Osteoarthritis is one condition that we see frequently that I am very passionate about. Unfortunately sometimes convincing people that their dogs are painful can be challenging. We expect that if a pet is painful we will see very obvious signs of pain- significant limping, reluctance to walk, not playing, and not doing things they enjoy. More often pets will continue doing what they enjoy and will show subtle signs. Walks are slower, there is a mild change in gait pattern, the stop jumping up and down from furniture or a change in their body musculature. This can make realizing that your pet is painful challenging and making accepting that we need to intervene difficult to accept.
Arthritis is not just an old dog disease. In puppies that are born with hip or elbow dysplasia we can see arthritis develop at eight months to one year old. We have some research that it can be found in puppies as young as four months of age!! There are several great resources you can use to look for signs of arthritis or discuss your pet with other care givers who own dogs with arthritis, they are listed below:
Librela Coming Soon
In the past we have discussed weight management, joint supplements, NSAIDS, adjunctive medications, tPEMF (Assisi loop), photobiomodulation (laser therapy), joint injections, shock wave therapy, and rehabilitation therapy as ways to control pain from arthritis. Today we get to chat about a new product that I am really excited about. Monoclonal antibodies! This is a very targeted, safe and effective way to treat pain related to arthritis without being worried about the side effects of other oral medication. It is also exciting because for severe cases that are already on oral medication this can safely be added into a current therapy plan without concern.
So, how does it work? Librela is a once monthly subcutaneous (under the skin) injection that binds nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF helps signal other inflammatory mediators which cause excitation of pain receptors. Librela will bind this molecule reducing its effect in the body. This results in reduced pain from arthritis, limits the release of additional NGF and pro inflammatory mediators and lowers neurogenic inflammation. This is a really exciting development in the way canine arthritis is treated.
If your pet has abnormalities call your veterinarian and make an appointment to discuss options. Keep in mind that arthritis management typically takes a multimodal approach with weight loss being the key to long term success.