Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Adequan Canine for Dog Arthritis


I've titled this post with care much like Laini had over a year ago for canine nasal tumors, so that if someone out there was Googling the subject, this post and info would come up.

Briefly here, our dog Leroy has had a limp for about 4 years. Initially, we started putting him on human Glucosamine Chondroitin as suggested by some friends AND our vet. His limp never seemed to get any worse from that point on, and he mostly only limped a bit right after he'd get up from a long nap. He still went on his long walks with us (30 - 45 minutes a day) and he still ran like a maniac in the back yard. Then, early in May '07, his right leg swelled up quite profoundly one morning after he and I returned from our walk. I called the vet and we took him in for x-rays. The X-Rays showed "severe arthritis" and that Leroy actually didn't have much padding (if any) left between his bones on his right leg elbow joint (the doctor assumed that it was the same for his left leg since, until that morning, that had been the leg he'd been slightly favoring for several years).

So, the vet prescribed Synovi G3 (to provide fatty acids and glucosamine), and the non-steroid pain reliever Rimadyl. The latter helped to reduce his swelling, and along with a break from walks for several weeks, on-leash visits ONLY to the back yard, and being carried up & down the stairs of our home, his swelling went down in a couple of days. However, the combination of meds wasn't really seeming to get rid of his limp, which had gotten fairly substantial at that point. What to do, what to do?!

So, wanting to do more for him, I did some research on the internet and found this, this, and this. (Now, I'm not necessarily sales-pitching the last site, but that's where I've gotten Leroy's Adequan ever since and it's about $25 cheaper per bottle than it would be at the vet). Anyhow, after this research, and knowing not to necessarily trust everything you read online, I consulted with a couple of the doctors at our fantastic vet clinic. One doctor hadn't used it but had heard great things about it, and the other had used it quite successfully in the past. I ordered 2 bottles online and we began the twice-weekly IM (intramuscular) shots in his butt muscle for the recommended dosage for his weight for 4 weeks. Then once a week for 4 weeks, and then maintenance shots every 2 to 3 weeks thereafter. I should note that IM shots can be done at home after you've been trained on how to give them, but since we live so close to our vet, and since their techs there REALLY know what they're doing, we've had them give him the shots all this time.

I should also explain that basically, the Adequan provides a cushion in the joint where there used to be cartilage, etc. and keeps him from having bone-on-bone contact in his elbows every step of the way all day long.

Now, I'm certainly not proclaiming that Leroy's AMAZING recovery is purely because of the shots, because he's always been a very muscular, strong, and amazingly tough dog, but 8 months later, we've been slowly returning back to his long-walk route (we got there about 6 weeks ago!). Also, he still takes Rimadyl as prescribed by his vet, and he still gets Synovi G3 mixed in with his food (but not on or around the days where he's getting Adequan shots). We have to keep him relatively lean to reduce the weight his legs have to carry, and he can't ever be outside off-leash because he still wants to take off running like he used to, and the threat of a piece of bone breaking off at the joint is much more likely if he goes off running like a nut. BUT all of that is a small price to pay for having him around, happy, and pretty darn healthy for a 14+ year old dog.


For anyone who might be reading this with a dog in similar circumstances, I hope this information helps!

26 comments:

Caine Mutiny said...

Do you have any experience with a canine arthritic treatment called Medi Cam? Google isn't very helpful with this remedy.

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Hi Caine,

No, I haven't heard of that treatment actually. Luckily, Adequan was the first thing we tried (beyond the rimadyl and synovi G3) and it worked wonders for our dog. Is this something your vet has prescribed, or just something you've heard about elsewhere?

I do know that since Leroy's had such success with it, the other doctors at the vet clinic have been using it more often with their arthritic doggie-patients too.

Jim

Heather said...

Gosh Leroy's cute! I'm happy to hear he is doing better.

Anonymous said...

I'm really glad I found this site. I just gave Libby, my 6 year old Great Dane her first injection today, and am very interested to see the results.

She has had pretty severe arthritis since about 2 years old when she ruptured her ACL.

Wish us luck, and thanks for posting. Leroy is adorable!

