Friday, August 1, 2008

Product Review: Adequan i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan)

Product claims: to stimulate cartilage repair and reverse traumatic joint dysfunction.

Review: Delphi received a puncture wound to the front right medial knee in January 2008. After debriding the wound (cutting it down for drainage), her veterinarian Catherine Berry, DVM treated her with a combination of antibiotics, hydrotherapy, sweat wrapping and a single injection of Adequan i.m. near the end of treatment. The results were profound. The knee joint had become inflamed and swollen with infection, and Dr. Berry warned me that even under the best circumstances (i.e. the wound heals and there is no unsoundness) the joint itself would always be enlarged and misshapen (see photo 1). However, after the Adequan injection the knee healed completely, with not even a trace of unsoundness, and after a few weeks the joint returned to nearly normal size. A series of radiographs proved the joint was completely sound.

Pros: the product did indeed meet the claims of reversing joint dysfunction after a traumatic injury (see photo 2).
Cons: it is expensive, ~$100 per dose, and can only be dispensed by a veterinarian.

Bottom line: As there was no control in this case study, who knows that the joint wouldn't have returned to normal with traditional antibiotic therapy only? But Dr. Berry didn't seem to think so.