Cosequin for Musculoskeletal DisordersThe following came to Lisa, by way of Mary Martin, from her veterinarian Dr. Steven T. Pullon; Spanish River Animal Hospital, Boca Raton, FL.
I am writing to spread the news about a new product on the veterinary market which may prove very useful to giant breed dogs, such as the Mastiff, with hip dysplasia and other musculoskeletal disorders.
The product is Cosequin, produced by Nutramax Laboratories in Baltimore, Maryland. It is described as a "nutraceutical" by the company, consisting of cartilage precursors used by the body to repair damaged connective tissue in joints. This product could prove very useful in Mastiffs with hip dysplasia, intervetebral disc disease, OCD of the shoulder and other disorders.
The technology and research behind this product originated in the horse racing industry. Race horses are subjected to repeated concussive forces as they run on tracks of varying condition. This leads to many joint injuries, primarily chip fractures and damaged articular cartilage. Several chondroprotective agents have been developed, such as Adequan, which is given by intramuscular injection. Cosequin is an attractive alternative, since it is administered orally as a capsule.
My one experience with Cosequin has been favorable. The patient was Ognom, a nine year old Old English Mastiff, suffering from degenerative joint disease of his stifles and hocks in the rear limbs. He had been maintained on various aspirin type products, but the owners felt he could do better, and were concerned about the side effects of aspirin, such as stomach ulceration. We decided to give Cosequin a try.
Ognom improved noticeably over a two week trial on Cosequin. The owners reported that he was willing to go for longer walks, and was also able to jump in and out of their van and bed (a 204 pound dog in the bed!?!). My exam coupled with the owners' observations point to the fact that Ognom was doing at least as well on Cosequin as he was on aspirin products, without the side effects.
This is by no means a thorough scientific study, it is one opinion derived from a single case. Studies are currently in progress on the product, and should produce more concrete results and conclusions. The purpose of this letter is to spread the word about Cosequin, possibly prompting further use and study of the product. With a little more information, we may be able to help those stiff, painful old Mastiffs!
Thank you to Dr. Pullon (Lisa and Mary) for this information. As with any medication, please consult your doctor before administering any drugs to your animals. Cosequin is available from Nutramax Laboratory, 8304 Harford Rd., Baltimore, MD 21234; (800) 925-5187.