As much as we may wish, our canine companions will not remain puppies forever. Time flies and we get to enjoy the best of times and the worst of times with them by our side. Aging is an unfortunate reality of growing old for our canine companions as osteoarthritis sets in and it becomes more difficult for them to get up, climb the stairs or even chase their favorite ball. It is a major problem since one in five dogs is impacted by osteoarthritis with obese dogs and large dogs being the most heavily impacted.
We love our canine companions and we owe it to them to make them as comfortable as possible in their golden years, which is why non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are commonly used. Some of the most common NSAIDs used in our canine companions are carprofen known as Rimadyl or Novox or meloxicam under the common name Metacam. These drugs can really improve the quality of life in older pets and make them feel more comfortable. These drugs are generally safe to use, however, they can have side effects on the liver, kidneys and cause digestive problems, especially if a dog is on them long term. However, there is a new drug formulated by the company Elanco called Galliprant and it really is a new and incredible option for pain management and inflammation in osteoarthritis dogs.
Galliprant is a drug that works by blocking the prostaglandin EP4 receptor. The EP4 receptor is the primary mediator of osteoarthritis pain and inflammation. What is unique about Galliprant is that while it acts on that receptor it does not inhibit the production of many housekeeping prostanoids that maintain homeostatic functions. In common terms this means that it is a more specific and targeted drug that does not stop the production of other substances the body produces that contribute to the overall health of our canine companion. Since it is more specific and targeted it can be used in dogs as young as nine months or as small as eight pounds, it is also a lot better for our canine companions to be on long term since it won’t interfere as much with the other production of other prostanoids! Another interesting fact is in the study of this drug a dosage of fifteen times the instructed dosage (please to not do repeat this, this was done in a controlled, research setting) was given to dogs with little side effects with only a few patients experiencing mild gastrointestinal upsets. Other NSAIDs in this sort of dosage can be fatal which is really a strong statement in regards to the safety of this product.
Another convenient factor about this drug is that it is only given once a day, unlike many other NSAIDs that are given twice a day to your pet. This is extremely helpful when life gets hectic and busy and things can be forgotten such as remembering to give your dog Rimadyl twice a day when you have to get to work and are trying to have a social life in the evening.
Galliprant is a really incredible product that really has a lot to offer in regards to safety and long term health for our canine companions with osteoarthritis. In your canine’s senior years, it is best to keep them comfortable and happy while spending the last few years we have with them, which is why this is a great medication option and can be discussed with your veterinarian!