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You may have heard about the recent release of a new medication used for chronic arthritis pain in dogs, called Librela.  Librela has been used overseas for several years and has recently become available in the United States, and it is now offered at City Dog Vet.

What options are there for chronic pain management?

Typical methods of chronic pain management include weight management, joint supplements, pain medication, and alternative therapies.  Joint supplements include various glucosamine/chondroitin products, fish oil, and an injectable joint supplement called Adequan.  Medicines that are used typically include anti-inflammatories such as carprofen (Rimadyl, among others), grapiprant (Galliprant), and several others.  Alternative therapies may include modalities such as acupuncture and laser therapy.

Expectation of pain improvement on joint supplements is limited, and pets may experience varying degrees of success with alternative therapies.  Anti-inflammatories are typically consistently effective.  Pet owners are often understandingly hesitant to use anti-inflammatories in the long-term.  Anti-inflammatories are well-tolerated by most dogs, but some dogs may experience liver, kidney, or GI side effects.  Chronic use of all anti-inflammatories typically involves regular monitoring of bloodwork.

How is Librela different?

Librela is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits the activity of a key mediator of chronic pain and reduces the release of other pro-inflammatory substances.  It is given as a once-monthly subcutaneous injection in the veterinary clinic.  Because it is an antibody it is metabolized like naturally occurring antibodies with minimal liver or kidney involvement.  In US studies and with years of use abroad, it is deemed a safe treatment for arthritis-related pain.

Librela can be used either as a first-line treatment for pain but can also be used in conjunction with other pain management modalities.

If you have more questions about Librela or if you would like to talk about whether your dog is a candidate for Librela please call for a consultation.

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