Cartrophen Vet. Is it safe?

 Since I wrote this article I’ve received many comments about animals becoming very ill, and some dying shortly after an injection of Cartrophen Vet.  Please check the comments for personal experiences with this drug, and please do the research on this drug first.  There are links provided at the end of the article.

I have years of experience helping sick animals, especially those with cancer.  I’ve learned the best question to ask is what are we putting into our companion animals bodies that is contributing to them being diagnosed with cancer and other serious illnesses at staggering rates, and why isn’t that being addressed as part of treatment.   When I got asked about Cartrophen Vet for treatment of arthritis, I went hunting for everything positive and negative about the product.  What I found was alarming.

Cartrophen Vet is prescribed for patients with osteoarthritis and other joint problems.  What scares me the most about this medication is that it causes unspecific tissue growth.  What does that means to a dog or cat with an undiagnosed mass,  if it’s malignant it can accelerates cancer!  What’s even scarier, veterinarians refuse to associate Cartrophen vet with the many deaths and illness that have been reported within days or even hours after an injection.  Which makes the data from trials and lists of documented side effects on this drug far from accurate.    The risks associated with an animal being given cartrophen vet are seldom explained, vets have admitted not giving specific details in fear of “scaring the patients.”

I don’t believe medication for an animal or person is ever a good idea without first looking at possible lifestyle habits that may  be contributing to the illness.  By just taking medication you are lying to your body that you are well, when in fact your body never got the chance to heal because you haven’t addressed the problem causing the disease.  I don’t say that lightly or without understanding how challenging it is sometimes to find solutions.  Over the years I have had 6 dogs diagnosed with life threatening diseases,  all of them died to young,  and before I started questioning the options given by veterinarians,  the treatment for some of them ended up being worse than the disease.

I have heard of more long-term success with controlling arthritis in dogs and cats with diet changes.  It seems the safer route rather than just creating more difficulties for an animal from drug induced side effects.   When a veterinarian prescribes a treatment many want to believe what their vet tells them, and does so blindly never asking the right questions.  We do need to start to ask more questions,  because many of our dogs don’t live past the age of 7, and there are simple reasons for that.  What quality of food you are feeding your dog,  even from expensive brand names may not be what you think.  Most consumers are not aware that pet food is a convenient way for slaughter houses to turn waste products into profit.

So I asked myself,  did I want this person whose dog is a rottweiler,  a breed commonly diagnosed with cancer,  and considering she is older,  around 6,  take this risk.  Because we often don’t know what is happening in our companions animals bodies,  medication like Cartophen is like playing Russian Roulette.  (Cartrophen vet is contradicted for animals with blood clotting,  thrombocytopenia, traumatic hemorrhage, cancer or infection.  Please be aware of this because vets have prescribed this drug to dogs knowing they have cancer despite this warning.  The last person that contacted me in such a case lost her dog very soon after the initial injection.  In return for her grief  the veterinarian refused to link the dogs death with the drug.)

So what feedback I gave after my research was  if she was my dog,  Cartrophen would not be considered, ever!.   It may take the pain away but it’s no more than a band-aid, which if left on to long leaves an awful mess behind.  I gave him recommendations for the dog’s diet and some natural products to help the girl with any discomfort.  There are so many safe ways to help an animal with arthritis that we need to try first,  so we can enjoy their company without shorting their lives.  The dog is now on a non-grain diet,  within a week she showed improvement,  she no longer needs medication because we eliminated the cause.  My own dog suffered from arthritis.  I was told he would have no mobility in his back legs within a year.  My first step, and the only one in his case that was needed was taking him off grain.  He not only thinks he is a puppy again but the chronic ear infections that we continually battled,  disappeared.  His hair is turning silver,  showing a bit of his old age,  but aging doesn’t mean  he can’t be a healthy and happy dog.  Changing dog food alone may not be the answer for all animals,  but something we need to defiantly look at first.

The best way I can put this in perspective is in a quote borrowed from Paws to Heal. ‘If you don’t look, you won’t see’.  It is time we took off those blinders.

Reference: I’ve tried to provide as much as I can to help you, help your animal.  I have not included recommendations for natural remedies for arthritis.  I believe each animal is different and your best bet is to consult a trusted veterinarian homeopath.

Curing Cancer

As for research studies, the manufacture say that cartrophen vet is safe and side effects are low. The problem is the manufactures or associates usually are the ones who run the research studies, not an unbiased party. It is difficult to find studies that are conducted with companies unrelated to the manufacture, or pharmaceuticals.  As well, vets often refuse to associated any reported illnesses after  an injection of cartrophen Vet.

This is a data sheet, it states cartrophen vet is contradicted to give this product to dogs with cancer.

Chemical make up of Cartrophen Vet.  This is where we get the accurate information of this drug.  Pentosan Polysulfate/ Elmiron 100mg.  I’m putting together more information on the drug Elmiron. The links below give some detail.

What’s in dog food:

In 2013 all doctors will  have no choice but to disclose kickbacks, bonuses, incentives they get from pharmaceutical companies.


119 responses to this post.

  1. Hello,
    I am a Vet and I am impressed with your common sense advice regarding Cartrophen Vet. I would like to cite your article in my own blog post with your permission as I am compiling my own data and information on this subject. You are nine months ahead of me as I have debated whether I should voice my observations.
    I have long regarded cartrophen to be dangerous, especially in older animals which is when it is mostly prescribed. As an Holistic Veterinarian taking referrals of cancer, I am alarmed at the numbers presenting with sudden onset cancer post cartrophen injections.
    In my previous small animal clinic I began to suspect this link when some of my own cartrophen patients developed bone cancers. Since having stopped using the preparation myself I know see everyone else’s patients presenting with the same.
    The most common is osteosarcoma and liver cancer
    When I used to use it in the nineties, it clearly stated on the label of contraindications that Cartrophen Vet should not be used in cases of undiagnosed cancer. As this is a clearly ridiculous comment I am not surprised that it has been amended or removed but the basis for the warning was the capacity to increase blood flow to areas of disease, hardly sensible for cancer. This is still what it does whether the label states as much or not.


    • Posted by Harry A on January 28, 2012 at 2:34 am

      Hello, My silky terrier cross 7kg dog was 17 years old in 2010 and she started having difficulties walking, due to spinal arthritis. It got to a point where her tail would shoot off to one side and she couldnt walk first thing in the morning. I couldn’t stand by and watch it and felt compelled to do something.

      Other than that she was in fantastic condition going for daily walks. Her diet, being looked after and care could not have been better. Since the age of 8 I fed her home made food with supplements including aloe vera extract and fish oil etc.

      I felt that I had a duty to care for my dog before euthanising her as a last resort where pain relief was no longer working. In that position, Cartrophen , amidst harsher NSAIDS like Carprofen , metacam etc, was on balance the best option to try.

      So we did. I must say that my vet was very confident in the safety of Cartrophen.

      Initially, it did appear to help to reduce the early morning seizing up that my dog would experience.

      However, Within a year, around April 2011, intermittent lameness form what we thought was spinal arthritis/spondylosis became regular/constant lameness and visits to the vet for anti inflammatory metacam shots which seemed to get her going for afew weeks.

      In the end, we discovered that she developed osteosarcoma/bone cancer in the front leg at 18. The diagnosis was made by x ray. It was absolutely devastating. At such an old age, most surgical or treatment therapies were off the cards.

      In the very end, euthanasia was the only option, around June 2011. When pain relief stopped working there was only one choice and it had to be made quickly to avert incredible suffering – and in the circumstances of vocal pain and suffering, it was easy to do and there was no doubt the pet was thankful for us sending her to tranquility and freedom.

      My vet seemed fairly sure osteosarcoma/ bone cancer was not from the Cartrophen describing it as ‘safe as houses’ and with no negative reports during his approximately 10 years of practice.

      I must admit I did and do suspect, otherwise. The way the osteosarcoma came out of left field, and took over so rapidly for such a healthy dog was just insane.

      However this is not with a sense of blame for our vet who was very good and helpful throughout.

      After all, at the age of 18, anything we did to relieve pain could have had side effects and it was clear we had to do something for her when she started limping severely in the mornings. It was really a question of how do we manage side effects and conditions to achieve comfort for the dog.

      Nonetheless, even 8 months after it all ended, the suspicion that Cartrophen may have been to blame or an accelerating factor has me still researching the proposition and hence me reading this blog, partly out of guilt, but also curiosity and genuine interest.

      There can be a problem with forums like this, and that is that the real scientific data and considered scientific observation is lacking, and we can jump to unjustified conclusions. That is something to keep in mind.

      In any case, my take as an animal lover who has been down this road is consistent with that espoused elsewhere on this page- that you should always try the natural remedies exhaustively to see what works before going for the man made remedies. The amazing system of the living body must first be assisted naturally to heal itself rather than to impose potentially dangerous chemicals that really only act as temporary band aids.

      In any case, there are no easy answers, and the sooner we realise that there is only so much we can do to slow the sands of time in each of the hourglasses that are the lives of ALL living beings , the better we can be prepared , and further deal with the battleground of ailing health. In doing so we will also come to fully and completely understand and live the true gift of love these creatures teach us – in their bodies, and then in spirit, still with us, when they pass on.

      This is a great site for animal lovers dealing with mobility issues in pets. Good luck to all visitors and readers trying to assist their much loved pets.
      Harry A


      • Posted by Vanessa on December 13, 2012 at 1:20 am

        I’ve just had my 13 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback injected with Cartrophen – she has been an extremely active and healthy dog until about 6 months ago, usually lapping me off the lead when we walk up the mountain behind where we live. At 13 she is old. When I got her, the breeder told me, in terms of her expected longevity, that “with Ridgebacks (which are big dogs), anything over 10 is a bonus”. So really, we’re in bonus territory here. Since her cartrophen shots, she has been happy and active – able to go for walks again. She has a new lease on life. Before the injections she had gotten to the point where she hardly moved. Though I understand how cartrophen might encourage any cancer already starting off in an older dog, surely this should be weighed up against the benefits it is providing in terms of quality of life for dogs that are in pain especially when they are living on “bonus time”. It sounds to me like your dog was very old, and as with my dog, was living on bonus time. The cartrophen improved her life, albiet briefly. How long did you expect your dog to live? Did you want her to suffer in her old age? Taking medication should always involve a risk/benefit analysis. If my lovely old girl develops cancer in the next year/6 months, so be it. She will have had some extra quality of life in her last year.

    • Posted by Jane on February 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      Would you be able to share any of the information that you have on cartrophen? I believe my dog died because of it but the vet said it was just a coincidence.


      • Posted by Harry on February 21, 2012 at 1:31 am

        Hello there, I dont have much information unfortunately.
        You can try researching through search engines. In my case I didnt have much option but to try something or have the dog lose all mobility. I would not try to blame the vet and be open to his opinion. After all, their livelihood depends on a good reputation and referrals, generally speaking they would not be quick to do something that would endanger your pet for commercial expediency.

