In March 2018, my partner and I adopted a 12-year-old Chihuahua named Izzy, a.k.a. Grandma Izzy, from Fetch Wisconsin Rescue in Madison. Izzy had been in foster care for eight months — long enough to get 22 teeth pulled and undergo a double knee surgery. She was fully healed by the time we adopted her but came to us on a special diet that included a joint supplement called Super Snouts Joint Powder for her creaky old-lady knees.
The fosters who had been taking care of her gifted us the last of their Super Snouts, which had one of the foulest smells I had ever encountered. I’m pretty sure you could dig up a corpse, drop it in a bathtub full of rotten eggs and ripe durian, and it would still smell better than this. Gagging while fixing Izzy’s breakfast became our norm.
When the Joint Power ran out, we shrugged it off, figuring it wasn’t essential and appreciating the break from the stench. But less than a week off the sauce, poor Izzbo changed her gait. She now walked, not with a limp, per se — more like a pained stagger. Where before she would gleefully race up the stairs of our front porch, now she hesitated, her face panic-stricken. Overwhelmed with pity, we would scoop her up and carry her inside.
Could the supplement really have made that big of a difference? I leaped into the research rabbit hole.
Super Snouts is a Reno, Nevada–based company that specializes in Colorado-grown, vet-formulated hemp products for dogs and cats. But Joint Power has no hemp. Its sole ingredient is Perna canaliculus, green-lipped mussels from New Zealand, hence the gnarly smell. The mollusks are cold-extracted, stabilized, and freeze-dried. Vets say it works because it gives dogs a big ol’ dose of glycosaminoglycans, a natural anti-inflammatory that lubes up stiff joints, tendons, and ligaments.
I was convinced. We ordered more. When the Joint Power arrived a few days later, the smell was as vile as I had remembered. But within a week, our little doggo rebounded like a champion — loping happily across the yard, skittering over our hardwood floors like Tom Cruise in Risky Business, and generally acting like the sprightly senior we knew her to be. The pep was undeniably back in her step and we haven’t taken her off the supplement since.
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