I’m so excited to share this post with you! You see, I’ve been a little worried about Haley for the past year. She’s always been a very energetic and athletic dog but after recovering from a stretched CCL (similar to a human’s ACL) two years ago, she hasn’t been quite the same. Her CCL healed and tightened back up, but not long after that, she developed arthritis in the injured knee. On days when we took longer hikes or if she played hard, she would have trouble getting up later that evening and after getting up, she would limp quite a bit. Although she seemed to recover by the next morning, she just didn’t have the energy, enthusiasm or endurance she used to have.
I know arthritis is common as our pups move into their senior years, but I was pretty depressed to think we wouldn’t be sharing some of our favorite hikes together or that daily doses of Rimadyl might be necessary to manage her pain. While talking with my vet last month, he suggested we try Adequan for arthritis treatment. That’s when everything changed. But first, let me explain what it is and how it works.
What is Adequan?Adequan® Canine is a water-based polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG). Okay, that description probably means nothing to you but here’s what is does. It’s an injection-based prescription medication that helps prevent the cartilage in your dog’s joints from wearing away. It also works to lubricate the joints and relieve pain. Although it helps protect all of the joints, because arthritic joints have more circulation, more of the drug makes its way to the affected joints. It’s the only arthritis drug available that can slow the loss of cartilage as it treats the underlying cause of arthritis instead of the symptoms of arthritis pain. Adequan can also be used with pain medications such as Rimadyl and Tramdol if necessary. It’s important to note that this is a lifelong medication.
How is Adequan Administered?Adequan is an intramuscular injection that is administered in a series of shots. After the initial loading series of injections, most vets recommend a once monthly injection thereafter. This is Haley’s prescribed dosing schedule: One injection weekly for four weeks, then one injection every two weeks for four doses, then one injection every three weeks for three doses, then monthly injections thereafter. The vet techs gave Haley her first shot then they had me come back the following week to teach me how to give the shots at home. It may take up to 4 injections before any improvement is noticed and for your vet to determine if it’s a good treatment for your dog, but some dogs respond after just one injection.
How Much Does It Cost?One 5mL vial of Adequan costs $70.00 and contains five doses for Haley’s weight of 50 pounds. So each monthly dose will cost around $14.00 after the initial loading series of shots is completed. Again, it’s important to remember that Adequan is a lifelong medication, so you’ll need to consider the ongoing cost as well.
The ResultsAfter Haley received her first shot, I was astounded with the results. She didn’t limp that evening at all and I’ve only seen a slight limp one time after an extremely active day for her (long hike and lots of running, chasing and romping with my sister’s puppy) and that was after her second injection. She’s been much more energetic and enthusiastic, it’s almost as if we’ve turned the clock back and she’s three years younger. We’re able to do our 4-5 mile hikes again and I can tell she’s still feeling good at the end of the hike. She springs up from a resting position now instead of having to pull herself up by using her front legs and she no longer hesitates before jumping up into the car or going up and down the basement steps.
I’m truly amazed at the results and how quickly she responded after the first injection. Even though our vet described the great level of success he’s had with dogs on Adequan, I still find it hard to believe how much it’s helped her, both physically and mentally. I should also note that she hasn’t been on Rimadyl or any pain medications while getting the injections.
Wrapping Things UpHaley’s had five injections so far and giving the shots is very easy. She hardly seems to notice what I’m doing, especially if there’s a treat involved. 🙂 As you can tell, I’m thrilled with the results so far and I like knowing that the medication is slowing the progress of her arthritis and loss of cartilage and it’s working to protect all of her joints. I’m also relieved we can avoid the risks of taking daily doses of pain medication to manage her symptoms. Exercising and staying active is important for senior dogs and Adequan allows Haley to stay fit, healthy and pain free a lot longer. So for us, it’s well worth the cost.
If you’re noticing signs of joint pain or inflammation in your dog, I strongly recommend talking to your vet about Adequan for arthritis treatment to determine if it might be beneficial. Although it’s currently only approved for horses and dogs, I found this PetMD article by Dr. Patty Khuly, Why I Love Adequan for Cats and Dogs, to be very interesting for cat owners.
I know it’s early in Haley’s treatment plan so I’m going to be updating this article in six months so you can check back for an update to see how she’s doing on the drug.
Does your dog have arthritis? What remedies have you tried?