The Fan Hitch Volume 5, Number 3, June 2003

Newsletter of the Inuit Sled Dog

Table of Contents

Editorial: …of Philosophers, Dogs and History
Featured Inuit Dog Owner: Ken MacRury, Part 1
Remembering Niya
Page from the Behaviour Notebook: Bishop and Tunaq
Antarctic Vignettes
On Managing ISD Aggression
The Qitdlarssuaq Chronicles, Part 3
News Briefs:
Inuit Dog Thesis Back in Print
Nunavut Quest 2003 Report
Article in Mushing Magazine
Possible Smithsonian Magazine Story
Product Review: Dismutase
Tip for the Trail: Insect Repellents
Book Review: The New Guide to Breeding 
Old Fashioned Working Dogs
Video Review: Stonington Island, Antarctica 1957-58
IMHO: The Slippery Slope

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Index of back issues by volume number

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Ordering Ken MacRury's Thesis

Our comprehensive list of resources

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Editor's/Publisher's Statement
Editor: Sue Hamilton
Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at:

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The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog.
Product Review...

Dismutase by Biovet International

reviewed by Sue Hamilton

There are a lot of joint health preparations for dogs on the market today. From liquids to solids, granular to chewable tablets to even wee bone-shaped "treats", these are for the most part made up of various concentrations of collagen-mucopolysaccharide complex (from shark cartilage), glucosamine sulfate, perna mussel, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), along with various additives such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and bromelain (designed to hydrolyse protein and aid in the absorption of the other nutrients). With this variety of ingredients, their varying concentrations and dosages (loading doses then maintenance rates), it is a challenge to figure out which one would be best for our dogs, as well as how to assess the cost per effective dose for these products, some of which come with a "fancy" prices. None of these items are considered "drugs". Rather they are referred to nutraceuticals - dietary supplements. Until recently their effectiveness was questioned, and I'm not sure if there is hundred percent agreement by veterinary professionals that they are equally effective or how they work. But, it is generally agreed that they do no harm, and as the old saying goes  "the proof of the pudding is in the eating". There are many users who swear by what they observe to work for their dogs.

I will confess that, coming from a medical science background, I had always been skeptical of all this non-medical treatment hocus-pocus. That began to change with my successful acupuncture treatments of a chronically painful knee. But it took a real leap of faith to accept that hydroponically grown wheat sprouts could, in just two weeks, relieve my dogs’ osteoarthritis pain. Well, the company's claim turned out not to be true - improvement was noticed in about seven days, not fourteen! That was fifteen years ago and I have never been without Biovet International's Dismutase (super oxide dismutase, a free-radical scavenger; free radicals cause inflammation) in my dog-pantry since. Often the results have been astonishing.

We even tried it on a dog we had bred, sold and then boarded when he was thirteen years old, while his owner recovered from a "valve job". Not only was this dog arthritic, but he had the misfortune to have been struck by lightening and the good fortune to have survived. He moved real weird in the front. And the back end wasn't following particularly well, either. A week after a loading dose of six tablets daily (the dog weighed about seventy-five pounds), this old timer was running around the backyard, flirting with the bitches and jumping onto and down from the top of his doghouse with grace and alacrity! That was in the Fall. The following Spring when it was time to go back [to his other] home, the owner barely recognized his dog based on his agility.

This is only one of many success stories, both in my kennel and elsewhere with owners who have used this product and then reported back to me. Although the manufacturer recommends it for more than just osteoarthritis, that's basically why I use it. In fact, if I initiate the Dismutase for a lame dog and it does not work, follow up veterinary care has shown another cause of the problem.

One advantage to Biovet International's Dismutase is the rapid response time (unlike some glucosamine products that may take up to six weeks to show improvement). And despite what is recommended on the bottle, I have had success giving the tablets with the regular meal and not thirty minutes before feeding. Also, I have had success with half the loading and maintenance doses than those currently recommended by the manufacturer: for a sixty to eighty pound dog, six tablets once daily until improvement is noticed (usually in about seven days) and then three tablets daily thereafter. More tablets can be given if necessary. The retail single bottle price of 500 tablets (also comes in 200s as well as in granular form and chewables) is about $65.95 U.S.  Some resellers may charge less and, depending where you buy in bulk (eight to twelve bottles), you can usually cut a deal for considerable savings. For more information about the use of Biovet International's Dismutase, feel free to contact me (see Editor's/Publisher's statement). For free fifty-tablet samples (be sure to ask for two bottles per dog for an adequate trial) and for where to buy, contact Biovet International directly at:
5152 Bolsa Ave. Suite 101
Huntington Beach, CA 92649

Ph: (714) 899-3477
Fax: (714) 899-0078

Please remember, there are many causes of lameness. This product review is not intended to bypass or be a substitute for sound veterinary advice and a treatment plan based on a professional hands-on examination of your dog to diagnose the presence of osteoarthritis. 

Got a tip you'd like to share? Email it to or snail-mail it to Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Road, Harwinton, CT 06791, USA.

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