Share advice for keeping your aging dog happy and healthy


I'm spoiled but- not rotten!
Barked: Sun May 15, '11 9:27am PST 
Dolly is somewhere between 7 and 9 (its a guess-ti-mate, she was a stray at a shelter) and has had problems with arthritis in her hips. After talking to other large breed (and small breed owners) I decided to try Adequan injections for her. She had 2 shots weekly (I gave them at home)and after the initial 4 weeks of shots she is doing so much better! She is down to half the dose of pain meds (Rimadyl, Neurontin and Tramadol) and has beguin to chase squirrels again and play with toys and her beagle brother! She does her "Dolly Dance" again and is almost back to herself. I don't expect her to ever be 100% again, she still limps a bit and gets up slower, but the Adequan was certainly worth every penny!

Has anyone else had good or bad results from it?

ETA she has been on a glucosamine/chondriotin/msm supplement and fish oil for years.

Edited by author Sun May 15, '11 9:28am PST


I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Mon May 16, '11 7:09am PST 
I had the same experience with Sassy. That stuff worked great for her too. She was never on pain meds but moved freer and could do more.
Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
Barked: Tue May 17, '11 10:19am PST 
Dolly - I wrote up some info on Adequan for another dogster but I think it was in pmail not forums - I am going to search through my stuff to see if I can find it....There is another medication on the market which works the same but is less expensive but alas I can't remember the name.........GRR!

Let me delve into the depths of my Dogster-ing ----> I shall returnlaugh out loud

Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
Barked: Tue May 17, '11 10:30am PST 
AHA - It took me a lot less time than I expected to find it only because the other Dogster included my sent Pmail in their Pmail to me!! Ala it annoys me we do not have a sent mail box because I lose alot of good writeups that way confused

Anywho --> This is primarily about Cartrophen (a similar medication to Adequan but less expensive --- its availability seems to vary due to vet and socio-economic-status of area --- however a lot of the info overlaps so it may be helpful for you.....

"I am not that familiar with Cartrophen. I have used Adequan somewhat when I was in GP. Adequan is a comparable medication made by another manufacturer. They are both injectable PSGAG's (Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan) and studies generally support the same efficacy for both so for the most part it ends up being availability for why one is used over the other. Adequan has been reported to be more expensive than Cartrophen.

So I did some research on this on a vet only medical site and came up with a couple interesting things.

In general the formularies suggest a certain dosage for the average patient but many vets use it differently with success. The major concern with Cartrophen is that is has a side effect of potentially causing clotting problems (IE bleeding problems). Basically PSGAG's are chemically similar to heparin they (just like heparin) inhibit the bodies ability to adequetly produce clotting factors. However PSGAG's have 1/15th the anticoagulant strength of heparin.

Potentially if this went innoticed or undiagnosed it could end in death from internal or external bleeding. It seems that this risk is compounded when NSAIDs (like metacam, rimadyl, etc), heparin or aspirin are given 1-2 days before or after the injection date.

There was a study done in UK RE: Safety of Cartrophen in dogs. Here is a summary of what was found.
"Safety of Cartrophen Vet in the dog: review of adverse reaction reports in the UK
J Small Anim Pract. May 2003;44(5):202-8.
R L Hannon1, J G Smith, D Cullis-Hill, P Ghosh, M J Hope Cawdery
1 Biopharm Australia Pty, 111 Bronte Road, Bondi Junction, NSW 2022, Australia.

Suspected adverse reactions (SARs) reported for Cartrophen Vet (100 mg sodium pentosan polysulphate/ml) to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate in the UK for the period January 1991 to October 1999 were reviewed. Of the 161 reports, 28 were probably product related, 54 were possibly product related, 71 were unlikely to be related and eight were unclassified. An estimated real incidence of adverse reactions probably and possibly associated with Cartrophen Vet of 0.074 per cent on an individual dose basis was calculated (assuming only 10 per cent were documented due to underreporting). Sixty-two SARs (38.5 per cent) documented emesis, 22 (35.5 per cent) of which were product related (onset five to 15 minutes after administration). Sixty-eight SARs (42.2 per cent) documented general changes to demeanour, 10 (14.7 per cent) were product related (lethargy and/or mild depression and/or mild inappetence lasting up to two days after administration). Six SARs were considered likely to be associated with concurrently administered carprofen. Cartrophen Vet had a low incidence of side effects that were mild and transitory."

Basically what they are saying is the TWO most common reactions are vomiting within 15 minutes of injection and attitude/behavior changes associated with injection. On the vet forum they basically discuss weighing the benefits of the injection against the issues of the dog. Coagulapathy issues (bleeding issues) although possible were not as commonly seen as above and were more commonly seen in patients who were not reliably discontinuing NSAIDs, heparin or Aspirin treatment for several days surrounding injection."

