How Effective is Adequan Canine for Osteoarthritis?

Canine adequan is the only FDA-approved disease-modifying drug (DMOAD) for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis and other degenerative joint diseases. Adequan for dogs is the first medication that not only treats the underlying cause of the dog arthritis, but the pain and inflammation as well. Adequan is only available by prescription and can only be administered by a veterinarian via intramuscular injections, twice a week for four weeks.

Treatment for Canine Arthritis

Adequan (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) stimulates the cartilage repair process, reconstructs the diminished joints, lubricates and soothes the joint and relieves the pain. It also reduces the swelling and inflammation caused by the joint friction involved in everyday activities.

By binding to the damaged cartilage and blocking enzymes that damage joints, adequan inhibits continued cartilage damage, and increases ease of movement. The drug boosts cartilage metabolism and blocks destructive enzymes from promoting joint inflammation, attacking the cartilage and breaking down the synovial fluid. It stimulates the synovial membrane to manufacture new synovial fluid as a replacement of the thin, degraded fluid. This process nourishes, lubricates and cleans the cartilage.

Adequan can be used to treat:

  • Joint failure and stiffness
  • Dog joint pain
  • Decreased/loss of mobility due to inflammation
  • Pain of osteoarthritis
  • Traumatic joint injury
  • Geriatric arthritis
  • Spondylitis
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Torn ligaments
  • Ruptured cruciate ligaments
  • Osteochondritis dissecans
  • Any type of limp
  • Decreased activity
  • Loss of interest in any activity
  • Difficulty getting up or ascending/descending stairs

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a disease resulting from old age, an injury or genetics. As joint cells are stressed or damaged, enzymes are released that further damage a joint cartilage, attacking the lubricants of the joint fluid. These inflamed joint linings cause the underlying bone to weaken, resulting in stiffness, pain and swelling. Adequan helps modify this disease cycle and controls the symptoms.

Side Effects of Adequan

Adequan is generally well tolerated by all breeds. However, there are some side effects:

  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Stinging at the injection site
  • Diarrhea
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Low blood platelet count

Dramatic Results Using Proper Dosages

Though each dog is different, reports state that there is a dramatic difference in just 2 to 3 injections, sustaining up to 6 months or longer. Benefits can usually be seen within 2 hours after injection, with even greater uptake (up to 73% higher) in inflamed or diseased joint tissues. An initial 8-dose series is recommended with 2 mg/lb injected intramuscularly, twice a week for four weeks.

When administered in proper dosages, no toxic effects were reported. However, adequan should not be used in dogs with known or suspected bleeding disorders, sensitivity to PSGAG (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan), hepatic or renal impairment, pregnant or lactating. As with any medications, proper consultation with a veterinarian is necessary to determine if this type of treatment will benefit a dog with a particular medical condition. Observation for any possible adverse effects is also warranted.