Objective—To identify and critically evaluate the quality of evidence of the most commonly used pharmacologic, nutraceutical, and purported slow-acting drugs of osteoarthritis for the management of osteoarthritis in dogs by use of the FDA's evidence-based medicine scoring system.
Sample Population—16 clinical trials.
Procedures—A broad bibliographic search was performed prior to May 2006. Inclusion criteria focused on prospective trials evaluating commonly used medical treatment interventions for the management of osteoarthritis in dogs and published in peer-reviewed journals. The analysis consisted of the following: study design rating, quality factor rating, quantity rating, consistency rating, relevance to disease risk reduction rating, and cumulative strength of evidence ranking.
Results—4 trials evaluating meloxicam were rated as type I.Three trials evaluating carprofen were rated as type I, and 2 trials were rated as type III. One trial evaluating each of the following agents was rated as type 1: etodolac; P54FP; polysulfated glycosaminoglycan; and a combination of chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and manganese ascorbate. Two trials evaluating pentosan polysulphate and 2 trails evaluating green-lipped mussels were rated as type I. One trial evaluating hyaluronan was rated as type III.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A high level of comfort exists for meloxicam that the claimed relationship is scientifically valid and that its use is clinically efficacious for the treatment of osteoarthritis in dogs.A moderate level of comfort exists for carprofen; etodolac; pentosan polysulphate; green-lipped mussels; P54FP; polysulfated glycosaminoglycans; and a combination of chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and manganese ascorbate. An extremely low level of comfort exists for hyaluronan.