      • Posted by carol on August 10, 2013 at 8:34 am

        My dog also died after a catrophen injection, it was a horrendous experience 4 hrs after the injection. Although he had 3 injections before that with no effects but good results. We are left wondering why he died after that particular injection. The vet has not rung us to offer any advise obviously.

      • Posted by beverly billard on August 11, 2013 at 4:15 am

        I am so sorry to hear this, I really don’t know amything about this drug except from what I have read, I wouldn’t let my cat have anymore, he had 1 shot before I knew how dangerous it wasand told the vet that I wasn’t letting him have anymore. I hope you get the info you are looking for.

  2. Thank you for your reply, feel free to cite anything that may help you.
    Just an update on the dog mentioned. The owner changed her diet to grain free, and the improvement was seen within in a week. She is pain free and a happy girl, this required no use of medication. This may not be the answer in all cases, but it’s alarming vets offer medication without looking at what is going into the dogs body first, and how that can be a contributing factor to both the problem and solution. This is no different from how medical doctors treat most problems, in both animals and humans.


    • Posted by Marc Bellerose on January 5, 2014 at 6:24 am

      I researched everything on the Net before giving this drug to my 12 1/2 years old pure Boxer. I was so scared about all the negative comments. Before this drug, I have tried rimadyl combine with pain killer and still he was in pain. Anyway, I don’t work for the pharmaceutical company, I just want to say that Boogie has been on Cartrophen for 8 months now and he is jumping like he is a puppy again and anyone who know Boxer know what I am talking about. Yes, maybe this drug is not for every dog but for me, it has been a savier. My old boxer is running again. As I am writing this, he is close to 13 years old for which I understand is very old for a Boxer. Lifespan is more like 10-12 max. So far everything is ok. Anyway, here is my email if you want to talk about it. Again, I don’t work for any pharmaceutical, just wanted to give my own experience. Feel free to contact


  3. Posted by Renae on January 5, 2011 at 2:27 am

    Hello, being the stupid human I am, I too recently gave in to my Vet’s instructions to start my German Sheppard “Armour” on Cartophen. I did notice a slight improvment however, not long after the series of injections she developed breast cancer. One day she was fine then the next day this lump had appeared and thats literally how fast it was. Fortunately I’m very hands on with her and I discovered the lump quick enough to have it removed. I didn’t suspect that any of the choices I’d made could be the cause until now. I’ve just started researching cartrophen and it’s alarming how many other pets have experienced the same or similar side effects. I’m horrified to say the least. Can you tell me what changes I can make to her diet and lifestyle to ease the discomfort that Arthritis is causing her. She’s a beautiful girl and at 11 years old, I think she’s doing wonderfully. Forever grateful. Renae


    • Thank you for your comment Renae

      No one is stupid, sadly many of us are uninformed and mindlessly trust vets and doctors, but realistically be should be able to trust their word. My experiences come from trusting vets, then finding out better choices could of been made, and/or the animals life was lost prematurely because of the treatment offered. Being informed is the best answer I think to helping our companions live longer, happier lives.

      I am not a vet, so my advice is based on research, including questioning both conventional and homeopath vets on issues that concern us. What I have found is the highest contributing factor to many illnesses in dogs, especially arthritis and ear infections, is the food we feed them. Most of it is processed, many contain ingredients that are carcinogenic and most of it includes bottom of the barrel meat by-products. Many dogs also have sensitivity to grains, removing them has produced very good results in dogs suffering from mild to moderate arthritis. That is what I would recommend for your girl. I would also encourage you to find a homeopath vet close to your area. I have found there are only a few to chose from, and usually you need to travel. The extra cost of a homeopath and the trip, is paid back by not having to return as often because of further complications, as you may find when conventional vets prescribe treatments.

      Switching to grain free has to be done very slowly. I started by going for a low grain, high quality organic food to start, 1/4 cup replacement a day, and noticed differences within a week. After removing my own dog from a grain diet, he is a 8 year husky who now can run and play, without coming in limping and in pain as he did prior to his diet change. His chronic ear infections have also vanished. Amazing how something so simple as diet change can effect our companions. Overall he is just a healthier, happier dog.

      There are also Chinese herbs that can help your girl with any discomfort. Prescribed by a homeopath vet, these are given specifically to suit the symptoms, it isn’t a general pill or liquid they give all animals, so the more information you can give them the better off she will be.

      I hope I’ve helped you and your girl. If you decide to change her diet, or visit a homeopath I would appreciate an update.
      Good luck and Happy New Year.


  4. Posted by Jane Fawcett on February 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Hi I have a young Irish Wolfhound butch. 22 weeks old, hand reared from 2 weeks due to damage in left leg joint. Initial x-ray showed infection and a gap in the elbow joint. Antibiotics , long course have cleared the infection and further x-ray shows she has grown into her joint. She will always have some limp but recently she must have knocked the elbow causing pain. She wa placed on an antiInflamrory painkiller which has worked ( not metacalm) and she was ok for a bit. The limp has came back and the vet has suggested cartophen as the x-ray seems to show cartilage damage and he thinks this will lubricate and forestall the onset of arthritis which will become a problem for her. My concern is she is a very young bitch and still growing. One of the contra indications is that it should not be used in youn undeveloped dogs. So I would say she couldnt get the treatment till after 1yr poss longer. I don’t want her to be in pain. During your research has anyone heard of this being used in such a young dog? At present she in on puppy food 3 times a day but we will be getting het onto Nature Diet as it is not made from the off cuts and scraps of meat.


    • In my research I haven’t come across age related testing, other than in older dogs who have undetected cancer at the time of treatment. I do know one of it’s uses is to stimulate lubrication of joints. I’ve included a link to a good study done in the UK on the product. Have you considered a homeopath? They treat not mask the problem. I would first check natural options before any drug, especially one so young.

      Best Wishes for you and your dog.


      • Posted by Vanessa on December 13, 2012 at 11:14 am

        Reading up on Cartrophen, it does indeed treat the problem. Asprin, or an NSAID ir other painkiller would mask the problem. Homeopathy has not been scientifically proven to help with humans, let alone animals. So it would probabaly do nothing at all. If you want to go the alternative route – the only “alternative” treatment that has had any noticeable results in double blind studies is accupuncture.

  5. Posted by Sarah Ballingal on August 22, 2011 at 12:26 am

    I am very alarmed by the comments I have been reading on the web about the possible connection between Cartrophen and cancer. Our cat, Lily, was recently prescribed a course of 4 weekly injections of Cartrophen for her arthritis. When I took her for her final injection last week, the vet announced that Lily has developed cancer of the lymph nodes in her intestine! (just a month earlier the vet found no sign of this when she examined her). We are devastated by this news and Lily has just undergone extensive (and very expensive) surgery. They were not able to remove all the tumours and we are awaiting lab results before treatment is prescribed. We were not told that cancer could be a side-effect of Cartrophen and I would never have agreed to her having the injections if I had known. I feel very let-down.


    • Posted by Sarah Ballingal on February 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      P.S. Update on Lily (above):

      The results from Lily’s operation showed that she had several Leiomyosarcomas in her intestine, one was very large (the size of a walnut). The vet was able to remove some but not all of them, about 3 small tumours remain. Lily was given about 4 months to live in August last year (2011). I am very happy to report that so far (I am currently writing this in February 2012) Lily is showing no signs of ill health at all. Her appetite is good and she is back to her normal self. She is examined by the vet every 4-6 weeks and the remaining tumours have not grown in size at all. We are so relieved and although we have no idea how much longer this happy state of affairs will last, we look on this period as bonus time and we thank God every day she is with us.


      • You are both blessed. Thank you for Lily’s update. I hope you have many days left with her.

      • Posted by Sarah Ballingal on July 9, 2013 at 4:53 pm

        Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Lily today. After nearly two years of ‘bonus’ time with her since her initial diagnosis in August 2011, the tumours in her intestine had started to rapidly increase in size. She died peacefully at home when the vet came to administer the necessary drug. We are so very sad but so grateful for the extra time we have had with her.

  6. Posted by Jane on October 15, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    My 11 year old dog was diagnosed with a malignate anal tumor. I did not want chemo or surgery. My vet told me he had 6 – 9 months to live.I elected to take him to a holistic vet. In the course of prescribing natural herbs for the cancer, she recommended Cartophen Vet for arthritis. The dog was not showing any pain from arthritis but was stiff first thing in the morning. Five days after diagnosis of cancer he had the first cartophen injection. Three days later he stopped eating. He had always had a great appetite. He had a second injection 6 days after the first. He collapsed at the vets after the second injection. Two days later we put him down. My conclusion: if your pet has cancer – do not give them cartophen vet.


    • Posted by Laura on November 11, 2011 at 3:32 am

      So sorry to hear. My husky had first cartrophen injection last wed. Last year,she had surgery to remove a cancerous tumour on side of neck. Now I am seriously worried what to do. My husky is 14 and has arthritus. Should refuse further injections. she has been on k9 immunity and transfr factor to fight any potential undiagnosed cells in herbody. Urgent any advise wuld be really helpful


      • Hi Laura

        With a history of cancer I don’t know if I would be willing to take the chance. This drug can speed up cancer cell growth, if she is still fighting this disease it may be to much for her body to handle. Have you spoken to a homeopathic vet? There are plenty of remedies for arthritis that may help your husky, and not have the potential side effects of Cartrophen Vet. Since I am not a vet, but have spoken to many and done a lot of research on this medication, I can tell you what I would do and that is not take the chance unless all other roads fail.
        I have not read anything negative about K9 immunity, but I see no results in it being used a long side Cartrophen vet, so not enough evidence to ensure us this is an adequate defense against this drug.
        She must be a strong girl Laura, 14 years old, cancer surviver. You’ve done a fantastic job. I’m sure the choice you make for her will be in her best interest. My prayers are with you both.
        Any feedback on what you decide and the outcome would be appreciated. I refer with vets still on this subject and the more information we get the more we can help others.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope his death help save others from losing their dog to this drug.

    Please read this article from a Holistic vet on cancer that supports my findings, and is painfully aware of how many pets are diagnosed with cancer after being injected with this drug.


    • Curing Cancer

      Holistic vet on cancer and cartrophen vet. Please continue to share your stories, they are helping others become aware and possibly saving lives.


