Green-Lipped Mussels, Are They Strong Enough to Combat Arthritis?
There is a supplement that keeps popping up in my feed, chats, and conversations. Read on to learn about the superfood taking the pet world by storm- green shell mussels. One of the best joint supplements for your pet.
This all-natural supplement has become increasingly popular for animals with arthritis and joint pain. As an equine massage therapist and canine massage therapist I am always interested in natural ways to reduce inflammation in my clients.
What Are Green-Lipped Mussels?
The green-lipped or green shell mussel is one of the largest species of mussels. They are found off the shores of New Zealand. The native Maoris have been used these mussels since the 1970’s. Worried about the impact on our environment? Don’t. This product is eco-friendly, sustainable, and contain zero additives. The mussels grow in their natural environment.
“Perhaps the biggest environmental plus for New Zealand green lipped mussel farming is that it uses no harmful additives. Mussels are cultured on suspended long lines, instead of being dredged from the ocean floor. … Environmentally, New Zealand green lipped mussel farming is cleaner and greener than organic gardening.”- Biolane.
This shellfish is a natural anti-inflammatory because they are an excellent, natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin. According to the Arthritis Foundation:
“Mussels are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and by reducing production of leukotrienes (inflammatory molecules) and prostaglandins, may have the same anti-inflammatory effects as fish oil.”
Fish oil has long been touted by veterinarians as a natural way to reduce inflammation in animals with arthritis. But there are a few minor side effects to fish oil. Green shell muscles have no side effects (to date) as long as your pet does not have an allergy to shellfish.
Harvesting Green Shell Mussels
Mussels must be harvested and processed quickly to reap the most benefits from this superfood. Freeze drying and high heat affect the quality of the final product. During my research, I found that not all manufacturer’s are alike. One brand kept popping up- Xtend-Life Green Muscle Powder is either a genius at marketing or truly has the best quality supplement. I have not tried it, so this is purely from a research perspective.
What I liked about Xtend-Life is that they process their freshly farmed mussels into a powder supplement in only 30 minutes using low heat. It’s hard to get fresher than that.
Mussel Supplement Benefits
- Chronic lameness
- Cruciate ligament tear
- Muscular-Skeletal Conditions
My oldest dog, Gonzo, is only 5 years old, but he is extremely active. I am really considering giving both my dogs this as a supplement to help ward off joint problems as they age. Both rescue dogs are large breeds and at risk for arthritis and hip dysplasia.
How Do Green-Lipped Mussels Help Joint Pain?
As a rich source of Omega-3’s, green shell mussels reduce inflammation and as a result, relieve the associated pain.
“As the body metabolizes the natural omega-3s found in green lipped mussel oil, they go to work on restoring and soothing inflamed joints, muscles and tissues. This can cause a great deal of pain relief….”
Green-lipped mussels are an all-natural pain reliever. Click To Tweet
Green-lipped mussels are an all-natural pain reliever. While they are not a miracle cure, most animal owners have been very happy with the results and describe their horse or dog acting years younger.
Feeding Your Animal Green-Lipped Mussels
Powder is the strongest mussel extract and most effective at reducing inflammation. Sprinkling it on top of your dog’s food or horse’s grain is all that is needed. Of course the powder smells like you would think- shellfish. Be prepared.
Dosage is recommended at 15mg of powdered extract per 1 pound of pet’s body weight. As with most things start small and you can gradually increase after 4-6 weeks if needed.
There are a variety of choices available. I do like that Technyflex has a supplement line for equines, and you can find more horse supplements containing perna mussels on sites like SmarkPak.
I just ordered the Super Snout Joint Power blend for use in Gonzo and Beau’s meal once daily, so I will have an update on this soon.
There are few dog foods on the market that contain green-lipped mussels. Some brands containing this superfood may include:
- Pedigree Joint Care
- Genesis Sensitive Hip & Joint Adult Dog Food
- Royal Canin Mobility Support
At this time treats containing green-lipped mussel powder is not available for horses. But freeze-dried options are available for cats and dogs. (Keep in mind that freeze drying may affect the potency.)
- Freeze-dried whole mussels by The Honest Kitchen.
- K9 Natural Green Lipped Mussel Freeze-Dried Snacks Dog Treats
Oil and Capsules
While the powder form is the most potent, oils and capsules are also available. Many animals will not swallow a capsule, but oil directly on to food is a good option. Make sure to follow the dosage guidelines.
Conflict with Other Joint Supplements
There are limited complications and side effects using green-lipped mussels. This is something I love best about natural food sources. There are no documented side effects at this time. However, if you or your pet have a shellfish allergy, then mussels are not the right supplement for you.
Finally, green-lipped mussels are considered a super food. But they can work best when coupled with glucosamine, chondroitin, and fish oil for a supercharged effect. Make sure to check with your veterinarian before combining so you get the proper dosage.
Where Can I Buy the Supplement?
Due the recent popularity pet supply stores are increasingly carrying these in stores. However, your best chance would be to visit a holistic pet supply store or buy online directly or through a reputable site like Chewys.
- Xtend-Life Green-Lipped Mussel Powder
- Nutri Zing Green Shell Mussel Capsules for Pets
- Advanced Probiotics for Dogs Supplement Powder with Organic Turmeric and Green Lipped Mussel to Support Hip, Skin and Digestive Health
- Super Snouts Joint Power
Have you tried green shell mussels on your dog or horse? Comment your thoughts.
*Check with your veterinarian before adding a new supplement to your animals’ diet.
Both of my dogs take green lipped mussel with a lot of success. I am a firm believer in it. We currently use Super Snouts.
