Stolley Park
Veterinary Hospital

3020 W. Stolley Park Road  Grand Island, Nebraska  68801  
Phone:  308-384-6272   Fax:  308-384-0984

November Newsletter

Arthritis Update: Therapy Options

Arthritis is inflammation in a joint or multiple joints, commonly characterized by pain, swelling, stiffness and limited motion of the affected area. It is a fairly common condition in dogs. While it is often seen in older, large breed dogs, any dog can be susceptible. Obesity and lack of activity can worsen the day to day pain of arthritis. Though arthritis is not curable, it is treatable. The following is a list of treatment options that can be used to ease your dogís discomfort and improve quality of life.

1) Glucosamine/Chondroitin Sulfate
There are veterinary approved Glucosamine/Chondroitin Products available. It is important to use a product that contains Chondroitin Sulfate. This is often a first line of defense, and it important to use in prevention of or early in the onset of arthritis.

This product is supposed to reduce inflammation and replace the most superficial layer of cartilage. Efficacy can take several weeks to determine.

2) Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatories (NSAIDs)
Examples of NSAIDs in Veterinary Medicine include:

Previcox, Metacam, Deramaxx and Rimadyl.

Usually given as a tablet once daily to reduce pain and inflammation. If NSAIDs are used frequently, regular blood tests are recommended to monitor for side effects to the kidney and/or liver. NSAIDs should not be given with other medications of the same type (including aspirin!) or steroids. Occasionally these medications can cause upset stomach, so if you notice vomiting or diarrhea, please call the clinic.

Cost varies based on frequency of dosing and weight of your dog.

3) Adequan (PSGAG)
Adequan is given as an injection in muscle tissue every 72 hours for 4 weeks (a total of 8 injections twice a week). Booster injections can be given every few months as needed for maintenance of symptom control.

Adequan reduces inflammation in the joint by increasing lubrication and rebuilding cartilage. If there is enough cartilage present in the joint to build upon, this product works very well. Adequan is not known to have many side effects.

Cost depends on the patientís weight.

4) Laser Therapy

Stolley Park Veterinary Hospital now has a non-invasive therapeutic laser that reduces inflammation and promotes healing in conditions involving both chronic and acute pain.

Initial therapy involves 6 treatments over a 3 weeks period. An initial trial treatment (for a total of 7) is provided at no cost. Occasionally after the first treatment your dog can appear slightly more painful due to release of lactic acid (the same effect as intense exercise). We offer laser therapy as a series or as a single treatment. Booster treatments can be given every few months for maintenance pain control. Each treatment takes about 15 minutes and can be done on an outpatient basis.