Adequan Canine is an injectable agent that modifies the disease process of arthritis, stopping its progression, easing symptoms like pain and stiffness, and partially reversing the condition.
How to use Adequan
Adequan is only available from veterinarians and must be administered by a veterinarian. The agent is injected into one of the muscles of the dog, usually the shoulder or thigh. It is injected twice a week for four weeks, a total of eight injections.
Although the official FDA-approved label does not mention any specific dosing regimen after completing the initial course, many veterinarians have developed through trial and error an additional dosing regimen to maintain the efficacy of the treatment over time. Your veterinarian's preferred regimen may vary, but common ones in use include:
- A monthly injection
- Waiting for six months and then repeating the initial dosing regimen
- Waiting until the dog starts to show signs of increased pain and stiffness and then repeating the initial dosing regimen
How it works
Adequan Canine is composed of polysulfated glycosaminoglycan. After intramuscular injection, it enters the bloodstream and gets transported to the joints. Within two hours, it starts to accumulate within the joints and can be detected in the synovial fluid for up to 72 hours after administration.
Once in the joint, it blocks inflammation, inhibits enzymes involved in breaking down cartilage, and stimulates the synthesis of synovial fluid and new cartilage. The drug binds to the surface of the cartilage and may also provide a mechanical barrier that protects the cartilage from breaking down.
When are improvements seen?
Most dog owners start to notice improvements in their dog's symptoms at two weeks after beginning the initial dosing regimen, and the dog continues to improve from that time on until a few weeks after finishing the initial dosing regimen. If no Adequan is administered after finishing the dosing regimen, the symptoms will start to come back or worsen six to eight months later.
Adequan may reduce the ability of the blood to clot for three days after each dose is administered. It should be used cautiously in dogs with kidney or liver disease.
Use in combination
The best results are seen when Adequan is used in combination with a regimen of:
- Weight loss
- Appropriate low-impact exercise, like walking or swimming
- Physical therapy to strengthen specific muscles around the affected joint(s)
- Oral joint supplements
- Pain medication if necessary