I’m so glad to hear it! I just bought Super Snouts and started using it.
Amy Shojai, CABC
Years ago, while researching my natural healing book, many holistic vets recommended green-lipped muscles for dogs (and cats). For some products, they have the added benefit of “smelling fishy” which can be very attractive to pets. *s*
It’s true, a does smell a little fishy although not as much as I expected. So far Gonzo, my picky eater, does not seem to mind it!
My dog has been taking Glucosimine-Chondroitin but I haven’t tried green lipped mussels yet. Soldier has a chronic limp due to an inflamed tendon and arthritis that flares up periodically. I’m hoping a few weeks of supplementing with green lipped mussels will help.
I would love to hear what you think. Inflammation and chronic pain is not fun, so I hope Soldier will find some relief.
I gave some to Mr. N but he refused to eat it. They were whole mussels though. I wonder if he’d prefer the powder.
The whole mussels are rather large so a powder may be better. You can mix it into his normal food and for his size, it would only require a small amount.
Shelby @ For The Love of Paws
That’s so fascinating!! I hadn’t even heard of Green-Lipped Mussels. 🙂 Learn something new every day. Thank you!
Happy to share something new, Shelby! It’s come up a few times so I decided to take the hint and research it. Very excited to see how my dogs do with it.
I should give this a try! I give a lot of joint care for my giants, and I love the idea of new items that can give a different benefit!
Giant breed problems, right? Mobility and joint health is a big concern of mine even though my boys are considered “large”. I had a GSD with hip dysplasia and it was so sad. Anything I can do to improve joint health I will.
The Daily Pip
Ruby takes this supplement in the winter when she tends to be stiff. I absolutely am a believer in green lipped muscle. We like Technyflex the best.
So glad that Ruby is doing well with green-lipped mussel. I will definitely look into Technyflex further.
Bettina / http://www.webreakaway.dk
I have never heard of this. I live in Denmark and sometimes the products you have in America takes years to get to Denmark. Thanks for sharing this 🙂
Bettina, it’s not just you! Many people here in the US are not aware of the benefits of perna mussels either. Happy to spread the knowledge in hopes that it helps other dogs.
Golden Daily Scoop
One of my goldens takes glucosamine for her bad hips. I have never heard of this but I am so happy to learn something new! Definitely going to look into this, thanks so much for sharing!
I love natural sources for wellness and try to use them whenever possible. I’m glad to share this and hope that you found it useful.
Very informative post!! I have heard of green-lipped mussel, but do not have any experience using it. I will be interested to hear what you think once your dogs are on it for awhile. I have always had large and giant breed dogs, so anything that supports bone and joint health is usually something I am very interested in.
I will keep you all posted. Gonzo’s been slowing down lately and I want to do my part to improve his mobility and joint health as best as possible.
Lola The Rescued Cat
There are so many alternatives for pet parents to use with their pets. Thanks for sharing this and I’m sure so many will benefit from this.
I always enjoy reading your posts! Your topics are interesting and your content is laid out in such a clear and reader-friendly format. Thanks for sharing such an informative post!
I haven’t tried this for my pets, but I’ll keep it in mind!
4 Dogs and a Little Lady
I know long-line fishing is particularly dangerous because of “collateral catch” where seabirds and non-target species get tangled/caught on/in the lines. Do you know if that is something they have solved with these long lines?
This is a great question and honestly not something that I had considered or researched. Here is an article outlining specific threats and effects of long-line fishing for perna mussels on the wildlife. http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/farmed-seafood-green-lipped-mussels. Definitely something to keep in mind as 80% green shell mussels are wild caught.
I never heard of the healing power of green lipped mussels… How interesting. I may have to check them out. I had no idea they were farmed that way either. SO much better than dredging
To be honest, I’d never heard of green shelled mussels or using them with arthritis. I’m supportive of anything that can help our fur children and is safe for them.
So glad that I could introduce a new supplement for arthritis and mobility.
I’ve heard a lot about the benefits of green lipped mussels, but this is great information about why and how it works for dogs. Thanks for sharing this great information. I’d like to try this supplement some time as both my dogs are getting on in years.
Love & Biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
Thank you Cathy for your comments and for sharing. Gonzo and Beau have started using it and really like the taste. A little goes a long way as well.
Karen Harrison (@KarenHarrisonKC)
Interesting, hadn’t heard about this. My cat Marty has trouble with seafood, he likes it but it doesn’t like him. He will break out in sores if he eats too much. Wonder if he would have trouble with this?
Sadly green-lipped mussels are not recommended if your cat has a seafood allergy. I would instead recommend phytoplankton as a supplement.
Thank you for this really informative post! I have also heard a lot about Green Lipped Muscles lately but haven’t taken the plunge at buying anything with it since I didn’t know what the benefits (and risks) were. I’ll have to strongly consider adding this to Bean’s food (she’s showing signs of arthritis).
Let us know if you do use it and notice a difference in your animals, that would be really interesting and helpful to read.
It's Dog Or Nothing (@ItsDogOrNothing)
I’ve had my two on glucosamine and chondroitin since they were puppies (always worried about joints for giant breeds!). Thankfully, they’re almost 4 & 5 and don’t have any joint issues, but I’m always looking for other supplements that might be helpful for them. I think we’ll start with treats to see if they like them 🙂
Prevention is so important so keep up the good work!
I have arthritis myself so follow supplements with great interest. Chondroitin from Green Lipped mussels certainly seems to be very popular and effective. Really appreciate the information on them – they sound well harvested.
Arthritis is sadly so common in all of us. I hope this helps provide some relief!