Medications for Canine Hip Dysplasia vary, and none of them will fix the shape or degeneration of your dog's hips. However, they will successfully reduce the amount of pain and inflammation your dog is going through. Non-steroidal and steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are widely and most commonly used to help reduce the pain of a dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia showing moderate symptoms.
Other drugs like Tetracyclines (specifically doxycycline) have significantly slowed the destruction of collagen which is much of the joint structure in dogs and humans. Tetracyclines have very little negative effects and are often used as a first attempt at reducing the pain of canine hip dysplasia.
Rimadyl, Etogesic, Deramaxx, Previcox, Zubrin, and Metucam are both widely used anti-inflammatory prescription medicines. They both work the same by introducing prostaglandins, which reduces inflammation. These medications are particularly useful prior to large activity and strenuous exercise for a dog with hip dysplasia. There have however been negative effects on the liver in dogs so medication should be monitored and the dog should be given on a full, healthy diet. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the most commonly used option for treating the inflammation and pain in arthritis, particularly because of the cost efficiency compared to surgery. Anti-inflammatory drugs release prostaglandin which naturally decreases inflammation — there for reducing pain.
Buffered Aspirin is also used to fight the inflammation and pain of arthritis. There is a risk of an intestinal upset in dogs so check-ups and heavy monitoring are necessary when your dog is prescribed buffered aspirin.
Corticosteroids have been used for many years but are controversial due to the negative short and long-term effects it has on dogs. Newer drugs have been replacing the use of corticosteroids but are still used on occasion for old dogs not showing any signs of improvement from other medications.
PSGAGs – Disease-Modifying Osteoarthritis Agents
PSGAGs stands for Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan, which are natural materials found in the joint. PSGAGs are agents used to enhance synthesis of glycosaminoglycan and hyaluronate in the joints that dogs with degenerative arthritis lack. These agents help to create proteoglycan, an important part of the hyaline cartilage that lines the joint and also promotes fluid (lubrication) of the ball-in-socket. Controlled studies on people with osteoarthritis has seen positive results using these agents. Typically, a PSGAG regimen will begin showing positive results one month afterward and have very little negative affects.
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