How Do Joint Lubricants Help Arthritis?
Joint lubricants work by supplying the joint fluid with the precursor molecules needed to make more joint fluid.
I use both of these products all the time and often use them together:
- Hyaluronic Acid
1. Hyaluronic Acid (Brand Name: Legend)
The first injectable dog arthritis pain relief treatment is Hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid, also called hyaluronan or hyaluronate, is naturally present in the human body.
The body’s connective, epithelial and neural tissues contain Hyaluronic acid.
Humans Use Hyaluronic Acid Too
Humans take Hyaluronic acid orally or by injection for:
- Joint disorders
- Joint instability
- Metabolic processes associated with aging
- High body mass index related to obesity and hereditary factors.
Hyaluronic acid has been successfully used for many years to treat horses with joint issues.
In fact, labels for Hyaluronic acid recommend it for use in horses only, not dogs. Hyaluronic acid treatment in dogs is “extra-label“.
When injected, Hyaluronic acid stimulates cells to produce more joint fluid, helping lubricate the soft tissue structures throughout the joint.
Joint lubrication not only increases the mechanical function of the joint but also increases the efficiency of removing inflammatory mediators such as white blood cells and plasma proteins.
The scientific community recognizes Hyaluronic acid therapy:
- Stimulates production of healthy joint fluid
- Decreases cartilage damage
- Decreases inflammation.
Infield studies with the Legend brand of Hyaluronic acid, clinical improvement was good to excellent in 90% of cases treated intravenously.
We have great success using injectable Hyaluronic acid dog arthritis and joint issues.
Our Standard Protocol
Our standard Hyaluronic Acid protocol consists of:
- A loading dose of one injection per week for three weeks
- One injection per month afterward as needed.
In our clinic, dogs receive Hyaluronic acid arthritis treatment alone or in combination with one or more therapies.
Treatment depends on the pet’s situation and the owner’s goals.
Hyaluronic acid injections work well in combination with:
- Laser Therapy
- Herbal Therapy.
The second joint lubricant for treating dog arthritis, and the one I prefer, is Adequan.
Adequan is a prescription-only medication similar to the oral supplement glucosamine.
Because Adequan is injectable rather than oral, the medicine reaches the inflamed area faster and more completely than oral medication.
Also, the injectable bypasses the GI tract, meaning digestive enzymes cannot break down the potency.
Here are some of the basics of Adequan arthritis treatment for dogs:
- Adequan is injected intramuscularly two times per week for four weeks.
- Adequan begins working approximately two hours and stays in the joint for approximately three days.
- Signs of improvement are apparent within four weeks.
- It is the only FDA-approved disease-modifying osteoarthritis drug (DMOAD) on the veterinary market.
After treatment with Adequan is complete, many dogs become playful and active again – like they were when they were younger.
Adequan Attacks Dog Arthritis
- Helps to shield the cartilage by binding to it
- Inhibits catabolic enzymes (Catabolic enzymes break down complex organic compounds into simpler ones.)
- Stimulates the synthesis of collagen
- Diminishes discomfort while enhancing anabolic activity (Anabolic enzymes aid in the building of complex organic molecules from simpler ones).
Some other good things about the Adequan treatment are:
- Lubricates and soothes the joint, which reduces friction. When friction lessens, pain and inflammation reduction.
- Works as a kind of a “pumped up” version of glucosamine. Instead of masking pain as NSAIDs do, the Adequan dog arthritis treatment actually helps to rebuild cartilage in the damaged joint.
- Proven to slow the disease cycle, support tissue repair, diminish joint and joint fluid damage.
- Adequan is preferentially absorbed by inflamed joints when injected into the dog’s muscles. With this product, you are actually getting therapy instead of mere pain control.
Side effects and warnings of the Adequan dog arthritis treatment include:
- Do not use in dogs showing hypersensitivity to Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan. PSGAG is a synthetic heparinoid.
- Do not use in dogs with known or suspected bleeding disorders.
- There have been no studies conducted to establish the reproductive safety of Adequan in pregnant, breeding, or lactating dogs.
- Use Adequan with caution in dogs with renal or hepatic impairment.
Additionally, scientists observed the following adverse reactions in the clinical efficacy trial:
- Transient pain at the injection site (1 incident)
- Transient diarrhea (1 incident each in 2 dogs)
- Abnormal bleeding (1 incident).
These effects were mild and self-limiting and did not require interruption of therapy. The study looked at 24 dogs treated with Adequan Canine twice weekly for 4 weeks.
3. Oral Nutraceutical Joint Lubricants
I don’t use oral nutraceuticals very often but many people do.
In addition, I feel other products are more effective than nutraceuticals unless cost is an issue.
If cost is an issue, people use over-the-counter oral nutraceuticals often with reported success.
More Powerful Tools for Overcoming Dog Arthritis Challenges
There are many quick and easy changes you can make at home to help you give your dog an edge on easing dog arthritis pain.
- Learn more about dog arthritis.
- Try cooking for your dog or feeding high-quality dog food. Home-cooked diets and wet food help keep your pet from gaining too much weight. In turn, less weight means less stress on your dog’s bones and joints. PET | TAO Chill and Blaze are top choices for arthritic dogs.
- Ease your dog’s discomfort naturally. PET | TAO Comfort is a blend of Eastern herbs and Western supplements to soothe your dog’s arthritic challenges to make him/her more comfortable.
- Provide joint support. PET | TAO Harmonize Joint is a blend of Eastern herbs and Western supplements working together to lubricate and restore your dog’s joints.
- Try Freeze-Dried Kidney Treats. According to TCVM, the Kidney controls the bones and joints and supports arthritic challenges in a “like treats like” manner.
- Learn more about TCVM Herbal Remedies. Chinese medicine offers many amazing natural solutions for dog arthritis. Some good examples are: