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Librela®, A New Approach To Arthritis Pain In Your Dog.. Dog Owner’s Feedback Page

Ron Hines DVM PhD

If your veterinarian has given Librela® injection(s) to your dog to deal with the pain of arthritis you can send me an email so that other dog owners will benefit from your experience. For your privacy, I delete your name and your email address.

My comments in Purple Follow-up emails in Green

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May 21, 2024

Hi Ron – Just wanted to let you know although Charlie had his last Librela injection just about 35 days ago, I had to make the horrible decision to say goodbye to him over the weekend. His incontinence just got worse especially with the amount of water he was drinking and he just couldn’t get his hind legs under himself steadily and was just so doped up all the time on pain meds, he was not having any fun. I did his favorite things bucket list as I think I mentioned, dog beach, ice cream etc and made him wagyu steak and sweet potatoes for dinner. Will take his ashes to the dog beach once returned and release him in the water where he swam pain free. I appreciate you keeping the Librela forum open for discussion and my last thoughts on the drug are do not allow a senior dog who may already have some high liver and kidney values to take it. The side effects are real no matter what the label and manufacturer purports. (read more about Charlie below)

M.K. Tampa, Florida

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May 6, 2024

I started my dog Charlie on Librela about 6 months ago. I adopted him as an adult. He is somewhere between 12 and 14 as far as we can tell. My vet recommended this drug Librela for his OA and advised he could stay on his other pain meds as there were no known contraindications. In the last 6 months I have seen slight improvement for a few days to week HOWEVER: He just got over a UTI – he has never had a UTI since he’s been with me (8 years). He is continually thirsty and peeing to the point of almost incontinence. His hindquarters seem to be atrophying quickly and he struggles more and more each day [trying to stand after] a nap. He stumbles and seems to have a lack of coordination (this is relatively new and getting worse)  to the point I am afraid to take him for short walks and he still loves walks and loves car rides. He is losing weight even though there are no changes to his diet or amounts fed. He pants and just seems uneasy sometimes although I keep the temperature pretty low in the house. This is not new but seems to be getting worse. I had bloodwork and urine done last week. All bloodwork came back normal except for a higher than normal liver enzymes (lots of senior dogs have this). His urine is clear after 2 weeks of antibiotics. My conclusion is that after doing a lot of research, considering the side affects, and more importantly the new issues of excessive thirst, incontinence,  worsening ataxia, quickly atrophying hind quarter muscles, he will not be receiving any more Librela doses. I do think this medicine has a place in veterinary medicine and it may help younger dogs and it may have helped Charlie at age 7 or 8. There is a point however when he gets so many meds, its unsustainable especially when one drug ie tramadol causes constipation so now her gets MiraLax in his food just to poop, the next one causes acid reflux so no he gets an antacid, etc etc.  He is not miserable yet and does have good days but his days of Librela are over. I will not let him suffer and will absolutely hate having to make that call.

M. K., Tampa, Florida 

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April 7, 2024

My lovely 10 yo spayed dog, Princess, also encountered very similar urinary incontinence issues as a side effects as other did. [particularly when she sleeps] Her 1st shot was on 8/10/23. Her 2nd on 9/8/23. That was when the urine incontinence problem started. Her 3rd shot was on 10/4/23. 4th shot was on 11/6/23. By then, her incontinence was worse. Her 5th shot was on 12/7/23. 6th shot on 1/19/24 = same issue, 7th shot on 2/23/24. That was the last Librela shot I allowed the vets to give. Now I just see them because of the incontinence issues that are persisting. Like others report, she drinks more water than before.

Regards, S.C., Singapore

4-10-24 My vet prescribed stilbesterol however, it is out of stock right now, so I am still waiting. But I hope that stopping Librela can reverse these abnormalities. She was spayed at around 1 year old so I think it is ok. but anyway. Regards, S.C.  …….  4-23-24 Hi, I would like to give you an update on Princess. After 2 months off of librela, she is now 99.99% free of urine incontinence and I am no longer giving her incontinence medication ! – just MSM and fish oil. I am not saying 100% as she has one time – but very small few drops due to her excitement about a stranger at the doorstep.  Maybe I should say 100% as she is back to her pre-librela self now. I am so happy about this and glad to share with you, Regards, S.C.

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April 2, 2024

Hello, My 15 yo mixed breed has bad arthritis from two ACL surgeries and has been on Deramaxx.  We tried Librela this month and while it worked well, the day after the injections she started urinating in her sleep – a lot.  This from a dog who has never had an accident in the house since we were blessed to get her!  I am going to try some ways to deal with the incontinence for the rest of the month and see where we are.  I was wondering if Proin might help. I am going to talk to my vet about it.  

C. J., Cheshire Connecticut

4-3-24 Dear Ms J.,  Proin is often effective in preventing canine urinary dribbling, a very common occurrance in elderly female dogs. It “tightens” (increases the tone) of the bladder sphincters. It’s most common side effect is increased thirst and the need to be let outside to pee more frequently. I cannot tell you if Librela was a factor in this occurring. However, the NGF that Librela reduces is an important requirement for bladder sphincter tone. (read here) If, as Librela wears off over the coming month, the problem disappears, then perhaps the two events were connected. If one of my clients dogs had a similar problem, I might suggest discontinue Proin for a few days before its next Librela shot to see if urine incontinence returned or not. Best wishes, RSH

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December 1, 2023

My female Labrador, Tilly, has had 3 doses of Librela and has been noticeably more active since the second day of the first dose. She was 13 last March and has had an active life including picking up on the local shoot. She has always maintained a slim figure and been very active, jumping stiles etc. although I stopped the jumping at the first sign of arthritis about a year ago. It took some time for me to agree to using Librela but I am delighted with the difference it has made to her agility and general sense of wellbeing. She was incontinent after spaying and remained so for most of her life for which I used Propalin which was very effective. I ceased using this recently as she appears not to need it now. Her fourth Librela injection is due next week. We undertook a three mile walk two days ago and she has shown no adverse reactions. I’m hoping that her current level of activity and enjoyment of life will sustain her for some time to come!

Ms. R. P., Maidstone, Kent, UK

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October 6, 2023

I have just read a post on your Librela site regarding incontinence. Our dog Milly is a 15 year old springer. She always had a good tap on her until she received Librela. She started to drink lots and became urinary incontinent. We had been told that there were no side effects, but I understand that it has recently been licensed in Canada and there [they list] around 6 side effects, incontinence being one of them. There is a site now called Librela experiences. There are both positive and negative comments. We have just been prescribed amantadine and she has been sick on 1 of the 4 days so far. It really is a minefield and we want to do what is best for her.

Regards, M. & P., C., Cartmel Fell, UK

10-7-2023 She began taking Librela because of her arthritis last November. She almost immediately became incontinent. We didn’t continue with it because of her excessive drinking. At that time it wasn’t known that Librela caused incontinence, but it is now listed as a possible side effect, although still not here in the UK. When it wore off, the drinking stopped. They did a full blood profile in February and all was well, she’s just had another one done and there is a slight kidney problem but thought it’s unlikely to be linked to the Librela after all this time. We have tried other arthritis medications over the last 11 months. She doesn’t tolerate them, especially Metacam etc. We are currently on Amantadine for the last 5 days and on one of those days she was sick within 30 mins, but our vet said it might just be a one-off. Librela did definitely help with the arthritis and because that is getting worse, our physio said we might as well give it another try as she is already incontinent, so we’ll see. Because Milly is 15 we are aware that we may not have long left with her. But she’s very precious to us and such a lovely gentle girl and we want to do everything we can to give her a good quality of life and make her comfortable. Regards, M.

