Our 22 yr old QH mare has been on Adequan for more than one year. She had the proper loading dose and has had a dose each month since then, with her last dose in July, 2013. Since she did not have a dose in August, will we have to do the loading dose again when the drug is available? Thank you. LS, Michigan
Good news! Those seven injections that were given every four days? That wasn’t a “loading dose,” that was actually the correct way to administer Adequan. It turns out there IS no official “maintenance dose” from the company such as the once-a-month injections that are commonly given. The only regimen that has been proven to reverse the effects of degenerative joint disease (DJD or osteoarthritis) in horses and that is approved by the FDA is a 500mg intramuscular injection of Adequan once every four days for seven treatments. Once-a-month dosing will offer relief for a four day period but is unable to reestablish the cartilage that has degraded from training, conformation, or age-related changes.
According to Luitpold, the manufacturer, a more effective schedule both in terms of cost and benefit to the joints would be a seven-dose series once or twice a year to address on-going DJD. So until your veterinarian evaluates your mare and together you determine that it’s time to give her the seven-dose series again, absolutely no harm has been done by not being able to give her one injection of Adequan each month!
Of course, the absolute best regimen would be a combination of the seven-dose Adequan series once or twice a year and daily administration of an oral joint supplement. This combined approach would ensure she was starting with the healthiest joints possible and keeping them that way with consistent, optimum levels of key active ingredients.