Our Dog on Librela: To Treat Pain from Arthritis


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There’s been some controversy regarding a new monoclonal antibody to treat pain from osteoarthritis in dogs called Librela, and whether it works and about potential side-effects or adverse responses. I wrote about that controversy here.

In full disclosure we used Librela four times for our (approximately) 16-year old dog, Hazel (shown below). There was absolute improvement, not as much as some other dogs whose owners said “acted like puppies again” and more than some people who said improvement was minimal. Then we stopped the monthly injection for about two months (nothing whatsoever to do with any controversy regarding adverse events) because she suffered a bout of gastroenteritis, which we know had nothing to do with Librela. The veterinary team and myself will never be certain os what set her GI system off, but believe it may have been treats at the veterinary office, ironically. I didn’t need to stop the Librela, but I did as we were focusing on her getting over her loose stools, and while there would be no drug interactions – we just thought this is one she doesn’t necessarily need right now.

Mid-morning yesterday Hazel received her first Librela injection in two months. And see for yourself (video below) the apparent impact about five to six hours later. She had been typically lagging behind on walks, even with her previous Librela injections (though worse over the past month or two).  We weren’t even near a pet store (because they offer cookies and can motivate her pulling on the leash), and this is a dog who rarely – even when young – did this, as she walks well at my side. And in the house her activity level is more spirited, barking at the door and more playful.

True enough the weather yesterday was perfect – not too hot and not too cold. Maybe that played a role.

Please understand that I am not discounting that some dogs have suffered adverse events, though that percent with Librela is actually quite low (particularly when an appropriate medical exam is conducted first). I also understand that no matter how low that percent, if it is your dog that suffers an adverse response, nothing else matters. Also, consider most dogs on Librela are older as the drug is for arthritis, and that population is more likely to have diagnosed or sometimes undiagnosed concurrent illness (comorbidities).

As I said in the video our dog is only our dog and not representative of all dogs. But then again, I was so thrilled that she was pulling to the end of leash and her exuberance was exciting to witness.  I couldn’t even believe my own eyes is the real reason I videod, and wanted to show my wife. She asked, “Are you sure that’s our dog?”