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September 18, 2023

Our Girl Sidney is 12.5 yrs old, a Rottweiler X Welsh Springer Spaniel. Her mobility has really gone downhill this year and we’ve noticed she experiences a lot of pain after really active days. We started trying Librela in July 2023, so she has had 2 shots thus far and goes for her third tomorrow. It seems to be working really well. She still needs assistance getting up into our truck and uses steps now to get onto the bed etc, but she really doesn’t seem to be in any pain. The one thing that I am curious about is if anyone else has experienced incontinence as a side effect with Librela? Or if this is just another symptom of old age we need to deal with and if it is just a coincidence that it has become increasingly worse since she has started taking the shots. She doesn’t seem to feel bowel movements at all, she will be lying down, completely relaxed, and have a movement, completely oblivious. She was very easy to house train as a puppy and has never had an accident in the house in over 12 years so this is all very strange to us. We would love to know if Librela could be causing this.

E.H., Sent from my iPhone

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May 9, 2023

Good Day, Dr Hines,

I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and have a geriatric Pit bull who came into our lives about 3 years ago, overweight, diseased, abused and anxious. Unfortunately, we only know a brief slice of her history, as her original human passed away when she was 9. Now 13, and with chronic pain, we’ve gone through NSAIDs, supplements, CBD, and Cartrofen injections, but their effects were negligible, especially with the gastro issues on the NSAIDs. My dear Veterinarian has suggested Librela, as it has recently been allowed here. Doc says the old gal will be the first she’s ever tries it upon. I’m hoping this gives her some relief and the ability to find joy again in this existence for her remaining days. If you wish a subjective take on our experiences, I’d be happy to share with you and your readers.

Take care, B.V., Edmonton, Canada

6-20-23  Well, I promised to update you, so here I go; Having now gone through the aforementioned list of treatments (I forgot to add gabapentin to the list), we have now had the old girl get 2 shots of Librela. It did not appear to have any effect, since her mobility has continued to decline, and her pain has increased. While it is possible that further rounds of treatments could slow her decline, I feel as if it may have been started too late. We’ve now got her on a combination of meloxicam and tramadol, to ease her in the short term. She now spends more moments of the day enjoying life, but the remainder either sleeping, in a haze, or in pain. We’ve made the difficult decision to have her euthanized and have scheduled a well-reviewed, in-home veterinarian to oversee her passing in the comfort of her home surrounded by those who love her most. In just over a week, I will be finally able to keep my promise to her to relieve her suffering. Thank you for taking the time to read, B. V.

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February 28, 2023

I used Librela on my male Labrador, who was 11 years old then, for 7 months in 2021. We were in France then and the vet suggested it. It worked wonders, no side effects. Good blood analyses. Then we moved back to Canada, where Librela is still unavailable. Even though Health Canada approved it in February of 2021. I had to revert to meloxicam for my now 13 year old Labrador. It works, but no comparison with Librela. I hope this information helps others.

Best regards,
C. R, Chesterville, Ontario, Canada  Envoyé à partir de mon téléphone portable

My vet in France, a friend of over 60 years, says Zoetis cannot keep up with the success of Librela, cannot produce fast enough.

September 8, 2022,

I am emailing you on behalf of ******* ********* Pet Hospital, We have a few patients here at our clinic that suffer from arthritis and might really benefit from Librela. However we are unsure of how we can get some to our clinic. I was trying to do some research and figure out if Librela is only in the UK or if it has made its way to North America. That is when I came across your website. If you have any advice on how to receive Librela that would be amazing.  Thanks, L. S., Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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9/8/2022

From B. B. : Good to hear from you, Yes, ********* is the only exporter in the world that is FDA approved for FIO shipments to the U.S. The first two or three years I ordered FIO it was only FDA approved for FIV, and it had a history of being held up in Jamaica, Queens customs. That did happen once to us, but someone marked on the package in big letters FDA APPROVED so after twelve days we did get it.  B. B., Jackson, Tennessee

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9/9/2022

Hi Ron, Thank you so much for getting back to me, I have contacted ******** and they have suggested I start with Health Canada’s, VHP Notification ProgramI will let you know if I become successful in bringing it over here. I also hope it comes to Canada for good as soon as possible. All of your information is greatly appreciated!!  Thank you, L. S. 

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