Nicole

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Hi Nicole!

Thanks for posting and I'm SO glad that this was helpful to you! If I may suggest that you talk to your Vet about putting Libby on Rimadyl too if Adequan alone doesn't do the trick after a couple weeks. With Leroy, our Vet suggested that I give him a dose in the morning with some food, wait an hour, and then walk him. Then, in the evening, I give him a half dose with food, wait an hour and then take him on a shorter walk. It's been SO beneficial to him and allows him exercise for a strong heart and to maintain strength and maybe even some muscle-building.

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Hi Nicole!

Thanks for posting and I'm SO glad that this was helpful to you! If I may suggest that you talk to your Vet about putting Libby on Rimadyl too if Adequan alone doesn't do the trick after a couple weeks. With Leroy, our Vet suggested that I give him a dose in the morning with some food, wait an hour, and then walk him. Then, in the evening, I give him a half dose with food, wait an hour and then take him on a shorter walk. It's been SO beneficial to him and allows him exercise for a strong heart and to maintain strength and maybe even some muscle-building.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,
Thanks for writing about this awesome drug. I've just recently started giving my 9 yr old GSD mix shots in his back. I did want to tell you something my vet told me...he said that Rimadyl and Adequan don't work well together b/c the Rimadyl reduces the inflamation and the Adequan wont go where there is no inflamation.
You might want to discuss this with your vet as I am no vet and each dog is different. Also, if you are keeping your dog on Rimadyl for a long period of time; you may also want to to consider giving him something to support his liver...I've heard Milk thistle does a real good job. Again, discuss this with your vet.

Lisa

Vet Tech said...

To Caine Mutiny:
Try googling metacam (the drug name is meloxicam and is also used in humans.) It is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug similar in it's effects to rimadyl and deramaxx, but in a form that is easier to dose in smaller dogs.

I'm glad the adequan is working for your dog-it's one I'm considering trying for mine as well.

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Hi Lisa and "Vet Tech,"

Thanks for your comments and concerns. I certainly am not trained or informed enough to know about your Rimadyl/Adequan-mix concerns, but so far for the past 2 years the combo has worked wonders for Leroy. I have his "senior blood work" test done every few months that (I'm told) checks on things like his liver, etc, and (*knock on wood!*) so far there haven't been any problems. He's 15 and 1/2 right now, holding steady at a lean 60 pounds (he was about 66 lbs 2 years ago and the vet told me to get him even leaner to about 60 so as to make it easier on him to get around). Anyhow, we just got back from his morning walk (he gets one walk in the morning one-hour after his Rimadyl and his breakfast, and a second shorter walk in the evening one-hour after his 1/2 pill of Rimadyl and his dinner). His morning walk lasts about 20-25 minutes and is mostly spent walking (i.e. not standing & sniffing TOO much) and the evening walk is about 10-15 minutes. I am under no delusions that he'll go on like this forever, but for now, I'm amazed at his resilience AND at the effects of the drug combo he's on.

Oh, and I should note once again that about every 6 to 8 months (of once or twice a month booster shots of Adequan), he gets a new series of twice-a-week shots for 4 weeks. He's about half-way through his current twice-a-week round and the improvement is noticeable once again midway through this round. All hail Adequan!

Anonymous said...

My 10 year old agility corgi has developed arthritis. We put her on Rimadyl and a glucosamine (glycoflex I) which worked well at first, but then she began to hide behind the sofa all day. Turns out it was some sort of reaction that did not show up in regular Panel, T4, CBC bloodwork or by sending away stool to check for blood. We stopped giving her the Rimadyl and she perked right up and began limping around the house again.

However, she misses all the exercise and hates being left at home when my other 2 dogs go out for all day hikes so I'm looking into something to make her more comfortable. Thanks for the review on Adequan, I had used it previously in horses but had no idea how it worked in dogs. I'll bring it up with the vet.

Jessica said...