  8. Posted by Laura on November 12, 2011 at 4:02 am

    Hi I have decided not to have anymore injection. Dont want to take the risk. K9 id helping her she is a strong girl. I give her also synflex.and greenlipped mussels eve day I am sering vet on thursday and will tell no more


    • Posted by Laura on November 17, 2011 at 8:57 am

      Hi I went to my vet today for a checkup and we are discontinuing cartophen. I also did some of my own research and found the msds for cartophen vet. It says not to give to pets with tumours and cancer and other abdominal problems I told my vet about the msds today. Because my husky has had cancer two tumours removed over last two years. potentially this drug could have catalysed dorment undiagnosed cells. I am hoping that k9 immunity will continue to resist any potential devt of cancer cells. I will continue to give dha fish oil, synflex for dogs, greenlipped mussels daily to help her reduce osteoarthritus pain. She still loves her walks and walks well for a 14 year old. She also takes milk thisle once a week for keeping her liver strong.


  9. Posted by Jane on February 19, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    I had an 11 year old yellow lab.He started drinking a lot of water so I took him to his vet. I was thinking diabetes but it turned out to be cancer. He was expected to live 6 to 9 months. His only sympton was the thirst. I elected not to do surgery or chemo but switched from his life long vet to a holistic vet. I wanted his remaining time to be as comfortable as possible and not bombard his body with chemicals. The holistic vet did an exam and recommended $900 of pills and cartrophen. Although my dog was slowing down he had never been treated for his hips other than with Cosequin. I switched to a grain free dog food and he was wolfing it down. Long story short – he had difficulty standing for a short period after the first injection. After the second he stopped eating and was dry heaving and could barely walk. 10 days start to finish and he was dead.
    The holistic vet believes his rapid demise was due to the cancer.


    • I am very sorry for your loss.

      Let me explain what the major obstacle here is by sharing a story of what I recently went through after a vaccination injection was given to my son, the problem is universal as you will see.
      I took my six year old in for a check up, and was told by the doctor, actually made to feel like I was neglecting my child if I didn’t give him a certain vaccination. I don’t have anything against vaccinations, I do however have a problem with them using thimerosal. It acts as a preservative, vaccinations can be manufactured without it, but isn’t available in large quantities. The vaccination containing thimerosal is not recommended for kids 6 and under, it has potential for neurotoxicity, my son already has a neurological disorder but the doctor insisted, she said statistics show a very low side effect rate, to this drug so I caved, we all want to be good parents to our children, and to our animals. Later I discovered that the doctor was supposed to keep my son in the office for monitoring after the injection for a possible allergic reaction, this wasn’t done. No less than 10 minutes later he started complaining he was dizzy and his head hurt. I honestly thought it was stress form the shot, I left the office and went home thinking he would be fine. By the time I got home, about a forty-five minute drive, my son had a temperature over 104.F, a migraine headache, and disoriented. I called the doctor, her response hit me like a ton of bricks. I was told he couldn’t possibly be having a reaction to the vaccination, he must be ill with something else! How many times have I heard those same words from vets as well! I called back later to tell them his temperature had increased again, he had also went into a crying fit and urinated himself. The doctor told me to give him children’s Tylenol and if his temperature goes over 105 F take him to the hospital. She also insisted again that him being ill was no way related to the vaccination. Do you see what the problem is, because even on our government website that references these vaccinations lists all his symptoms as being side effects, yet the doctor refused to acknowledge it. That leads us directly to that low percentage statistic of side effects to the vaccination the doctor told me before the injection. If doctors or vets aren’t reporting the calls they get from parents of children and animals who have suffered a reaction, how can the information about the drug be trusted, most doctors will say the illness is unrelated to the drug. Doctors also have a talent for making you feel as if you are neglectful, if you don’t support giving the medication they recommend. I’ve been in situations when I’ve taken an animal for two or three opinions on an illness, it’s like they are all reading off the same script, giving the same answers, recommending the same drugs. With Cartrophen vet, I wonder how may more animals have died as a result of being given this drug, not reported because vets refuse to connect the two together. It all comes down to disclosure really, and letting the animals companion make an informed decision, but is that being done.

      The best way I can put this in perspective is in a quote borrowed from Paws to Heal. ‘If you don’t look, you won’t see’.

      Curing Cancer

      As for research studies, the manufacture says that cartrophen vet is safe and side effects are low. The problem is the manufactures usually are the ones who run the research studies, not a second unbiased party. It is difficult to find studies that are conducted with companies unrelated to the manufacture. I have included links for your reference.

      This is a data sheet, it is contradicted to give this product to dogs with cancer.

      In 2013 all doctors will be made to disclose kickbacks, bonuses, incentives they get from pharmaceutical companies. Something for all to think about. Below are two articles of interest on this subject, most information is hidden but it can be found.


  10. Posted by Jane on February 22, 2012 at 3:27 am

    Thank you for your reply. I’m sorry that you had to go through that with your son. I know how helpless we feel when our children are ill or in pain. For me, I felt that I had contributed to my dogs death by not doing the research myself. The links that you provided are very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to help in my research.


  11. If you did the research before his injection you would of read about studies conducted showing 80% success rate, with very few side effects. My argument is, how are those statics accurate if most veterinarians will not report instances of illness and death after a recent injection, denying the two are linked.
    Jane, I don’t know why your vet treated him with a drug contradicted for animals with cancer. I was going over this for hours last night, researching to find anything that would give him cause. I can not find any. What was he thinking!! I know how difficult it is after you lose one of your family, and you don’t want to continue revisiting the pain. Respectfully, I would encourage you to write Your Veterinarian Medical Association, giving the details of what happened to your boy. They have no choice but to investigate. You can reference any story shared on this blog. Also there is a vet at “Paws to Heal” that wrote an article “Curing Cancer,” that links cartrophen vet to cancer.
    What ever your choice, thank you for sharing your story, you may help save a dogs life.
    If I can help further, please let me know.


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  15. Posted by Rhonda on April 11, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Hi, my story is slighty different from others in the symptomology our dog experienced after the C injection. Our 11 year old blue heeler cross dog was taken to the vet because we noticed a lump on her abdomen. The sample showed that it was just fatty tissue, but the vet said he noticed that her arthritis was worsening (I dont doubt his
    diagnosis), so he reccommended commencing the C injections. My husband agreed
    and she had the first injection that day.
    Later that evening I noticed her limping(which she had not being doing prior), and commented that the injection appeared to be making her worse. We thought no more of it really except that she was limping. We mentioned this at the next appointment for the injection and it was noted but the injection given.
    Again, she seemed to get worse, and the night before the third injection was due I noticed her bump into the wall on her way to the food bowl.
    Next day at the appointment I mentioned this to the vet and said I wondered if this was coincidence, if she had a reaction to the previous injections or if she might have diabetes as that affects the eyes. He tested for diabetes and did not give the next injection, instead he put her on an anti inflammatory liquid – Metacam, with instructions and another appointment within a week to review.
    I took our dog home and two nights later she was totally blind.
    I took her back to the vet early the next morning, a different vet saw her, examined her eyes and explained that whilst totally blind (with no reaction to light whatsoever), there was nothing wrong with her eyes and it must either be the optic nerve or brain. He said that he did not believe in coincidence and that our dog may have had a reaction to the C injection but that it was unlikely and her particular condition was an extreemly improbable reaction.
    He suggested we treat it initially as an optic nerve issue (optic neuritis), as that would be more likely and able to be treated, until he could get in touch with the specialist and make an appointment for us. Wewere to have a review in 5 days.
    Our dog commenced Prednisolone (it is horrific for people too), and experienced the side effects; increased appetite, thirst and urination including some incontinence, rapid breathing and anxiousness – although the blindness obviously contributed to this.
    We returned to the vet, who noticed some response to light in her eyes which he thought might be due to the prednisolone, and suggested our dog remain on a decreased dose but we received a phone call re the appointment with the animal eye specialist and instructions to cease the prednisolone.

    We are waiting on that appointment – 18 April 2012.
    I have no idea what has caused the blindnessor if it is permanent but, like most of you, I have a concern over coincidence and want others to know about a very different symptom from cancer. Sorry for rambling


    • Hi Rhonda

      Sorry it took me a while to reply. I wanted to do some research on the relationship between cartrophen vet and blindness. The chemical make up of Cartrophen vet is 100mg of Pentosan polysulfate (elmiron) and Benzyl alcohol .01mg. On the list of side effects for pentosan polysulfate are, Conjunctivitis, tinnitus, optic neuritis, amblyopia, retinal hemorrhage.
      There is a lot of information on pentosan polysulfate that I’m trying to put together to get a more accurate list of possible side effects. This task has proven to be quite complex. I hope this bit of information I can give you at the moment helps in some way. It’s heartbreaking to hear what you and your girl are going through, and scary that they continue to load her up with harmful drugs as they scramble to find answers. It seems more logical to ask if the blindness will reverse itself after a period of time, more drugs are unlikely to give her back her eyesight only do more harm.
      Your concerns are right on! Please let me know how your appointment goes. Would you consider getting a opinion from a homeopath? They treat her whole body, with no side effects. Strong bodies can heal, by adding drugs we weaken the immune system the body fights the drug and not the problem causing the illness.

      You both are in my prayers.




    • Posted by Michele Lacombe on May 11, 2016 at 12:08 pm

      The same thing just happened to my cat yesterday. With the second injection, she started limping a lot but she had the problem before so we were disappointed that the Cartrophen doen’t have the effect of relieve the pain of arthritis. She got her 4th injection last week of Cartrophen and she is totaly blind now. I went to the vet yesterday and she has no idea what she has. I’m waiting for an appointment with an ophtalmologist. I’m pretty sure that the Cartrophen has something to do with her condition.


  16. Posted by iluvaxle on April 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    I should have read this article sooner. My husband & I had a beautiful rottie x ridgeback who was like our own child. He was 10 and he was put to sleep just this noon due to bone cancer so its a very hard time for us now. Last January we went for his annual vaccination then vet recommended Cartrophen. We blindly agreed since we wanted him to be as he was before. Then like many of you, a lump grew suddenly in his right paw after the third injection. We had it amputated just to be able to spend more time with him as normal as possible. But after 2 months he deteriorated until we ran out of options.
    Thinking about it we suspect that cartrophen may have been a factor. I researched and stumbled on this article and now I’m convinced.


    • I am so sorry for your loss. I have been there many times and have had two rottie’s pass away from the same cancer.
      I’ve had so many people contact me about this drug, and my blog isn’t big so unfortunately it’s not easily found. I am researching the drug in cartrophen vet and putting together information that I plan on giving to the manufacture. I will do my best to try and get the links to this drug and cancer be recognized, so there is full disclosure on side effects then people can make informed decisions. We all want to do what’s best for our fur kids, it’s so hard to know what that is many times.
      Thank you for sharing your boys story.
      Prayers of strength to you and your husband at a difficult time.


