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25 Year Old Cat Arthritis Cured

September 24, 2009

My oldest cat patient was 25 years old.  She was a tiny little 5 pound calico cat named Sweetie.  She had no ongoing health problems, no kidney disease, no hyperthyroidism, no heart disease, not even a heart murmur.  She had escaped all of the older cat major maladies.

She came to see me about once a week to have her ears cleaned.  It wasn’t difficult to do.  Her owner could perform the task at home.  However, she preferred to have Sweetie’s ear cleaned in the animal hospital.  Why? (you may be asking…) The reason it was a little unpleasant to clean Sweetie’s ears, is this: she would get so intent on the sensation of having her ears cleaned, that she would lay on her side, with a hind paw up, scratch in the general direction of her ear, and send an arc of urine spraying out like a lawn sprinkler all over the room!  Her mom did not want that mess to clean up at home, so we used the tub at the hospital.

One day, Sweetie’s mom mentioned that she wondered why Sweetie wasn’t jumping up on the furniture anymore and she wasn’t sleeping in bed with her people, like she had for 25 years.  I thought maybe Sweetie had arthritis, and I suggested an “off-label” (non-FDA-approved) use of Adequan injection for arthritis treatment.  Since we didn’t anticipate any bad side effects, and Sweetie wouldn’t have to eat a pill, her mom agreed to try it.

Two days later, I received a phone call,”Sweetie came up the stairs last night, jumped on the bed, and slept with us all night!  It’s a miracle!  It’s like she’s 20 again!”

So, when you think your cat is getting old at 10, or 12, or 15, or 17, think of Sweetie acting like a young 20 again.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2014 10:04 am

    Doc, what dose of Adequan do you give cats? I’ve researched this a lot and the recommendations are all over the place! It does not seem to be a clear cut answer when it comes to cats. Need some guidance! I have a 19 yr old cat with osteoarthritis in his hips. We want to start Adequan, but don’t know how much to inject! Txs!

    • October 28, 2014 11:48 am

      Hi Jo!

      Thanks for your question. In the United States, Adequan in a prescription medication and use in cats is off-label. Not an FDA-approved use. I love using it in cats.

      In order to provide your cat with the best care, a veterinarian familiar with your cat must determine the dose. If your veterinarian needs advice, they can feel free to contact me. My office prequalifies calls, and I do consult directly with a veterinarian who is in charge of the case.

      Thanks for your thoughtful question!

      (You’ve inspired me to write an article: why don’t vets just publish doses on the internet? I can tell you some doozy cases where not having a professional veterinary education caused immeasurable harm.)

      Doc Truli


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