Green-lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus) safely helps dogs with arthritis

September 15, 2009

Researchers at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Equine and Small Animal Medicine, University of Helsinki in Finland evaluated Perna green-lipped mussel (GLM) preparation in a randomized, double-controlled and double-blinded clinical trial. It was hypothesized that the treatment effect would be less than that of the positive control with the powerful drug Rimadyl (carprofen) but more than that of the sham treatment (placebo); Rimadyl has to be monitored because it causes severe liver damage and death in some breeds. Forty-five dogs with chronic pain and a radiographic diagnosis of osteoarthritis that were randomly allocated into one of three groups completed the study. All dogs were fed the test products or placebo for 8 weeks. The dogs were evaluated four times, at 4-week intervals. Intake of extra carprofen was also evaluated. When changed to dichotomous variables, there were more dogs in the GLM than in the placebo group that improved, according to veterinary-assessed mobility, owner-evaluated chronic pain index and pain. The extent of improvement was significantly different between the GLM and the control in veterinary-assessed mobility and pain VAS (a scale from 1 to 10 describing the level of pain). In conclusion, GLM alleviated chronic orthopedic pain in dogs although it was not as effective as carprofen. As no side-effects were detected, GLM may be beneficial in dogs e.g. when non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs cannot be used. The study is published in the September 2009 issue of the journal Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.