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  19. Posted by John Bennett on July 23, 2012 at 2:53 am

    My labrador had a cartrophen injection on 20th december last year. Seven days later she had a massive bleed and needed 3 days at the vets to save her life. Turns out she was limping because her cruciate ligament was beginning to tear not because she had arthritis. She went lame then had a TPLO operation to fix her leg 3 weeks ago. She was doing fine but then had a relapse. She wouldnt eat and couldn’t pass stools. She died on saturday morning ( 21st july 2012 ) I read this forum and wish i could turn the clock back and not give her that injection. She was only nine. I will never forgive myself. John


    • Posted by John Bennett on July 23, 2012 at 2:57 am

      To finish my post her blood test showed she had developed either pancreatis or liver issues. Not doing a post mortem as we dont want her cut up and it wont bring her back.


  20. Hi John
    I am very sorry for your loss, it breaks my heart every time I learn another loved companion has died because of cartophen vet.
    Her death is not your fault, you did everything you could for her. It is the system that allows veterinarians to prescribe medication without disclosing full side effects, and report those side effect to the company so we can have accurate statistics to base decisions on that is at fault.
    What I’ve learned reading people’s stories is that knowledge is key. Share this article. I make no money from this blog but stories like yours can hopefully help others.
    Thank you for sharing your girls story.


  21. Posted by Rosie on August 7, 2012 at 4:07 am

    John I here you and feel your pain. We took our Lab(10yrs 9 mths) to the vet May 26 2012as her back leg was shaking. Vet said arthritis so she had her first cartrophen injection, on the 3rd injection she collapsed at the vet now lame in the front leg also. On the 9 July 2012 I lost my girl we had to euthanise as she had a ruptured spleen tumour. Was it there before? Maybe but I do believe it was the Cartrophen that took her life. Yes I feel guilty and heartbroken but I cannot blame myself its the vets and other associations for not declaring the issues this can cause. She will be in my heart forever.


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  23. Posted by Katy Thomas on October 5, 2012 at 12:14 am

    Hi everyone.
    My 12 year old girl had her first C injection 6 days ago. It was recommended to her when I popped into the vet after she ate something weird at the beach and I wanted to check she was ok. Having found nothing wrong with her and I suspect to cash in on my visit, the vet suggested I start her on C. I supposed she was starting to get a little stiff and bumpy looking, but I really didn’t think she was showing dramatic signs of arthritis onset. Anyway, I sit here now contemplating whether to complete her course. My gut (and now this blog) tells me ‘NO’. What I am worried to the point of tears about is what damage I may have already done. Could one shot trigger cancer? She seems absolutely herself. Perhaps the only unusual occurrence since the shot is that she wet the bed for the first time EVER out of the blue about 3 days after the first shot. Could this mean anything? Nothing since though. If anyone has time to chat for my peace of mind, please write in. This dog is my life. I am cancelling the vet appointment this morning for shot number two, and will begin research into vet homeopathy for future reference. Thanks for listening. xxx


    • Katy I have always found going by our gut instinct is the best way. I’m not sure why your vet prescribed this drug, doesn’t seem justified other than the need to increase your bill. Get a second opinion, a homeopath is a great idea! I’ve researched this drug in great depth, it will never be my choice for any treatment under any circumstances. I’m so glad you decided to explore other options. She certainly sounds like a strong healthy girl in no need of this drug.
      What can one shot do? Depends on the dog. Though stress can be very hard on both of you, and bring down both your immune systems. If you are concerned possibly consider a wellness in the near future for her.
      Please share back how she’s doing.


      • Posted by Katy Thomas on October 5, 2012 at 10:17 pm

        Hi Kelli
        Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. This morning Matilda-girl ran 4km on the beach with ease, and followed up with a swim and hearty breakfast! She is now enjoying a snooze on her favourite couch and all seems good 🙂 We are booked for our first homeopathic vet appointment next week, with a view to prevention rather than cure. Thank you again for your time in replying.

      • A 4K run, on the beach,at 12! I can’t get why they even thought to put her on Cartrophen Vet!
        Sounds like everything is good Katy. If you get feedback from the homeopath you feel might help others please share.

    • Posted by Harry A on October 5, 2012 at 4:05 am

      No way ! In my experience with an old dog, The only time you’d even consider would be when everything natural had failed and she was having great trouble walking.


    • Posted by Sarah Ballingal on October 5, 2012 at 9:01 am

      I can’t advise you specifically but our cat had 3 injections (out of a course of 4) when cancer was discovered in her gut. She had an operation and thankfully, is still with us over a year later, even though there are tumours still present. I wish I had never allowed her to have cartrophen.


      • Posted by Katy on October 9, 2012 at 5:56 am

        Hi Sarah, I am so sorry to hear about your cat 😦 She is most definitely in my prayers from this day. If not too sensitive an issue, can I ask what her symptoms were to have them discover the cancer in her gut? Wishing you well,

      • Posted by Sarah Ballingal on October 9, 2012 at 3:39 pm

        Thank you so much for your prayers, God has really blessed us with extra time with our Lily 🙂

        They discovered the cancer when they examined her during the course of the cartrophen injections. They gave her a general external examination prior to starting the course and found nothing, then just 3 weeks later, the vet felt several lumps. They operated immediately but were only able to remove the larger ones (tests showed them to be Leiomyosarcomas) They had to leave 2 or 3 inside her to avoid removing too much of her gut. She is currently examinated every couple of months but so far, the remaining tumours haven’t grown and she is in excellent condition. One would never know that she is ill.

        At the time of the operation, I complained to the vet that I had not been warned of these possible side-effects to cartophen and although she was very sympathetic and contacted the drug company, no connection between the cancer and the cartrophen was acknowledged or confirmed.

  24. Posted by beverly billard on October 16, 2012 at 1:58 am

    I had my siamese cat to the vet today because he was holding his paw up all the time, they took xrays and she said he had arthritis in his elbow, he is going to be 6 yrs. old im March, he had the 1st needle of cartrophen today and supposed to have 3 more , one a week, but after reading all these comments I am calling the vet tomorrow and telling her I don’t want him to have anymore. She also put him on synovial flex gel… I wasn’t told of all these side effects, All she mentioned was that he would need periodic blood work.


    • Please get a second opinion, visit a homeopath vet if you are able. Your boy sounds uncomfortable let’s try and get him a safe treatment.
      All the best to both of you


      • Posted by Sarah Ballingal on October 16, 2012 at 5:41 am

        Our cat, Lily (mentioned in earlier comments) has been on Glycoflex tablets (one-a-day) for about 18 months. These have helped her arthritis a lot and with no apparent side-effects.

      • Posted by beverly billard on October 17, 2012 at 4:00 am

        Skai is on synovial-flex, it is a gel and I put it in his food but he doesn’t always finish the food so I don’t know oif he is getting enough of it. Where do you get the tablets you mentioned? I an going to the vet tomorrow and tell her that I don’t want him to have the other 3 shots. He was fine when I left to do some shopping last Friday and when I got home he was limping and holding his paw up, she took a xray and said he had arthritis, but how can it come on that fast? He is only 5

      • Posted by Sarah Ballingal on October 17, 2012 at 6:50 am

        Hi, Beverly – I get Lily’s Glycoflex from the vet, it comes in small fish-shaped chews (dose is one per day) which Lily scoffs down with her breakfast! If Skai doesn’t always eat all his food, you could give him the gel/tablets in a smaller portion while he’s still hungry and then give him the rest once he’s eaten the medication. I think you’re wise to stop the course of cartrophen injections, given the chance again, I wouldn’t let Lily have them again.

      • Posted by beverly billard on October 17, 2012 at 6:19 pm

        Thanks for the info Sarah… I’ll keep you informed as to how he is doing… he is quiet now but still playful and eating ok (except when he knows the synovial flex is in his foord) but he is eating his hard food ok… I just feel like I had my feisty boy when I left the house to go shopping and came home to a completely different cat. He had some problems with the paw on that foot when he was declawed and the vet we had then told me that it probably feel numb at times, now I am wondering if that is the case now or maybe he stubbed it somehow,,, he may have the beginnings of arthritis but Idon’t see how it came on within a hour of my leaving him to go out….. Just my thoughts….

  25. Posted by beverly billard on October 17, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Sarah, I went to the vets and told her I was not going to let Skai have anymore of those needles…. she said I shouldn’t believe everything I read on line and I told her that there were posts from vets as well… I asked for the Glycoflex and they don’t have it, told me to go to a pet store to get them. I went to both pet stores here and they don’t have them either, one girl went on line and said they are only available thru a vet… so I am going to keep looking… I live in Canada and alot of things that are available in the USA we can’t get… the one pet store did have something but it didn’t have the green mussles in it, it had shark cartliage but it was alot strongrer than the gel I got from the vet, and cheaper lol Anyway, I feel alot better knowing I am not doing anything to harm him Thanks again!


  26. Posted by beverly billard on October 17, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Oh yes, I mentioned the problems he had when he was declawed and she said he could be having phantom pain…. she never mentioned that when I first took him in…. some times I think they are just after the $$$$$$$$$$$$$.


  27. Posted by Sara Wilder on January 19, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    I just started researching C before starting any treatments on my newly diagnosed shih tzu, and am so thankful that everyone here shared their stories. Because of you I will NEVER consider C as an option for my girl.


  28. When someone writes an post he/she maintains the image of a user in his/her brain that how a user can know it.
    Thus that’s why this article is perfect. Thanks!


    • Posted by beverly billard on May 25, 2013 at 12:35 am

      Last year my cat had one shot of the cartrophen, then I read it causes cancer and wouldn’t let him have any more, I posted my fears on here and got alot of nasty comments back from people accusing me of not giving my cat proper care ect. I also stopped letting him have the shots for fleas and went with a natural remedy called Fleatreats, which I order from California and he hasn’t had fleas for nearly 4 years now. The reason the vet wanted him to have the cartrophen was FOR arthritis….I think everyone who has a pet should ask more questions about the treatment the vets are giving their pet. there are ones only interested in the money and care isn’t cheap!


  29. We lost our 7.5 year old rough collie female within a week due to Cartrophen. We didn’t know she had cancer and also she was showing signs of mobility problems. The vet thought she had a knee injury so due to a BAD diagnosis (prescribed Cartrophen) our dog suffered horribly during her last couple of days losing all mobility in her limbs. If your dog has any of these signs please see a proper vet right away. Also get a blood test done if there is any doubt and then you will know about cancers.


