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Pain Management and Palliative Care » Treatment Brief: Pain Medication & PSGAG Injections

Treatment Brief: Pain Medication & PSGAG Injections

General Pain Medication Options

  • NSAIDs – There are special NSAIDs designed for dogs that interfere with the body’s production of inflammatory molecules and are often prescribed for mild to moderate pain.
  • Opioids – Just like humans, pets may be prescribed opioids to address severe pain from arthritis or advanced cancer.
  • Corticosteroids – Cortisone and synthetic cortisone-like drugs such as prednisone are potent anti-inflammatory medications that can deliver dramatic relief, though not without side effects.
  • Gabapentin – Is a popular choice for managing chronic neuropathic pain.

What Are “Disease Modifying Osteoarthritis Drugs” – PSGAG Injections

PSGAG stands for polysulfated glycosaminoglycan, which is considered a “disease-modifying osteoarthritis” drug or DMOD.  Once injected, the PSGAG is distributed into joint fluid and cartilage. Although the exact mechanism of action is not completely understood, PSGAG inhibits enzymes that contribute to cartilage degradation, thus slowing cartilage breakdown in OA joints. By blocking cartilage degradation, PSGAG helps decrease inflammation—an important source of pain. PSGAG also contributes to cartilage healing by providing the body with the building blocks of cartilage. Finally, this medication improves the consistency of joint fluid, providing better joint lubrication, improving joint mobility, and increasing comfort in dogs and cats with OA.

 PSGAG Characteristics:

  • Limits cartilage deterioration
  • Promotes new cartilage formation
  • Thickens the joint fluid – thus acting as a better lubricant
  • Increases blood flow and reduces joint inflammation
  • By virtue of these actions, it provides pain relief for a much longer period of time
  • Treats all joints of the body at the same time

Pet owners can consult with Heaven at Home to determine if a series of PSGAG injections are suitable for their pet. Our team can also teach pet owners to administer injections themselves to decrease trips and fees since the initial course of injections is usually given once weekly for 4 weeks.