Clinical evaluation of a nutraceutical, carprofen and meloxicam for the treatment of dogs with osteoarthritis

Three treatments for osteoarthritis in dogs assessed

source: M. Moreau et al
Veterinary Record vol 152 no 11, March 15 2003
Starts p323, 7 pages long

A double-blind study to assess the efficacy of caprofen, meloxicam and a nutraceutical as treatments for osteoarthritis has been carried out on 71 dogs for 60 days by researchers from the University of Montreal, Canada. The median age of the dogs was 68 months, with a range from 18-144 months, and they had a median weight of 38 kilos. Twenty nine of the dogs had osteoarthritis of the stifle, 27 had affected hips, and 15 had affected elbows.

The dogs treated with carprofen had Rimadyl from Pfizer, the meloxicam treatment was Metacam from Boehringer Ingelheim, while the nutraceutical was Cosequin DS from Nutramax Laboratories, a mix of chondroitin sulphate, glucosamine hydrochloride and manganese ascorbate. A fourth group was given a placebo for 30 days. One dog, a boxer, was withdrawn from the meloxicam group due to vomiting. A second dog, in the placebo group, developed myasthenia gravis and was euthanased. A third dog, a Labrador retriever in the carprofen group, was withdrawn due to toxic idiosyncratic hepatitis.

The effect of the osteoarthritis on the dogs was first measured using a comparison of ground reaction forces between the affected dogs and 10 normal dogs. The dogs were reassessed after 30 and 60 days of treatment. The dogs treated with meloxicam and carprofen showed significant improvement measured by ground reaction forces, while the dogs receiving the nutraceutical did not show such improvement. Dogs treated with meloxicam showed some GRF values returning to normal, which was not true for dogs receiving carprofen or the nutraceutical. The dogs' owners saw an improvement with meloxicam, while orthopaedic surgeons noted improvements with both carprofen and meloxicam. Only one dog showed a reaction to the treatment, the dog withdrawn with heptopathy.