  30. Posted by Vanessa on September 10, 2013 at 4:00 am

    About 9 months ago we started our 11yo Yorkie on Sasha’s Blend as we noticed he was a bit stiff when he first got up in the mornings. About 3 months later he did his cruciate ligament and the vet told us he needed a 4 week course of Cartrophen to “reduce the onset of arthritis”. While he was still in his 8 week recovery from the surgery, the hyperactive little bugger did the cruciate ligament in his other leg…….yep, more surgery and more injections. Now I have received a reminder letter from the vet saying that he is due for cartrophen booster injections (another four week course). Firstly, I was quite annoyed as we were not even told 6 monthly boosters would be needed. Second, I don’t think he even needs them!! He now has a mostly BARF diet and his daily dose of Sasha’s Blend with his dinner. The vet told us following the surgery he would not be able to use stairs or run around any more (try telling that to a dog who thinks he is still a puppy…) but I am not noticing any stiffness in him and he always tries to run around with our other dog (1 1/2 yo Westie) when he thinks no one is looking. After reading all the coments here I think we will just continue as we have been and ignore the letter from the vet.


  31. Posted by Susan on September 19, 2013 at 3:35 am

    Our 15 yr old cat started losing weight last Christmas (2012). The vet did blood work and told us it was the thyroid. We weighed the options, and decided to go with the medicated food, Hill’s Perscription Diet y/d. We noticed since then that he was having a hard time getting around, stiffness in his rear end, worse after waking. We took him in, and the vet said it was either a tumor in the spine, or arthritis. She said she could rule out a tumor with an x-ray, but as there isn’t a treatment that we would put him through in that case we decided to treat it as if it was arthritis. She recommeded C injections, because any medications might conflict with the medicated food and might put his thyroid or kidney at risk. She said that with the 1000’s of dogs and 100’s of cats she’d treated with C injections she’d never seen a significant negative side effect.
    Then I came home and looked it up…
    So I want to know if the medicated food is causing his symptoms of arthritis, or can that food cause cancer? And since it is his controlled diet that is keeping his thyroid good, how can I treat the arthritis with diet?
    Thank you for this post, I already knew about the games pharma plays with meds/side effects for humans, not a surprise they do it on our pets, too.


  32. Posted by EaZy - HorseZ on October 11, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I am so glad to read that!!!! my vet just sugested to inject Cartophen vet to my 12 years old mix dog.(sheperd,husky and more) about food. my dog has been living with vegan food about 10 years of her life. all the people that see her thinks she is much younger then 12. she still plays and runs around like a rabit:) so much about food. some of her silblings already died off cancer. now she is getting kronch dry food(with fish) but I want to start feeding her with BARF food, that means raw meat, raw veggies and vitamines. when the veggies are mixed with water, its easier for the body to digest and get the vitamines out of it. also I am giving my dog a therapi with a BACK ON TRACK blanket. google it and read more about it.


  33. Posted by Cheryl on October 16, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    I have had my 11 year old Rottweiler on Cartrophen Injections for the last three years with no negative side effects. He has Grade I DJD in his Elbows and had quite a bit of Pain. He goes for his Monthly injection as Maintenance and usually just before the Winter (like now) I give him a 1xweekly series of 4 shots to help him throught the Winter. The Cold and Damp Weather is brutal for him. All other Anti Inflammatoires I have tried upset his Stomach to the point of projectile Diarrhea.


  34. Posted by Jody on October 17, 2013 at 5:53 am


    If anyone has any knowledge of how to ameliorate the effects listed in these 64 or so posts due to cartrophen injections, please share – forthwith.

    My Grey-baby will be 16years old in December this year. Granted, he has been undergoing treatment for high blood pressure (amlodipine), liver, kidney, and gastrointestinal diseases/disorders for several years. We know there are masses in his GI tract, but they seemed mostly benign, and if there were cancerous cells, he was not presenting with serious symptoms, and the distribution and placement of the masses made surgical removal not feasible. He carried on 1.5 to 2 years in this way without succumbing to anything like what he has now.

    Greystoke has finally become an old man these past few months, being rather sedate, no playing, etcetera, lots of cat napping, but he had mobility; he could jump up and down 2.5 to 3 feet, drink, eat, enjoy petting, etcetera. Granted, my little man had lost weight; granted, he was in a weakened state; granted, he receives subcutaneous fluid injections about 3 times per week, but my little man received one Cartrophen injection Sunday afternoon, October 13, 2013. It is now Wednesday, October 16, 2013, and I have to feed and water my boy with syringes; he cannot walk a straight line – he staggers and lilts, but not too far – he only has a few steps in him before he lies down where he stands, er, lilts. He is clearly uncomfortable; doesn’t want to be touched; won’t eat or drink, even though he is hungry and thirsty (he is licking his chops and sometimes leans toward the food, even lapped at it a couple of times tonight, but cannot bring himself to chew/swallow). He smells toxic. It was Sunday or Monday when we realized there was moisture on the human bed under his cat bed he was sleeping in; apparently, he urinated – significantly, either in his sleep, or just curled up and went to sleep in his urine-soaked bed – NOT normal behaviour for my cat. He has been incontinent since; he hasn’t eaten enough to produce a bowel movement. He moves a few steps a day; we bring him what he needs.

    Obviously, I am now considering “options”. I asked for a painkiller because we’ve known he has some tenderness in his back end for some time (as in tenderness, and ability to walk … and jump). I asked for cortisone, was told that was a terrible idea, but Cartrophen was what he needed. Yeah, I’m sure that cortisone would have been just *terrible*. No option for pain was offered other than Cartrophen, and I asked more than once, more than one vet. I have seen on the internet other people posting all kinds of drugs they can give their cats (maybe this is a USA vs. Canada thing). No one mentioned anything about not giving to cats with liver or cancer issues – you’d think my vets of 10 years would know that they were treating my cat for liver, kidney, gastrointestinal disorders, with a smattering of masses along his gut.

    I am not impressed – and not for the first, or even second time.

    What is obvious to me is that if a patient has a weakness already, perhaps undiagnosed or stagnant, doses of Cartrophen exacerbate or flare the disease/issue and make it scream out every associated symptom. Whether or not it causes cancer may be debatable, but if you have a patient that is technically diseased but still maintaining a degree of health, this “treatment” will probably kill the patient in short order.


    • Posted by Helen on February 28, 2016 at 2:19 am

      I know this is an old post, but wish I’d read it earlier. Got cartrophen on Thursday. Dog dead Friday. They suspect perhaps there was an underlying issue. Pity they didn’t suspect that prior to the injection.


  35. Posted by Jenny on November 4, 2013 at 6:41 am

    I have been reading these comments and I now feel very concerned about my dog! I have a 3 year old border collie and last week he had been running in the garden and had obviously slipped and twisted himself as he couldn’t get up, he was not able to put any weight on his back leg and it was very distressing to see. My husband took him straight to our vets he told him our dog may have done damage to his back and gave him an injection. My husband came home and I asked what the injection was called and he said cartrophen and that he needed to go back the following day for another one. I googled this and saw it was a drug that helped arthritis. Our dog the following day was so much better and since he has been back to normal wanting to run but obviously I have to keep him on a lead for a while. The reason I found this blog is because my dog has not had a solid poo since and I decided to google side effects. I am now very very concerned after reading other peoples experiences and now think my dog is only 3 years old and has had 2 of these injections!!!


    • Posted by Marc Bellerose on January 5, 2014 at 6:14 am

      I researched everything on the Net before giving this drug to my 12 1/2 years old pure Boxer. I was so scared about all the negative comments. Before this drug, I have tried rimadyl combine with pain killer and still he was in pain. Anyway, I don’t work for the pharmaceutical company, I just want to say that Boogie has been on Cartrophen for 8 months now and he is jumping like he is a puppy again and anyone who know Boxer know what I am talking about. Yes, maybe this drug is not for every dog but for me, it has been a savier. My old boxer is running again. As I am writing this, he is close to 13 years old for which I understand is very old for a Boxer. Lifespan is more like 10-12 max. So far everything is ok. Anyway, here is my email if you want to talk about it. Again, I don’t work for any pharmaceutical, just wanted to give my own experience. Feel free to contact


      • Posted by Sioux Lewis on January 15, 2014 at 3:42 am

        My 16 y.o. staffy was great on Cartrophen for about 12 months, then had a reaction within an hour of injection. Couldn’t walk properly, fell over, legs not strong enough to hold him up. The vet said not possible to be a reaction andgave him pain releif. The next C due I asked about the last reaction to hear that it was not possible to be the C. Worse reaction this time, he bumped into walls, was totally disoriented and very stressed. Lay in the garden crying, couldn’t sit still and couldn’t walk within tripping and falling. Thsi time the vet said all the info she had read (from the pharmaceutical co) indicated no side effects. I told her about this blog, she gave pain relief again. Sam is better but has lost some strength and stamina in the 3 weeks since. I have just received a bill for the after hours treatment for more than $250 … I’m about to discuss that. I will never subject my baby to Cartrophen again, can’t believe the vets are so stubborn about it’s side effects… wish me luck!

      • Posted by Jane on January 15, 2014 at 8:09 pm

        Vets are reluctant to acknowledge that there might be a connection. My 12 year old yellow lab had great difficulty walking after the injection and then died within a week.

  36. Posted by Bryan on November 12, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Our British Short Hair, male, developed Hip Dysplasia at age 2 years. He is now nearly 5 years old and has a Cartrophen injection every 4 weeks. He also has a Onsior tablet and Glucosamine tablet daily. The cost doesn’t worry me as he is insured for life. However on ready these excellent articles I wonder are we doing him more harm than good letting our Vet do his own thing?


  37. Posted by Marc Bellerose on January 5, 2014 at 6:11 am

    I researched everything on the Net before giving this drug to my 12 1/2 years old pure Boxer. I was so scared about all the negative comments. Before this drug, I have tried rimadyl combine with pain killer and still he was in pain. Anyway, I don’t work for the pharmaceutical company, I just want to say that Boogie has been on Cartrophen for 8 months now and he is jumping like he is a puppy again and anyone who know Boxer know what I am talking about. Yes, maybe this drug is not for every dog but for me, it has been a savier. My old boxer is running again. As I am writing this, he is close to 13 years old for which I understand is very old for a Boxer. Lifespan is more like 10-12 max. So far everything is ok. Anyway, here is my email if you want to talk about it. Again, I don’t work for any pharmaceutical, just wanted to give my own experience. Feel free to contact


  38. Posted by Marc Bellerose on January 5, 2014 at 6:18 am

    This website is all about trashing cartrophen. If maybe people were true and there were some sense of discussion here but everything is negative. I had a positive effect on my dog and he is STILL LIVING. So don’t get so angry because this drug is helping a lot of dogs. Sorry, I think this site is buyest in informing people. That is why my comment will probably never be posted. thank Marc and BOOGIE (Pure breed Boxer 13 years old)


    • I wonder if you would be saying the site is ‘BIASED’ (Note the spelling!) if it had been your pet that had died immediately or a couple of days after the injection? It’s all very well you glorifying this drug, seen as your pet hasn’t died. There is no doubt that it has worked for many, but it has also contributed to the death of animals too. What people have an issue with, is that this info needs to be out there. Owners must be informed that there is a % of risk involved, but they aren’t getting this information. They are being told how good it is! So bias doesn’t come into it. Common decency & honesty does!


