CAM conversation WITH CAM Hannah Capon ABOUT Cartrophen Vet

23rd September 2018

What is Cartrophen Vet?

Cartrophen Vet contains the active ingredient pentosan polysulfate sodium and is a prescription only medicine for the treatment of arthritis in dogs. It is classified as a disease modifying osteoarthritis drug (DMOAD) and is proven to help improve the health of the joint, thereby relieving the symptoms of pain and lameness. Cartrophen Vet is unique as it is the only veterinary licensed DMOAD available in the UK and Ireland.

How is cartrophen given to the dog?

It is given by your vet as an injection under the skin using a small needle, in a similar way to a vaccination. It is given initially as a course of 4 injections, with 5-7 days between each injection.

How does Cartrophen Vet help a dog’s joints?

Cartrophen Vet has three main effects:

  1. Strengthening and protecting cartilage: Cartrophen Vet works by helping to maintain the cartilage within the joint and slowing down the progression of the disease. Cartilage acts as a shock absorber within the joint – a bit like a spongy mattress with a cushioning effect. With arthritis, cartilage can break and crumble, which leads to pain in the joint. Cartrophen Vet helps to stop this happening.
  2. Improving the quality & quantity of joint fluid: Normal joint fluid (also called synovial fluid) is essential to lubricate the joint and allow it to bear weight. Joint fluid is viscous, and like the oil in an engine, it also withstands compression as well as lubricates. Cartrophen Vet rapidly restores joint fluid to normal levels of quantity and viscosity.
  3. Reducing Pain and lameness: by reducing inflammation and improving blood supply to the layer of bone next to the cartilage.

Why would my vet recommend Cartrophen Vet for my dog?

There are many different approaches to help dogs with arthritis. You vet may choose Cartrophen Vet for any of the following reasons:

  1. Efficacy: Cartrophen Vet is a proven pharmaceutical treatment for arthritis in dogs. Cartrophen Vet has been shown in numerous studies and trials to work well in approximately 8 out of 10 dogs with arthritis. It has also been shown in clinical trials to be as effective as a NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) at treating the pain associated with arthritis. However, it also has the added benefit that it is modifying the underlying disease process (through its effects on cartilage and joint fluid), not just dampening pain.
  2. Safety: Cartrophen Vet generally causes less, and less severe, side effects than many other existing prescription arthritis treatments. Cartrophen Vet has a history of over 20 years of use in dogs.
  3. Convenience: As Cartrophen Vet is given at your vet practice by injection there is no daily treatment regime for you to remember at home. Many owners and vets find this more convenient, and it ensures that the dog gets the doses that it needs.

How is Cartrophen Vet different to joint supplements (e.g. glucosamine and chondroitin)?

It is important to note that Cartrophen Vet is not a joint supplement or a ‘natural remedy’. Cartrophen Vet is an injectable prescription medicine with proven effects.

In contrast joint supplements are not licensed prescription medicines.  There is conflicting evidence of the effectiveness of many joint supplements, and the quantity to give and quality can vary greatly. Equally none of them are prescription medicines meaning they do not have enough proof to satisfy the regulatory authorities that they have any positive effects on arthritis.

What is the Treatment Regime for dogs on Cartrophen Vet?

Your vet will be the best person to advise on a treatment regime tailored to your dog.

All dogs treated with Cartrophen Vet injection will require a minimum of 1 full course per year. Regular vet check-ups are important to monitor progress, determine the best time to repeat treatment and therefore keep the disease well managed.

Trials and experience show that clinical response generally lasts between 3-12 months (following a full course of injections) and each patient should be assessed on an individual basis.

While it will vary from case to case, below are approximate recommended regimes. It is essential that your dog completes all 4 injections in a course to ensure optimal benefit.

Mild signs of arthritis 1 course* every 12 months
Moderate signs of arthritis 1 course* every 6 months (2 courses per year)
Chronic and severe signs of arthritis 1 course* every 4 months (3 courses per year)
*course = 4 injections, with 5-7 days between each injection.

As a course takes 3-4 weeks to complete, you should count the period between courses starting from the last injection of the previous course. For example, in a chronic/severe arthritis case you would start the next course 3 months after the last injection of the previous course.


Do you have any tips for during treatment with Cartrophen Vet?

Allow your dog to rest and allow the healing and recovery process to progress.

Just gentle exercise is advisable during treatment and for a week or two following. While your dog may feel better very shortly following treatment, vigorous exercise could aggravate the disease and arthritis process before healing is sufficiently progressed.

It is essential that you complete the full course of four injections. While good results may occur early in the treatment process, full benefits of healing, repair and long term healthy joints are achieved when the course is completed.

Where can I find more information on Cartrophen Vet?

Your vet will be able to give you more specific advice on your dog’s arthritis and so should be your first port of call. 

The product datasheet can be found on the Veterinary Medicines Directorate website

CAM conversation WITH CAM Hannah Capon ABOUT Cartrophen Vet

CAM conversation WITH CAM Hannah Capon ABOUT Cartrophen Vet

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