Arthritis Treatment For Cats

    As many of you know, I am alive today because of my cat. Tigre diagnosed cancer in my abdomen by scent, then hissed and tried to paw a sheet over me. Now it is my turn to help Tigs. During the last year, he stopped jumping up on counters and furniture.  At night, he sat by the bed and cried until I picked him up. Eventually, I purchased cat stairs so he could come and go as he pleased. 

    Unfortunately, I diagnosed Tigre with osteoarthritis.  When I flexed his knees, it felt like sandpaper rubbing on wood.  Imagine how much pain he felt. I approached his treatment like I do for all of my patients. I start with the safest, cost effective treatments and then move up. For Tigs, that meant using supplements to reduce inflammation. If Tigs had been overweight, I would have placed him on a diet as well. I tried many different supplements, but always with the same results. Tigs would eat them for a week or two then refuse. For my next course of treatment, I started him on Adequan which is an injectable polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG).   

Glycosaminoglycans work by decreasing inflammation. Although the exact mechanism is not known, “experiments conducted in vitro have shown PSGAG to inhibit certain catabolic enzymes which have increased activity in inflamed joints, and to enhance the activity of some anabolic enzymes.”(1) For the first six weeks, I treated him once a week to ‘load’ him up then extended the time between injections until I found his perfect interval. Now he is back to jumping on everything!

Note: Adequan is licensed for use in dogs only. Use in cats is considered ‘off-label’. Please discuss with your veterinarian before using to make sure you understand the risks associated with ‘off-label’ usage. 

1) Quote from Adequan information sheet including with product.

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.