Hello,
Thank you so much for this story. I just started my 12 year old Sheppherd on adequan (2nd injection today!), after he has been on glucosamine for almost 2 years. The glucosamine made a big difference at first, but doesn't seem to be enough anymore. I really hope this helps him!
One of the other comments was about "Medi Cam". I am not sure what that is, but I know of Metacam, which is an oral (or injected by vet) pain killer & anti inflammatory drug - prescribed by vets. It is not only used for arthritis, but it does work. It can be expensive, especially for big dogs. The vets at the clinic where I work to prescribe it for arthritis, but usually after trying glucosamine and adequan first. You should also have a blood work up for your dog first, to make sure the organs are healthy enough to process & clean the drug out of the dog's system. Knowing all that, I have definitely seen it help with some dogs.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I thought I would check back in and give an update on my 9 yr old GSD mix. I gave him the Adequan loading as prescribed and it worked like a charm. Recently he was diagnosed with severe arthritis in his shoulders so I increased the adequan threapy to once a week (it was just once every 3 weeks) and gave him Glucosamine and chondroitin (high dosage). He no longer limps and is running around like a 3 yr old. He is happy and bouncy... well as bouncy as a huge GSD mix (slim weight at 96lbs) can be. I also recommended Adequan to a friend - her dog is responding very well too and is much more comfortable than ever. Nothing has worked for her like the Adequan. I love this for my dog!

Lisa

Anonymous said...

PS:
My dog's name is Jiminy and we call him Jimbo! :)

Lisa

Jim Di Bartolo said...

So happy to know that my little blog post (which was titled specifically to turn up on Google searches! -- glad it worked!) has lead to people discovering and using Adequan.

I'm especially happy to know that it's working so well for Jiminy (Lisa) and for your friend's dog too. Their results are exactly what they were for Leroy from the beginning and for the last 2.5+ years since we started it. We eventually ended up following some other guidelines I found online (and discussed with my Vet of course) that suggested a booster shot of Adequan every 2 weeks, and then every 6 months we'd do the 2x per week for 4 weeks regimen once again. It worked TREMENDOUSLY well time and again and I highly recommend it to owners who have used Adequan maybe for one round of shots and then stopped and see the results wearing off.

I'm tremendously devastated and sad to say that we had to put Leroy to sleep a few days ago. He was one month away from his 16th birthday but was experiencing a number of health issues and was clearly suffering. I've never had to make such a hard decision in my life and I have literally felt something akin to a phantom-limb pain since we lost him. If you're reading this, hug your dogs for me...

Anonymous said...

Oh I am sooo very sorry to hear that you had to let your baby go to the bridge. I've had to make that terrible decision of love once before and it is the most difficult painful thing, but you did it for your Leroy so that he would not suffer and that is the greatest gift of love you can give.

I hope your heart is healing and that you will be able to open it up again to another deserving fur kid in honor of Leroy - who you so clearly love.

RIP sweet Leroy
Many hugs
Lisa

severe arthritis said...

Treatment options vary depending on the type of arthritis and include physical therapy, lifestyle changes (including exercise and weight control), orthopedic bracing, medications, and dietary supplements (symptomatic or targeted at the disease process causing the arthritis). Arthroplasty (joint replacement surgery) may be required in eroding forms of arthritis.

Janet said...

Thank you for the info. I have a 10 year old Newfie/Pyrenese mix and was thinking about trying Adequin. I think I will have some blood work done on him and then go from there. Thanks Again!

treat arthritis said...

Gently massage around the painful area with a little vegetable oil or massage oil on your fingertips, making small, gentle circles with your fingertips. Avoid massaging directly on the joint. Instead, work right above and below it with your fingertips. Repeat daily for three to five minutes each time.Dozens of drugs are used to treat arthritis. They perform different roles from simply relieving pain to reducing inflammation or damping down the disease itself.

Rick said...

Sorry for your loss, Jim. My 14 y/o golden retriever takes deramax pills, glucosamine pills, and now adequan. We've been very fortunate to see improvement with each added therapy. But we know we're just deferring the heartbreak we knew would come when we got him all those years ago.

Our dogs rely on us to manage their illnesses, and to do the deed and spare them the suffering when the time comes.