      • Posted by Sioux on February 26, 2016 at 3:09 am

        I get it … I still look for Sam when I hear certain noises and visit our favourite places … doggie love is special …

    • Posted by Dave Measor on August 16, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      Lab/ husky mix 8 years old – ACL surgery Xrays showed advanced arthritis . Has been having Cartophen injections at about 4 month intervals – when discomfort is noticeable .Now about 10 & moving as well as before the ACL work. Its very hard to prove connection to cancers but no sign of anything here yet


    • Posted by Josephine on September 22, 2016 at 11:40 am

      Biased is the proper spelling and this site has been very informative and I am most glad someone has taken the time to do this. My 13 year old cat has developed idiopathic cystitis and my vet suggested Cartrophen Vet it is supposed to be natural. I noticed my cat started to do very large bowel movements and normally she is constipated so I was glad in some ways to see she was able to go easier. After the third shot she started getting loser and now she has had the fourth it is lose and she goes twice a day. The peeing where she shouldn’t started back before she was due the monthly shot. I feel sure it is the shot that has made her bowel lose. I do not want to give her anymore shot and feel sad I started her on this stuff after further investigation of it. Does anyone know her how to help inflammation naturally in the bladder of cats? I am at whits end as my vet still thinks Cartrophen is fine and I Do Not!


      • Posted by Judy on September 14, 2017 at 8:26 pm

        Slippery Elm Bark soothes inflammation throughout the body and also contains pentosan (the ingredient in Cartrophen that helps cystitis). It’s an effective and safe way to give them pentosan and to treat inflammation. Lots of info on the LittleBigCat website. Also, I give my cat (who is prone to bladder problems) Get Naked Urinary Treats daily. They contain cranberry, which is also a tried and true natural treatment.


        Put 1/2 cup of cool purified water into a glass or stainless steel saucepan. Add one slightly rounded teaspoon of slippery elm powder (or you can open and empty the contents of 5 capsules into the pan). Whisk with a fork until the powder blends with the water. Note: Always blend it in the cold water first. If you add the powder to warm or hot water it will be lumpy.

        Bring the ingredients to a simmer over a low flame, stir constantly. Simmer about two minutes or until it slightly thickens to a syrupy consistency.

        Cool the mixture then refrigerate in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. With proper storage the syrup will remain fresh for 7 or 8 days.

        Even if you just add the dry powder mixed to an animal’s soft food it can help soothe the digestive system.

        Suggested Herbal Doses for Pets

        Dogs: Depending on the size of the dog give 1 to 3 teaspoon(s) slippery elm syrup before each meal (2 to 3 times daily).

        Cats/ferrets: 1 teaspoon slippery elm syrup given before each meal.

  39. Posted by Kirsten on October 23, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    I realize this is an old post but I would just like to give my opinion based on what I have seen with my 9 year old German Sheppard. A year and a half ago he developed hip displacia really bad, to the point that he could not move without crying. My vet recommended cartrophen shots and based on the price I decided to try it. 5 shots each 4 days apart. He has been pain free since the first one. I will admit about a year later I noticed lumps on his side (they don’t affect him in any way) they are pain free and not growing massive so I don’t bother with them. I have given him another injection of cartrophen a couple months ago as the pain was coming back. Pros vs. Cons in this situation….cartrophen wins. it gave my dog his life back and he is able to play with our one year old puppies. I think if he could talk he would thank me for sure! I wonder about these deaths…it must be an allergic reaction or I wonder how sick the dog was before getting the injection. there are always side effects (good and bad) with any medication. Humans have died the same way but that does not stop them from providing it. Looking at quality of life. I say try it, it was worth it for me and my dog. I smile as he is still with me now sleeping on my couch chasing rabbits in his sleep 🙂 I don’t believe he would still be here if it wasn’t for cartrophen.


    • Hi Kirsten,

      I mentioned in my post of November 12, 2013 that our British Short Hair cat was having monthly injections of Cartrophen, plus daily Onsior and Glucosamine tablets. It is coming up to 12 months since mentioning this and I am VERY pleased to report that he is still alive and chasing pigeons in the garden.

      He is booked in for his next injection for next week and I will ask our vet what the current thinking is? Chester, the cat in question, has now been having these every month for four years.


  40. Hi

    I have a 13 year old Maltese/poodle, we took her to the vet in December 14 because she had a limp in her front leg, the vet said she had arthritis and gave her a dose of Cartrophen. Her limp did get slightly better. She has always been a very active healthy dog prior to this.

    We then took her down for her 2nd injection two weeks later, and just 2 days after the injection she has now lost a lot of control over her back legs and has balance issues. We have her on cortisone tablets and the vet has just taken blood tests and we have just been told that our dog is anaemic which may be the result of a brain tumour hence causing the issues.

    We have basically been given a week for her to show signs of improvement or we have been told our best option is to put her to sleep.

    I am devastated and can not get over the fact that she has deteriorated so much since having these injections. I have no idea if it just coincidence but I am now left with an awful decision on if I should euthanize my fur baby.

    Can you tell me if there is anything I can do to neutralise the effect of the injection so that I can see if she gets better on her own without it? Or how long does it take for the injection effects to wear off?


    • Laura I am so sorry to hear about your dog. I think you are best to put her down since she has lived a good life of 13 years. I think only a miracle will bring her back to good health now…trust your heart!


      • Hi Nora, I know it seems like I am grasping at staws!
        It is hard to let go of my furbaby when just a month a go she seemed fit and healthy and now, well not so much.
        I know that for some dogs this drug has done wonders for their heath, I just think in our scenario it has had a bad effect and shortened her life.

      • Posted by Kirsten on January 29, 2015 at 4:09 pm

        Hi Laura,

        I am sorry to hear about your dog. It is heart wrenching when they are in pain and we can’t help. My dog has been on injections for some time now. You ask when they wear off, it can be months. His last one was in September and I am only now starting to see the effects slowly wear off now.

        You mentioned a tumour in the brain? Was this previously diagnosed? Through my research I have learned that if an animal has cancer the injection can and most often has killed the dog. I believe it feeds the cancer and speeds it up. My dog has enjoyed amazing quality of life these last couple years due to the shots (he is 10 with bad hip displacia) but I will probably only do one or two more and switch to something else for pain as older dogs tend to get cancer unfortunately.

        Again I am sorry to hear about this mess and it is unfortunate for your dog and your family. Take comfort in the fact that they had 13 good years with you and maybe try a different pain killer if you are able to help that way. It is never easy to say good bye. Good luck and I hope your pup gets better! Think positive and remember that 13 is a good old age for any dog. Thinking of you and your pup 🙂

      • Posted by Bev on January 29, 2015 at 10:21 pm

        I have a new vet, old school….I asked her about this drug and she said “See that dog in the waiting room”? “That is what has keep her going and she just turned 16” I know I stopped my cat getting this drug so I don’t know really how I feel about it.

      • We have three cats, one of which (Chester) is a very large British Short Hair aged 5 years and 4 months. He was diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia at age 2 years and since then he has every month one cartrophen injection. He also takes daily 1 x Onsior tablet and 1 x Serequin tablet. As far as we can see he is leading a very normal life and is the most active of our three cats. The others are a 14 year old British Short Hair (female – Leah) with the other a rescue kitten (6 weeks old, 500 grams in weight and losing when we got him) same age as Chester but is a beautifully marked Bengal.

        It would appear, on the face of it, that the cartrophen is doing Chester no harm – at present. However not liking injections, I have had my forefinger lacerated twice and he has bitten me and the vet four times. Bless him.

        Good luck with your pup and I am sure you will make the correct decision.


    • Posted by parislaura on February 12, 2015 at 11:32 am

      Unfortunately we lost our girl last week, she did not recover and it seemed she simply gave up. I have no idea if the medication was at fault or if it was just her time. I obviously does help a lot of animals lead better lives, As with all medications though I think there may be occasions when a reaction can occur.


  41. Doesn’t time fly, sorry Chester and Simba (the bengal) are nearly 7 years old so Chester has been having his cartrophen injection every month for coming up to 5 years.



  42. Posted by Anna on February 6, 2015 at 1:01 am

    Hello from Australia – I have an adopted Burmese cat of unknown age though we are sure she is in excess of 12 to 14 years. She was ‘dumped’ at my vet’s surgery and was found to have diabetes and a dislocated hip. She’s been with me for over 4 years now and in that time her insulin has gone up a couple of units (now 5 twice a day) and she only eats a balanced renal diet food (wet and dry) as it was determined she had the start of kidney problems a year ago as a result of her excessive drinking due to the diabetes. The bigger problem is that, in the last year, she has lost enormous amounts of muscle tone to her back and hind quarters. She doesn’t complain of pain when picked up or moving around but obviously has difficulty with her balance when walking. There is very little power in her hind legs to jump though she can still make it onto the bed every night sometimes without the aid of the lower footstool I have placed for her. Because of the hip problem (which the vet decided did not need surgery) she has never been a great jumper but she was certainly able to move better than she can now. The vet is recommending a course of 4 Cartrophen injections but I am very uncertain after reading all these comments. She does not appear to me to have arthritis but more muscle atrophy because of the diabetes. I am being told that the injections “may help” but it is all so vague. Any suggestions from anyone reading this would be most appreciated. Molly is a very laid back old lady but I would mention though that she will not cooperate at all if I am required to put a pill into her mouth. Needles in her neck or syringes of paste or liquid into her mouth no problem – try putting a pill in her throat and, if you can actually succeed in getting it in she will spit it out and complain very loudly. It is not worth the trauma to her or the hand that feeds her. I do hope someone has some advice for me – the Divine Miss M (as I call her) is so worth the effort. Thank you for reading this.


  43. Posted by Alice on March 6, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Hello, I’m growing increasingly concerned for my 6 year old labrador Ruby. She has been lame after walks which has got worse over the past few months. X-rays have been done twice and her hips seem alright and vet states it is her crucial ligament in her knee. We have been prescribed metacam and was given a cartophen injection yesterday. She vomited about two hours after the injection and has been very lethargic and withdrawn since. I called the vet as soon as she was ill but they told me it wouldn’t be a sign effect of the injection and may just be a coincidence. She hasn’t eaten at all today- which is very unusual (typical lab who eats anything and everything). She has hardly got up from her bed and I’m worried sick. I have called the vet twice today but haven’t had a call back. The vet she saw is off till Monday but I am going to have to take her back in the morning as so worried after reading this article. Has anyone experienced similar symptoms after just one shot? Please help, she is part of our family and we are all devastated to see her so put of sorts.


