BackgroundOsteoarthritis (OA) pain is the number one cause of chronic pain in dogs. Multimodal treatment, including combining safe and effective nutritional interventions with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), is currently considered one of the most appropriate choices for managing OA pain. Palmitoyl-glucosamine is a feed material belonging to the ALIAmide family, whose parent molecule is the prohomeostatic lipid amide N-palmitoyl-ethanolamine. Curcumin is a promising plant antioxidant. The present study aimed at investigating whether 18-week dietary integration with palmitoyl-glucosamine co-micronized with curcumin was able to maintain pain relief in dogs with OA-associated chronic pain receiving meloxicam (1.5 mg/ml oral suspension) on a tapering regimen (progressive 25% decrease of the original 0.1 mg/kg/day dose, on a biweekly basis) during the first 8 weeks of treatment. Pain was assessed both by the owners and veterinary surgeons, with the first using both subjective evaluation and validated metrology instruments-i.e., Helsinki Chronic Pain Index (HCPI) and Canine Brief Pain Inventory (CBPI)-while the second rating the severity of lameness and pain on palpation on two previously used 5-point scales.ResultsA total of fifty-eight dogs with OA chronic pain entered the uncontrolled study. Pain on HCPI was considered severe at baseline (range 18-39). Based on owner's assessment, 90% of dogs who responded to meloxicam at the full-dose regimen could reduce meloxicam up to 25% of the original dose without experiencing pain worsening. Moreover, 75% of dogs was assessed as having no pain increase ten weeks after meloxicam withdrawal. A statistically significant decrease of pain severity as scored by HCPI (P < 0.0001) was observed two and ten weeks after meloxicam withdrawal compared to study entry (17.0 +/- 1.05 and 15.1 +/- 1.02, respectively, vs 29.0 +/- 0.74; mean +/- SEM). After meloxicam withdrawal, no statistically significant change in the CBPI scores was recorded. Pain on palpation and lameness significantly changed to less severe distributions along the study period (P < 0.0001).ConclusionThe findings appear to suggest that dietary integration with palmitoyl-glucosamine co-micronized with curcumin was able to maintain meloxicam-induced pain relief in dogs with severe OA chronic pain.
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