Comparison of meloxicam and a glucosamine-chondroitin supplement in management of feline osteoarthritis

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A double-blind randomised, placebo-controlled, prospective trial
R. M. Sul; D. Chase; T. Parkin; D. Bennett Small Animal Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK


Feline, osteoarthritis, glucosamine, chondroitin, meloxicam


  • Objective:

To compare the efficacy of meloxicam and a glucosamine-chondroitin (GluCh) supplement in the management of feline osteoarthritis (OA).

  • Methods:

Prospective, blinded, randomized clinical trial. Cats over eight years of age with clinical signs of chronic OA were assigned to one of two groups and Glu-Ch or meloxicam was administered orally for 70 days, followed by a placebo until day 98. Cats were assessed by a veterinarian on five occasions and the owner completed an assessment form at the same time.

  • Results:

Data were collected from thirty cats. Pre-treatment disease scores were significantly higher in the meloxicam group for owner mobility (p = 0.01) and veterinary lameness (p = 0.02). Owner mobility scores at day 14 (p = 0.01) and day 42 (p = 0.002) were significantly improved compared to pre-treatment scores for the meloxicam group. When meloxicam and Glu-Ch were discontinued and the placebo commenced, a significant proportion of the meloxicam group showed worsening of all the owner- assessed scores between day 70 and day 98, when compared to the Glu-Ch group (mobility p = 0.01; activity p = 0.02; temperament p = 0.04; lifestyle p = 0.01).

  • Conclusions:

Treatment with meloxicam resulted in a significant improvement in mobility and activity levels of cats with OA until the placebo was introduced. A greater proportion of cats receiving meloxicam medication showed a significant worsening of owner assessment scores once the placed was introduced, when compared to the Glu-Ch group.