    • Posted by Sioux Mum Of Sam on March 7, 2015 at 3:42 am

      Sorry to read this Alice, I hope your Ruby comes good. My Sam had a number of shots before reacting. He clearly wasn’t well, again the vet refused to believe it was the Cartrophen (even argued with me after a secondary reaction and sent me a bill for the emergency after hours checkup). Sam was better the next day albeit slow … he was 16 when he reacted though and he came through it. If Ruby has been fit and strong she should come good. Lots of attention should help and I would def revisit the vet. Good luck


      • Posted by Jane on March 8, 2015 at 7:15 pm

        Sorry to hear about Ruby. My Sebastian(yellow lab) was 12 and had never been treated for arthritis but my new vet thought he should be. He reacted to the first shot. I was stupid enough to take him back for a second shot within a week and that finished him. He collapsed in the vets office. He wouldn’t eat and couldn’t walk. We put him down within 3 days of the second shot.
        Ruby is half his age and hopefully this will pass through her body. The fact that repeat shots are required tells me it doesn’t stay in the system permanently.
        Best wishes.

      • Posted by Cheryl on March 8, 2015 at 8:26 pm

        I used Cartrophen for two years plus, with no side effects. It may not be for every Dog, but for is it was a tremendous success. One injection per week for Four weeks and he was great for 6-8 months. Nothing else came close to providing the relief Cartrophen provided. Do your homework and work with a vet you trust

  44. Posted by karen on February 6, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Yesterday, 6th February 2016 I had to Euthanize my 6 year old Bully. She had always had hip dysplasia which I treated with glucosamine & Chondroitin vits since an early age. She had a very good lifestyle all vets were very impressed at her fitness & healthy heart , weight & no skin allergies etc… she had no problems what so ever apart from her hip. A couple of months ago after a silly ‘Zoomy’ bulldog walk, she seemed to pull a muscle in her front leg. I took her to the vet. She was prescribed NSAIDS & bed rest ie no activity or walks for 2 weeks. I complied. After 2 weeks she was better but the problem kept reoccurring, she was limping but was still very active. The vet suggested this med. I had read about these kinds of meds and was wary. He assured me all was OK. She had one injection, all ok but no difference to her muscle strain in the front leg. A week later the next injection. Vet checked her and all seemed OK although she was much quieter than normal. 3rd injection, quiet at the vet. 2 days after the 3rd injection she refused to eat, started vomiting & had severe diarrhoea. The vet told me she had acute renal failure. The vet rejected the idea that this medication could have caused my pets death & suggested an underlying hereditary medical problem as the most likely cause. She was in hospital 4 days. I have never known an animal to deteriorate so quickly., I will get her ashes tomorrow. DON’T use this medication! I feel like I have killed my on dog.


    • Posted by Sioux on February 10, 2016 at 11:36 pm

      I feel so much for you, I know how you feel although luckily my staffy went on to live till he was 18 … I’m certain that would not have happened had we continued with Cartrophen … vets need to understand all they are told by these pharmaceutical companies is not necessarily real … the testing done on this product was done by the pharma who sells it … untrustworthy results … my vet fought with me about this and sent me a bill for treating my unwell dog after the shot … needless to say I did not pay and have not been back to that vet … you can only go by what professionals advise, don’t feel bad you were doing your best to help her… sorry for your loss


      • Thank you Sioux. It’s a few weeks on now. I still get very teary & miss Daisy like crazy. I’m still convinced it was this injection even though Acute Renal Failure doesn’t seem to be mentioned by other posters. I have had a specially bad day today, I keep expecting to see her when I turn around. She followed me everywhere. I feel like part of my soul has gone :0(

  45. Posted by monique on March 10, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Kieke, my 12 year old staffy has been on and of cartrophen for the past 2 years. After reading all of this I will take her of it.
    She has got multiple problems but the biggest problem at the moment is muscle atrophy. Now I know that lack of exercise causes that but she seems to have severe loss of muscle in very short time and also in bouts of it. without any change in her exercise routine.
    I have read that her yearly injections can cause muscle atrophy so I stopped giving her them. But I am now wondering if cartrophen can cause muscle atrophy?
    Does anybody know?


  46. Posted by Bob Prowse on March 17, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Our 10 yr old shepherd Charlie developed some hip discomfort, and after x-rays, etc., he was diagnosed that although his hips were “perfect”, as the Vet related, he did indeed have arthritis setting in on his right hip. Blood work and all other tests were indeed just as positive, indicating that otherwise he was an extremely healthy dog.
    “Exceptionally Healthy” for a 10 yr old Shepherd as the Vet stated.
    So we started Charlie on Cartrophen injections monthly. The results were very positive at first, with very noticeable increase in ease of walking and return to his normal gait. However equally fast, he began developing a dark skin rash with flaky texture, I likened to almost “ringworm” in appearance around his gentials, which even after repeated trips to the Vet, creams, diagnostics, etc., they could still not identify(not ringworm), with the rash spread up through his chest area. He seems to enjoy and good chest scratch, but otherwise he was fine, so we continued the Cartrophen believing the Vet in that the rash was unrelated.
    About a month ago Charlie had what we thought was a sore neck, refusing to lift his head much, yelping if he moved too fast. Vet checkup found nothing, it went away a few days later and he was his normal goofy playful self so we thought he pulled a muscle ? A month later the sore neck returned, he then had his monthly cartrophen injection…. 4 days later he became very slow, subdued, we planned to take him back to the Vet again the next day.That morning he got up, went outside to do his business, came in and layed on the couch(favorite spot), and while we were getting ready to take him to the Vet, warming up the Car, he passed right there on the couch.
    Long story short, IMO, want to kill your otherwise perfectly healthy but “arthritic” dog in 6 months ?
    Just start him on Cartrophen.


  47. Posted by Val on March 28, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Racehorse Cox Plate winner, Pinker Pinker, died after an anaphylactic reaction to the horse version of Cartrophen, being Pentosan-Gold, in April 2012.

    The news article says “she received a routine treatment from a vet and dropped to the ground”.

    The later article says “An autopsy on Cox Plate winner Pinker Pinker has shown the mare died after an anaphylactic reaction to a routine injection she received at her stables. Pinker Pinker collapsed and died on April 4 after receiving an injection of Pentosan-gold at the stables ..”

    Whilst Cartrophen Vet has helped my dog in the past, he always did seem very quiet for up to about 2 days after the injections. He also drank heaps of water in the days following. It was very noticeable. When I mentioned this to my vet, he/she said this was not a reaction to the drug and we continued with the injections.

    After 6 months, I had changed vets and the cartrophen injection was given again after doing a blood test which showed his kidneys were fine. We did the blood test because I had mentioned the excessive drinking after the injection. This was almost a year ago (May 2015). My dog had no side effects to the last injection he received and the vet said she understood the drug had been purified.

    However, after reading your blog, I just feel I can’t take the risk. My vet has said that she has used Cartrophen very successfully for some time and believes it to be very safe. However she does say that she has had one death to an older animal which developed cancer very quickly after an injection, and she DID believe was brought on by the Cartrophen.


  48. Posted by Zolis on April 5, 2016 at 1:19 am

    My vet continued to prescribe Cartrophen Vet for a ACL injury when she was 5 to now arthritis at age 8. My girl had monthly injections even tho I thought she didn’t need them but he insisted she was only fine because of the shots. Even with prior labs done with increased liver enzyme’s .. My vet insisted to remain in the cartrophen. This past month we had more labs done and her ALP levels are 3 times higher than the last. I don’t know why I trusted my vet for so long but I started doing research and got a second opinion and my new vet said their are definite contradictions with Cartrophen .. Especially since it’s marketed and promoted as a miracle non nsaid. I even emailed with the developer of this product and I can’t believe the man is allowed to deal with the public (emails are one line of refusals of potential risks ) ridiculous responses actually & this is from the developer of Cartrophen ?! Anyway.. 4 years my girl was on this medication and I pray the levels will come down. My new vet and I are going to wait 4 weeks and redraw the labs and then ultrasound and Etc. I just want some of the Cartrophen out of her system before I go full tilt on treatment and tests. My second opinion vet was the same when i went in with its safe … Not harming of liver etc.. But she promised to do some of her own research and call me back after a few days with what she came up with… Cartophen vet NEEDS to be researched more by vets instead of pushing a drug by a Mickey Mouse company. Someone needs to do something about this drug. It’s marketed as safe and non steroid etc but if u research it… It’s blatantly not.


    • Posted by Val on April 5, 2016 at 2:53 am

      Zolis, I also found that the liver enzymes had jumped up (but my boy is also on steroids for an autoimmune disease – have never been able to get him off completely). As the steroids were lowered, of course the liver enzymes also went down, but suddenly they started going back up again which didn’t make sense. I queried this with Dr Jean Dodds, who is a veterinary immunologist and expert on thyroid disease in dogs in USA. Her opinion for high ALT and GGT enzymes was the Cartrophen, and she also said it had a cumulative effect. Having stopped the Cartrophen, the levels have gone down. The GGT almost immediately and the ALT slowly. I’m not sure 4 weeks will be sufficient time to show a marked difference, as it took some time with my boy, but it DID go down. Good luck.


  49. Posted by Desparate on April 5, 2016 at 1:36 am

    Please who runs this blog ? This Cartrophen is a joke and it seems my vet adamantly denies any harm this so called miracle drug can do. Why is Canada allowing this drug to be used ? Why are vets denying it’s harmful affects and not reporting it ? Can somebody write to me and tell me what I can do ? My dog is sick from this medication… I’ve emailed the company and mr. Apse (developer) is literally a joke and so are his replies to me. please can we do anything ?


    • Posted by Jane on April 5, 2016 at 10:24 pm

      I believe the only thing we can do is share the compelling information with our vets. When I lost my Sebastian four years ago, due to an injection of Cartophen from an natural path vet, I shared information about Cartrophen with my regular vet. He read the information and said it never should have been used on Sebastian. Sebastian had just been diagnosed with cancer but was given a year to live. He died within days of the injection. Based on the information and a letter from my regular vet, my credit card company reversed all charges from the natural path vet.
      Cartophen will cause cancer in certain animals or accelerate cancer in those that already have it. Vets have not done the research.