This Dogster also asked about whether oral vs injectable glucosamine is better or more effective - this was what I found:

"Long-term usage has not been shown to be anymore dangerous than single dosing. Side effects (check the study from earlier on SAR's) seem to be only when dose is given or currently being used. They will resolve with discontinuation of injections which is side effects become a problem would be done. Investigating another med option would be pursued at that point.

As far as ORAL vs INJ : The injectable meds (at least since 2007 which is last reference I could find) have not been proven more or less effective in general for dogs. Drug formularies list the following info for Cartrophen :
"Pharmacology: Cartrophen Vet is a semisynthetic polysulphated polysaccharide which possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic chondroprotective properties. Cartrophen Vet has the following actions:
(a) Stimulates chondrocytes to synthesize cartilage matrix.
(b) Stimulates synoviocyte biosynthesis of hyaluronic acid.
(c) Inhibits enzymes implicated in the degradation of cartilage matrix components and in the release of inflammatory mediators.
(d) Anti-inflammatory activity by inhibition of arachidonic acid metabolism.
(e) Mobilizes thrombi and fibrin deposits in synovial tissues and subchondral blood vessels, thus increasing the perfusion of the joint, with resulting improvement in cartilage nutrition.
(f) Mobilizes lipids and cholesterol in synovial and subchondral blood vessels"

This is slightly different than what oral/fish based glucosamine does but they seem to all show the same benefits for the dog - IE physically you wouldn't be able to which dog uses injectables vs orals.

Many vets chimed in that they use PSGAG's because they increased owner complience - as we know the average owner is not the dogster owner and has been known to "forget" to give meds every day - This medication doesn't need to be given every day which means the dog doesn't have to feel crappy because the owner made a mistake or whatever. The plateu of pain control and mobility is easier to establish with the injection."

Edited by author Tue May 17, '11 10:31am PST


I just want to- relax
Barked: Tue May 17, '11 11:42am PST 
When I worked at a vet clinic all our clients who used Adequan were extremely satisfied with it. One of the doctors own dogs used it...she had two total hip replacements done at a very young age and was now 15 and doing great!!!

I do however know that it can be rather expensive...but I remember it being more affordable when you took the injections home and did them yourself, so this might not be the case with you.

Momma's Boy
Barked: Wed May 18, '11 12:57am PST 
Dooney is 6 going on 7 and we spent 3 hours at the vet Friday and determined that his one bad hip is now two bad hips... Both are in possible need of replacement but we also have alternatives... The vet just started us on Adequan and I just administered his 2nd dose for week 1 today. My husband and I decided to administer the injections from home to save on a 30 minute drive to the vet clinic. Both options (in-clinic or at home) are the same price per dose. Dooney is 84.5 lbs. and is taking 1.7 mL per dose. (Approx. $31.00 per dose.) I am injecting the dosage into the loose skin in his back and neck, not directly into the muscle. He is also starting swimming this week where I will be accompaning him in the pool, new therepy pool for dogs in town, can't wait. We are also giving him Rimadyl and S3 Synovial Chews which both really seem to help. I am really looking forward to increasing the fluids around his joints so I will keep you up to date as his treatment continues this month.

I'm spoiled but- not rotten!
Barked: Wed May 18, '11 7:27am PST 
Dooney, everything I have read says you have to inject IM (intramuscular) Dolly is on 2.4 mls per injection and I can do IM on her even without my husbands help. (learned that the hard way when he went out of town) Did your vet tell you you could inject sub-q instead of IM?
Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
Barked: Thu May 19, '11 9:17am PST 
Adequan is labeled for IM use but many vets prescribe it for SQ use at home with continued success. It is easier and less painful for owner and pet to give a SQ injection rather than IM. Although giving SQ is off label use....

Jet set go!
Barked: Thu May 19, '11 10:44am PST 
Jet's been on adequan for several years because he has pain in one of his hips from a young age. I used to do the individual monthly doses but it was expeisive so i bought in bulk and just do it at home. It has made a huge difference in his mobility and pain management(among other types of management as well). I was also told to give it to him by the loose skin in his neck. He's never had it done a different way...not sure if it would have made a bigger difference.

Barked: Wed May 22, '13 6:59pm PST 
I have fairly young female Golden Retriever that we assumed may have hurt her leg getting out of our pool. She limped for a while and it just didn't seem to heal. She got worse and could barely walk. We took her to the Vet who did a scan and said that she has a little arthritis in her knee and suggested Adequan. We did the loading doses and she now can go 3 months without any signs of it hurting her. If we go 4 months she starts to limp. Once she gets her injection it's almost immediate results. She has had no side effects from it.