You know, just like with people, there is a lot of money to be made in the last days and weeks of life. We have to protect not only our pocketbooks, but our loved ones as well, from the profiteering aspect of end-of-life medical care. I'm sure you did the right thing in a timely manner for your beloved ol' Leroy. Good job!

Jeanine said...

Wow. Okay, so first, very glad to have found this blog. I took my beloved Maddie to a new vet this morning thinking it was time to put her down. She is 12-ish (pound puppy not 100& sure on age) and has had lots of lipomas and other cysts and tumors throughout her lifetime. I have had them checked perodically and have always been assured that they were nothing serious. Recently, the one she has on her chest has grown so significantly that it is hampering her front leg from being able to lay naturally at her side when she is sleeping. In the past month, she has slowed down so significantly and is showing pain. Now, Maddie is a people pleaser, if she is SHOWING pain then she is in major pain.
I knew going to the vet that I was not going to put her thru extraordinary measures to keep her alive if she was not going to actually have a life that allowed her to run and play with her dog brothers and sisters.
Thankfully, the vet agreed with me. The lump on her chest is impeding some of her ability to be mobile, but he was much more concerned with her arthritis - much to my surprise. He also told me that it was manageable with drugs and it wasnt time to say goodbye as of yet. He also told me that her age and where that lump is on her chest, she would NEVER be a candidate for surgery.
So, he prescribed daily Deramaxx for her pain - basically for the rest of her life. Then, he suggested Adequan. He called it the "rolls royce" of arthritis medications for animals. Even went so far to say that it should be used for humans - but that is another discussion. Anyhow, he said that Adequan was expensive, but the way I understand it is that you use Adequan 2x a week for 4 weeks and then 1x a week for 4 weeks and then, only as needed. So, if I am tracking here, she could use the daily drug for the rest of her life at 40 bucks a month or spend 400 for a treatment that I might have to repeat at some point, but it wouldnt be a daily dosage...so here is my question (sorry for the long way here), it seems like you are using this product weekly for the past two years, why?
Also, I CRIED when I read about Leroy. I am so very sorry for your loss. Having ALMOST faced it today, I cried as much for you as for my own relief.
Thank you for this blog.

Anonymous said...

i work at an animal shelter and adopted a shepherd corgi mix 2 years ago....you can imagine how big he is for his short legs. He developed bad hip arthritis and was no longer his usual self chasing squirrels and doing the steps. I could tell he was in pain, very slow on the steps one at a time and couldnt get on the couch anymore. I tried metacam which upset his stomache and he hated the taste, i tried rimadyl which alone didnt help enough along with all those glucosamine chews...finally my vet suggested adequan with the rimadyl. he just finished his first 4 weeks of shots and i see a HUGE improvement, hes doing steps, running, jumping and seems much happier. excellent medication.

Pet Pharmacy said...

Actually i heard that types of treatment from a long time, and known that that are really working well. Have you any experience on this. Really i impressed on your blog. thanks for sharing all these matter.

Anonymous said...

I am just looking into Adequan and your post helped alot to get me motivated to give it a try! I just recently adopted a dog that has a bad left knee and both hips. They startd me on Deramaxx but I am scared to use this long term and have read so many good things about Adequan. So I am hoping we can do Adequan for many years to come!

Kendra said...

I don't know if anyone is still checking this blog but I found it very informative! Jim, sorry for your loss. I hope time is healing your heart and the good memories are with you every day. My Sammy, 13 yr old lab, has some serious limping issues and we've been told it's probably arthritis after exhaustive diagnostic testing. We just recently were prescribed adequan. No changes yet and I'm wondering how long before we start to see a change and know if it's working? Any advice would be much appreciated.

Scott said...

Great articles. Can someone here please email me srosco@yahoo.com the best place for buying Adequan vials please. My bullmastiff has the same issue and its crazy to hear such a similar story. I need to buy plenty of boxes of this stuff and the best Im finding rt now is about $93 a box/2..
Scott Rosiak

jimmy jam said...

I consulted with a couple of the doctors at our fantastic vet clinic. One doctor hadn't used it but had heard great things about it, and the other had used it quite successfully in the past. Canine Cataracts