Librela for Dogs

Librela is an exciting new treatment for managing osteoarthritis in senior dogs. Learn why people are talking about this revolutionary therapy.

Librela for Dogs

Librela is an exciting new treatment for managing osteoarthritis in senior dogs. Learn why people are talking about this revolutionary therapy.

Librela is a promising new treatment for osteoarthritis in dogs.

Golib via Canva

Librela™ for Osteoarthritis in Dogs

Much like the excitement and buzz around the FDA's recent approval of Solensia™ for managing osteoarthritis in cats, Librela™ is the new exciting equivalent for dogs. Most pet owners with senior dogs are well familiar with osteoarthritis (OA), an unfortunate but common joint disease that impacts the integrity of cartilage, soft tissue, and bone. It is also sometimes referred to as degenerative joint disease (DJD).

Just as it happens in humans, cartilage (which serves to cushion the joints) breaks down and causes stiff joints, inflammation, and generalized pain with age, eventually affecting a pet's mobility and quality of life. The areas most commonly affected include the hips, knees, and elbows, as these are the most weight-bearing joints of the dog. Sometimes, severe causes of OA require not only medications and supplements, weight loss, and physical therapy but surgery as well. This can be expensive and particularly hard on older dogs due to lengthy post-surgical recovery.

Librela is exciting because it is the first monthly injectable antibody therapy that can help relieve osteoarthritis in dogs. Whereas most common treatments for OA involve nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which can have heavy side effects on the major organs and gastrointestinal tract with prolonged use, Librela offers a whole new approach to treatment.

Important: Please note that Librela is currently approved for use in dogs in the UK and Canada.

What Is Librela for Dogs?

Librela, which is the trade name for the drug, is classified as a monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment. This type of therapy uses the technology of manufactured antibodies which then recognize specific proteins in cells to target them (already used in medicine to target viruses, cancer cells, etc.). When the mAb antibody binds to the target of a cell, it destroys it (via the immune system).

Librela, much like Solensia for cats, is unique because it works on one of the key drivers of pain that causes osteoarthritis and inflammation in dogs: nerve growth factor (NGF). Bedinvetmab, the active ingredient in the new drug, is specific to dogs (due to its specific protein) and binds to NGF, and essentially blocks the pain from reaching the brain. NGF is released from damaged cells into the joints, causing pain, but bedinvetmab neutralizes this effect, helping to reduce inflammation.

Novel treatments for OA in dogs offer fewer side effects and better quality of life.


How Quickly Does Librela Work?

Librela is given at monthly intervals and shows positive results as early as one month following the initial injection and most noticeably after 60 days.

What Are the Benefits?

Librela is a monthly injection with a prolonged effect and causes noticeable improvement in mobility and a drastic reduction in osteoarthritis symptoms. It also is said to play well with other medications like preventatives for parasites, antibiotics, and vaccines. It is administered subcutaneously in dogs (under the skin) based on the dog's weight:

  • ~5 to 10 kg (1 vial; 5 mg)
  • ~10 to 20 kg (1 vial; 10 mg)
  • ~20 to 30 kg (1 vial; 15 mg)
  • ~30 to 40 kg (1 vial; 20 mg)
  • ~40 to 60 kg (1 vial; 30 mg)
  • ~60 to 80 kg (2 vials; 20 mg)
  • ~80 to 100 kg (1 vial, 20 mg and 1 vial, 30 mg)
  • ~100-120 kg (2 vials; 30 mg)

Note: 1 kg = 2.2 pounds; verify all dosing according to drug label.

Similar to the found benefits in cats, Librela requires minimal involvement of the liver and kidneys for metabolism and extraction because the artificial antibodies in the drug function like naturally occurring antibodies and are excreted a such.

How long does it last?

The benefits of Librela are observed to last 4 weeks (1 month) after injection.

How does it compare to other treatments?

NSAIDs (most common and current treatments for OA) can cause gastrointestinal issues with prolonged use, include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach ulcers. In addition, they can cause kidney damage and kidney failure for dogs with preexisting conditions, liver damage or liver failure (though rare), and bleeding disorders. Librela, on the other hand, is far more gentle on the system.

Other more passive or slower approaches to treating OA include supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin, which may help support joint health. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids can have anti-inflammatory effects as can weight loss, exercise, and physical therapy (especially water therapy). Dietary changes are also crucial for managing the weight of your pet, especially in dogs. You can consider converting your dog to a low-inflammatory diet (talk to your vet about your options) to further reduce systemic inflammation and aggravators.

What Are the Side Effects of Librela in Dogs?

Common side effects for Librela, which have so far affected a small number of those treated, include mild injection site reactions such as swelling, tenderness, and heat. Unlike many of the still milder side effects (compared to NSAIDs) listed for Solensia in cats, dogs experience far fewer negative effects overall.

Can it be used on pregnant dogs?

It should not be used on pregnant, breeding, or lactating dogs due to limited available data. In addition, Librela should not be used on dogs under 12 months of age.

Although there is no cure fore canine arthritis, it can be managed. Drugs like Librela offer promise and hope for managing OA, therefore improving the quality of life of senior dogs and keeping them active longer.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2023 Laynie H

(Excluding for the Headline, this article ("story") has not been edited by MiBiz News and is published from a web feed or sourced from the Internet.)