One in five dogs is affected by arthritis. The most common form is called osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease. Normally, joints form smooth connections and protective cushioning between bones. Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes the thinning of joint cartilage, buildup of fluid inside the joint, and the formation of bony growths within it. Over time, this can lead to reduced mobility, joint deterioration, and pain.
If your pet is suffering from arthritis, it’s important to give them the best possible care. Arthritis is incurable and worsens over time. In this case, the best thing you can do for your pet is to put them on a treatment plan that slows the progression of the disease and improves their quality of life by relieving painful symptoms. Some pain and stiffness can be partially relieved by massages or increased exercise, but others may require prescription medication such as Adequan.
What is Adequan?
Adequan belongs to a class of drugs called Disease Modifying Osteoarthritis Drugs (DMOAD). It is the only FDA-approved product of its type, and has been clinically shown to help treat arthritis while simultaneously relieving joint pain.
Adequan is a prescription medication that can only be dispensed and administered by a licensed veterinarian. That’s because it isn’t just a pill or an ointment, but a treatment requiring injection. When injected directly into your dog’s muscle, Adequan (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) inhibits bad enzymes that break down cartilage in your dog’s joints.
Currently, Adequan is only FDA-approved for dogs and horses, though some vets do prescribe it for cats as well. Adequan helps relieve the pain of arthritis by soothing and lubricating the inflamed joint in addition to stimulating joint cartilage repair. Simply put, it helps your dog’s body heal and prevent further deterioration of your pets’ joints.
How do the injections work?
Think of it like doggy Botox: your veterinarian injects the Adequan directly into your dog’s muscle at strategic points for the most effective outcome. The recommended treatment schedule is one injection every 3 or 4 days for a total of 8 injections. Generally, these are administered by your veterinarian during an outpatient visit.
Although some dogs may show improvement after only a few injections, it is recommended that the entire treatment course be completed for optimal results.
What are the side effects of Adequan?
When administered by a licensed veterinarian, Adequan has very few side effects. The most commonly reported side effects were mild pain or swelling at the injection site, diarrhea, and delayed blood clotting that did not require treatment. However, note that Adequan has not been tested on pregnant or nursing dogs, and should be used with caution in dogs that have had liver or kidney transplants or have a history of bleeding abnormalities. If you’re unsure, always check with your vet!
For most dogs, the benefits of Adequan administration greatly outweigh the possible risks. Along with weight management, physical therapy, and medications to manage pain and inflammation, Adequan can improve your pet’s quality of life.
Where can I get Adequan or other prescription medications for my pet?
Before you purchase your next prescription or medication refill, ask our team at Noah’s Ark about our fully stocked pharmacy. When you purchase medications – including Adequan – from our pharmacy, you can rest assured that your pet’s medications were obtained from safe, reliable sources and stored under optimal conditions. Our trained staff will fill your prescriptions with care as well as attention to detail and your pet’s specific needs.
You can count on us to provide you with accurate information about your pet’s medications and to alert you to any potential drug side effects or interactions. We are also here if you experience any problems with your medication after you return home.
If you’d like more information about Adequan for pet arthritis, or to book an appointment for your pet at Noah’s Ark Veterinary Hospital, contact us today!