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Dog owners are not getting proactive OA information from their veterinarians


A study reveals that most veterinarians are not having proactive arthritis discussions with clients

Lunja / stock.adobe.com

Lunja / stock.adobe.com

Data collected through the Adequan Canine Osteoarthritis Awareness Study conducted by American Regent Animal Health, makers of Adequan Canine, revealed that only 11% of veterinarians currently discuss joint problems with owners of “healthy dogs.”1

According to a company release,1 the study surveyed 575 dog owners to assess how much they knew about canine osteoarthritis (OA) and what their veterinarians had discussed with them. The results, which were released to the veterinary profession on January 16, 2023, during the VMX conference in Orlando, Florida, revealed that many veterinarians are not talking to their clients about OA risks in dogs.

A key takeaway Adequan discovered from the study was that more than half (51%) of dog owners who participated in the study said their veterinarian had never talked to them about arthritis or other joint problems in their dog. Of those who had discussed joint issues with their veterinarian, 59% said they brought up the subject themselves.1

Some additional data from the study includes:

  • 43% of dog owners said they knew “nothing” or “just a little bit” about canine osteoarthritis and joint problems.
  • 11% of dog owners said their veterinarian had educated them about joint problems proactively, when their dog seemed healthy.
  • 21% of those surveyed reported owning a breed known to be at high risk for OA: Labrador retrievers, German shepherds, golden retrievers, bulldogs or rottweilers.
  • 59% of dog owners said they were unfamiliar with disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs (DMOADs), an FDA-regulated drug category, while just 13% said the same about nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting approximately a quarter of dogs.2 OA is typically diagnosed in dogs between the ages of 8 and 13, but treating OA early in a dog’s life can be beneficial to help delay joint damage.

From the results of this study, Adequan recommends making OA discussions with clients a priority topic. They suggest that the earlier veterinary teams intervene with measures to protect cartilage and maintain mobility, the better off patients will be.


  1. Study reveals veterinarians are not being proactive with OA. News release. American Regent Animal Health. Published January 16, 2023. Accessed January 19, 2023.
  2. Osteoarthritis in Dogs. American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Accessed January 19, 2023. https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/osteoarthritis-in-dogs
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