Should My Dog Use Adequan For a Cruciate Ligament Injury?

dog with injured cruciate ligament

If your dog has experienced either a minor tear or a complete rupture of its ACL, you may be looking for a variety of treatment options. Surgery may be the most appropriate course of action, and even if surgery occurs, it may be well worth considering Adequan in your treatment plan.

Although not originally intended to be used as a treatment for Cruciate tears in dogs, Adequan has demonstrated promising results in treating arthritis and other joint-related maladies. It appears to also be an effective treatment for dogs with ACL tears. 

If you have never heard of Adequan, you can find out what it is, how it is administered, and what the results are like in improving and healing joint injuries in dogs. 

It may just be that Adequan will be effective enough for your dog that you are able to drastically improve joint mobility and the overall quality of life for your dog. 

What Is Adequan? 

Adequan is a drug that is administered through injections over a specific course of treatments to improve the health of cartilage and overall joint mobility. Adequan is classified as a DMOADs (disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs) (1)

The active medication in Adequan is polysulfated glycosaminoglycan. The injection of Adequan is helpful in resolving deteriorating cartilage and other issues with degrading joints in dogs. 

So, when is Adequan traditionally used, or what diseases benefit from its use?

Adequan is traditionally used for dogs living with arthritis, and other joint-related illnesses. The purpose of its use is to rebuild cartilage and enhance the overall function of joints, as well as ease any correlative pain. In addition to helping prevent further damage to the cartilage, Adequan also improves the overall quality of joint fluid. 

How Does It Work?

  • Adequan slows the destruction of cartilage
  • Encourages cartilage repair in dogs
  • Enhances the quality of joint fluid
  • May improve the function, comfort, and mobility of joints

It is not yet fully understood how exactly Adequan is able to be so effective, however, it is known that through injections the cartilage and muscles surrounding the joints absorb it very well. The results of using Adequan in dogs with degenerative joint diseases is very promising, with little to no side effects. When administered correctly and coupled with other types of therapies dogs with joint issues are able to enhance the dog’s overall quality of life substantially without any invasive procedures. 

How Is Adequan Administered?

Dog receiving Adequan injection

Adequan is injected into the area of a dog’s body that is diseased and is absorbed well into the body to promote healthier cartilage. Typically, Adequan injections are an outpatient procedure. Most often the program will occur over the course of several weeks with twice-weekly visits to the veterinarian for the injection itself. 

Most Adequan treatments require at least eight doses, but it is not an ongoing treatment. Once the prescribed program is complete, the dog may resume treatment again after a significant amount of time has passed. 

At times, there may be some swelling to the area of injection, but overall there are little to no reported side effects, and the benefits of the use of Adequan seem to far out way any potential risk. 

Is Adequan It Helpful For Cruciate Ligament Tears?

The ostensible purpose of the use of Adequan is to improve joint function and help to rebuild cartilage, so although its traditional use was not originally for cruciate tears, it does seem to be an effective means of treatment. 

Ligament tears in the hind legs of dogs vary significantly in scale from minor to complete rupture. Whether you, as the owner choose surgery or not, Adequan may strongly improve the overall health of the injured joint.

Not only does Adequan improve cartilage building it also positively affects joint fluid, both necessary occurrences for dogs living with a torn ACL

According to Compassionate Animal Care: “A series of Adequan injections can help with joint inflammation, as well as lubrication. Typically injections are given twice a week for a total of eight injections.”

So, yes, in most cases Adequan may significantly improve the healing of ACL tears in dogs as well as the overall quality of your dog’s life. 

Of course, discuss the benefits and risks of Adequan use if your dog has an injured ACL tear and find out if it is an appropriate course of action. 

Sources Cited:

  1. https://glencoeanimalhospital.com/2018/08/25/injection-of-adequan-canine-canine/
  2. https://www.queencreekvet.care/2021/11/10/cranial-cruciate-ligament-injury-in-dogs/

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