Green-lipped mussels first caught my eye while researching natural supplements for growing fish to prevent developmental deformities. We began adding it to our house brand fish food a few years ago. We were soon convinced it should be a part of every growing fish’s diet. At some point, I began sprinkling just a bit into my aging cat’s food once or twice / week.

Green-lipped mussels are shellfish from New Zealand. They’re a recognized source of complex proteins, concentrated glycosaminoglycans, amino acids, omega 3 (ETA), omega 6, nucleic acids, selenium, and chelated minerals (zinc, copper and manganese). Green-lipped mussels are a source of chondroitin sulfate, a naturally occurring component of connective tissue and joint structure in humans and animals. They also boast anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies have shown green-lipped mussels to be impressively effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in humans, dogs and cats. In just six weeks of Green-lipped mussel supplementation, dog arthritic scores were reduced significantly [Bierer, Bui, 2002].  However, other studies have shown that a longer period of supplementation is required before improvement is evident. Green-lipped mussel supplements may also provide relief for dogs and cats suffering with hip dysplasia.

Horses may benefit from the glucosamines in Perna canaliculus supplements for joint support. It has been a standard additive to many horse joint products for several decades now.

Human atopic asthma, irritable bowl syndrome and Crohn’s disease patients have responded well to Perna canaliculus lipid extract, all a testimonial to its anti-inflammatory properties. It shows great promise in the treatment of other autoimmune and inflammatory conditions as well.

My personal conclusion is we can’t go wrong with this supplement because it doesn’t only address a condition, it’s also a rich source of nutrients and minerals.

Perna canaliculus is available as a lipid extract or freeze-dried powder (some studies suggest the latter is better). The active components in green-lipped mussel are heat sensitive. Supplements should be cold processed and should not be cooked at high temperatures for pet food.

Where to get it

You’ll find it in capsule form in most stores that sell natural supplements. Products made specifically for pets are available at Only Natural Pet Store. Products may simply say ‘Sea Mussel’, so you’ll have to read the label to ensure that it is in fact Perna canaliculus (Green-lipped Mussel).

??? Do you give your pet green-lipped mussel? Have you noticed an improvement in their condition?

Messonnier, Shawn DVM. Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats: Your A-Z Guide to Over 200 Conditions, Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements. 2001.
Bierer, Tiffany Linn. Bui, Linh M. Improvement of Arthritic Signs in Dogs Fed Green-Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus).  American Society for Nutritional Sciences. J. Nutr. 132: 1634S–1636S, 2002.
Halpern, Georges M. The Inflammation Revolution: A Natural Solution for Arthritis, Asthma, & Other Inflammatory Disorders
Pollard, B.; Guilford, W.G.; Ankenbauer-Perkins, K.L.; Hedderley, D. Clinical efficacy and tolerance of an extract of green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) in dogs presumptively diagnosed with degenerative joint disease. New Zealand Veterinary Journal, Volume 54, Number 3, June 2006 , pp. 114-118(5).

Halpern, G. Anti-inflammatory effects of a stabilized lipid extract of perna canaliculus (Lyprinol). 2000.
Emerlyanov, A. Treatment of asthma with lipid extract of New Zealand green-lipped mussel: a randomised clinical trial. 2002.
Kendall, Roger V. Lawson, John W. Hurley, Lloyd A. New Research and a Clinical Report on the use of Perna canaliculus in the Management of Arthritis. 2000.

✔ You may also be interested in reading:
Top Natural Remedies for Dog and Cat Allergies
Top 5 Sources of Antioxidants for Cats & Other Carnivores (With Infographic)
The Benefits of Krill for Pets (Infographic)


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17 thoughts on “Green-Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus) for Pets

  1. Thanks for letting us know that green-lip mussel is safe for pets because I couldn’t find the info anywhere else.

  2. Green lipped mussel worked so well for my arthritis I started giving it to my aging dog when her joints started to lock up. I hope it helps her too.

  3. We started seeing a homeopathic vet and Perna is on the plan he gave us. I just wanted you to know it’s vet endorsed.

  4. I’m really enjoying the natural pet care information you have here. We really needed a website like this online. I’ve added green lip mussel to my shopping list for my senior dogs.

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