although not widely used on dogs, MSM actually has amazing anti-parasitic action against Giardia, roundworms, and other intestinal worms. MSM blocks parasites by competing for receptor sites on the mucous membrane of the intestines. When parasites cannot attach themselves, they are simply flushed out of the system.
Generally speaking, dogs who are on a well-balanced, natural raw diet should be able to get natural MSM in every meal. However, supplemental MSM may be helpful in the treatment of the various dog health problems mentioned above. In particular, dogs who are on commercial pet food should be supplemented with MSM since MSM is easily destroyed by cooking and during storage.
Dosage is about 50 to 100 mg per 10 pounds of body weight. MSM powder can be mixed in with food. Supplements of MSM are also available in capsules.
MSM has been used for several years to treat dogs (mainly for arthritis); no side-effects have been found.