  50. Posted by K on May 23, 2016 at 3:57 am

    Thanks to all, this is the only information I have been able to locate on Cartophen Vet.
    Long story short… my very energetic 6-1/2 y o GS mix damaged both rear knees two+ years ago & I was told to expect arthritis. Last year, after a being accosted by a loose dog while on our daily walk, she was slightly lame for two days & then tore her left CCL.
    After much consideration & her current veterinarian recommending TPLO surgery (giving me no other options, twice) I chose to use the OrthoPets brace to stabilize the injury. I felt that for this difficult dog, who reacts poorly to just about everything, the surgery would not be suitable for her.
    We have been very successful & back to walking 2 miles daily without problems. After a year she is off leash to run and play in the yard, again without problems.
    Our PT/orthopedic veterinarian has recommended Cartophen Vet to build cartilage. I had planned to begin this week!
    In the meantime, I am researching raw diets (for all of my pets) & feel that the change may help these injuries as well.
    My girl powers through everything. She would and has defended me with her life. I will hope that by the time she does become painful with arthritis that another drug is available.
    I’m saddened to read about so many of your losses & thank you again for your warnings. My heart goes out to all…


  51. Posted by Megan Evans on June 6, 2016 at 5:19 am

    In November last year we lost our just turned 9 year old adopted Spoodle (springer spaniel/poodle) Jimmy very suddenly.
    He had always been a very laid back dog during the six months we were lucky to have him. He adored his walks and ball catching, drives in the car and just hanging out with his humans.
    His vet recommended Synovan (Cartrophen) injections every 3 months to help prevent arthritis in his hind legs during a routine check up. Jimmy had both cruciate ligaments repaired with his previous owner. This was supposed to be a ‘preventative’. They hadn’t caused any problems at all during our care. Not even a slight lameness.
    I went along with the vets recommendations as I thought this would be an educated decision based on current use and evidence of long term administration with other animals. Was it really? Or was it just another opportunity to sell?
    The first injection didn’t present any noticable reaction.
    Within 3 days of his second Synovan injection three months later he slightly lost his appetite. Unfortunately this was confused with his high levels of separation anxiety and being fussy. He still was active and loved catching his tennis ball.
    5 days after the second injection – severe D and V in the middle of the night. Primarily diagnosed as Hemorrhagic Gastro, he deteriorated instead of recovering and was laid to rest at the specialist hospital with a diagnosis of Immune Mediated Haemolytic Anaemia. Cause unknown – possible underlying cancer not yet detected?
    We had spent almost three thousand dollars in 48 hours and simply couldn’t afford to proceed with thousands of dollars worth of more investigations and transfusions. He was down to 10% of his red blood cells – within 12 hours. I didn’t want him to suffer any longer.
    After reading this and similar stories I am still left wondering if Synovan was the cause behind Jimmy’s untimely demise. Was a previously undetected disease exacerbated by Synovan? Or is it possible that this ‘preventative’ actually caused intestinal bleeding and his death?!?
    I am also still left with the awful thought that these injections weren’t really necessary in the first place. Could Jim still be with us if we hadn’t administered Synovan?
    I will never ever agree to its use again in any of my pets.
    And I will warn others to not use it either. Feed natural supplements, keep up the exercise.


  52. Posted by Erssie Knits on June 13, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    We were going on holiday, so 1 mths before we went gave our dog a course of Cartrophen for stiff joints. In all other aspects the dog was healthy for a 10 yr old although was getting gas and abdomen a bit thick after food very occasionally, about once a month or fewer. On the 2nd injection, occasionally my dog was puffing out air and sucking in slightly uneasily but the vet examined and on standing everything appeared normal so was told to video it and neither of us associated itit with Cartrophen On the 3rd injection, I did notice the dog on its side, was huffing to breathe very slightly all the time and as we had a previous dog die of acute respiratory distress I am overly neurotic about symptoms. I Googled Cartrophen side effects and my heart sank when I saw this site, I immediately decided the dog wasn’t going to have any more, especially as the pooch was not suffering from arthritis yet. I worried about the dog puffing a bit, and by 24 hrs after the 3rd injection it was bad enough for an asap vet appointment. I didn’t want my dog holiday ruined with angst about travelling in a potentially warm car and a dog being short of breath. 48 hrs from 3rd injection a cough and vocalising on exertion and reluctance to lie down worried me. The vet examined again, didn’t find anything that abnormal in the chest, but did say it had a jugular pulse in the neck which could indicate heart trouble. There was a 3kg weight gain in 48 hrs. We decided the plan of action would be to xray, ultrasound, bloods etc. I said despite the symptoms being slight, and the dog being perky and eating well, I had a huge feeling of unease and our vet is very good at listening to our intuition (a previous vet had a God and Saviour complex and would contradict to prove a point). And within a few hours at the vets, the dog was dramatically worse, going purple and needing oxygen to breathe while being scanned. U/S scans and xray were devastatingly bad. There was a large tumour in the lining of the heart, fluid in the abdomen which was extracted and very plasma like. The tumour appeared to have ruptured causing a big bleed and was collecting between heart linings very difficult to drain. My poor pet was having massive congestive heart failure internally, but externally showed no more symptoms than if it was a minor cough or cold. The prognosis was poor, the tumour inoperable and ruptured and the dog would have died a horrible slow drowning death over the next couple of days. Secondary referral to an oncologist wouldn’t have helped as there was no way to make her stable with the heart problems. Being an older dog who would have died from the tumour anyway, we had to make them heartbreaking decision to put her to sleep a few days ago, rather than watch her slowly drown in blood and fluid.

    So what are my views on Cartrophen? Mixed. On the one hand, it did not cause a tumour but on the other hand I feel it did cause an existing tumour to reach point of rupture more quickly than would have happened without it. I would have liked one last holiday with my dog, and not to have euthanised my pet a few days before we depart on the dogs’ holiday. But in another way, it brought some silent symptoms to my attention before the disease had advanced enough to cause real suffering and the death was to put to sleep early rather than drown slowly in blood/fluid and a lit of pain later. However, owners who have a dog of advancing years might want to make that choice for their own pet and not have it forced upon them. It is also possible the tumour rupturing and Cartrophen being ysed are entirely unlinked but if the manufacturers don’t collect data, we won’t know the occurrence of this coincidence. I think, if you have a pet over 7 of a large breed dog, especially breeds susceptible to hemangiosarcoma, then vets/owners must consider the likelihood of an elderly dog having a tumour anyway that might be silent and symptom less and that Cartrophen might hasten the chance of rupture. The difficulty is that dogs that need arthritis supporting meds or supplements are the candidates most likely to have undiagnosed conditions that could be exacerbated by an NSAID or Cartrophen type drug. If vets start using the caveat of “by the way, if your dog is sick and you don’t know it this might make it worse” it would probably discourage all pet owners from using it and so the drug would become virtually unsaleable. And, a lot of elderly pooches with tumours undiagnosed might have a condition so slow or benign, that they are going to die of something totally different at a later stage but miss out on the benefits of Cartrophen. In my case, I have some regret choosing it just because my dog didn’t need it that badly yet and I would have preferred at least 2 or 3 weeks more with my pet and would have liked to see how they did without the drug. I don’t blame my vet at all for prescribing it based on what he currently knows but I think perhaps the coincidence of so many deaths coinciding with use would not be scientific enough to prove it and is largely anecdotal. I get this all the time with my own condition. I feel without any doubt that using steroids prednisone led to my pituitary gland failing but it’s just a feeling, not a proven fact. The Internet is awash with opinions from individuals anecdotes which may or may not be correct, or have omitted facts a subjective view felt was not relevant but which invalidates their evidence when viewed scientifically. And, if you Google adverse effects for any drug, you are going to see many negative experiences but not know what % of the whole number of users that is. If nothing bad happens, positive stories often don’t get written. I am currently using and have used medications for a longctime that work for me that have caused death in others and stories on the Internet of how that drug ruined their lives and all of that is in spite of the fact there are warnings all over the printed information sheet and from a doc.

    Anyway, in my case, this is what I would liked to have done in an ideal world. Xray, scans and blood tests of my elderly pooch before Cartrophen. Then proceed with caution, only if 100% clear, stopping altogether if there are any symptoms at all even if seemingly unrelated. I wouldn’t want to stop dogs getting pain relief by being scared of my story, but at least they could make an informed choice by considering the likelihood of coinciding tumours or conditions possibly made worse by Cartrophen and decide how they would feel if their dog could be potentially getting this brought to a Crisis IF there was a link.


  53. Posted by Bill on June 26, 2016 at 1:47 am

    Hi there,

    I’m writing to try and gain some additional information prior to a potential treatment plan.

    While I note there is clearly a huge response to the negative impacts of Cartrophen, it is hard for me to base my decision on the replies here as well. I have no way to gauge the veracity or correlation of the comments and people with successful results are unlikely to be googling for the side effects, etc.

    The provide some context, my Japanese Spitz (3.5 years old, 7.5kg) has just undergone De Angelis CCL surgery – the vet also performed a meniscal release (which I wasn’t originally consulted about). I spent a considerable amount of time debating whether surgery was required and similar to this decision there were a lot of varying views.

    The current treatment post-op is around using Cartrophen to prevent/slow down the onset of OA.

    What I am interested in (though I read in one of the comments, there haven’t been age studies for the usage of the drug) is whether you would think based on the research that the drug is beneficial for a young dog?

    As a young dog, I would assume the likelihood of dormant tumours is less likely or significantly lower. Consequently, I would assume that the increase blood flow of the drug rather than hastening the onset of cancer (assuming a lack of it), would actually promote acceleration/recovery of his CCL treatment.

    I would be keen to hear your thoughts, at present based on the information I’ve read – it would seem prudent to start the treatment now (and then cease it), rather than start it after the onset of OA at an older age.

    I’m also concerned about the toxicity of NSAIDs like metacam that my little guy has been on for quite a while, but that’s a different topic.



  54. Posted by melissap93 on July 20, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Hello everyone,

    My 13yo JRTX is on his 3rd week of 1x 4weeks of this injection and I noticed his change after the second one. We came home and he was panting a lot, the next day his legs seemed to be struggling to hold himself up. I rang the vet and they gave me some anti-inflamotary tablets and they helped but before the injections he was not like this at all. He seems to have gotten worse after these tablets which is not what I had expected at all!!! He would shake a little and sometimes be lame on walks and sometimes hesitant about going up or down a few steps but now he struggles to stand up or sit down etc. He would lick his joints too before but now seems to do it more often and licks everything due to stress/anxiety. I’m terrified that he will go downhill from reading these comments! I wish I researched this earlier 😦 I won’t be booking his next (last) injection and I am going to start cooking for him and put him on a grain-free diet as I think he has had a lot of gas too (maybe unrelated, but nonetheless).

    Has anyone else ever noticed this side-effect?


    • Posted by melissap93 on October 8, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      UPDATE: I never went on with his injections and it’s taken him until now to get back to (nearly) normal again. He can’t lick his privates now as he can’t reach that far, something he could do just fine before the rounds of Cartrophen. He is getting a lot of his energy back and can even do the long walks he could before! For his age, he is in really good health. He has been eating a lot more cooked meals I prepare for him and I also have him only on 4Legs and Natural Goodness and he seems to have improved too. There is hope for anyone worrying as much as I did! Always remember to follow your instincts.


  55. We have a 7 year old rottweiler, Alice and she has been on cartophen since she was 2. she was diagnosed with elbow dysplasia, after a 15 minute run she would limp for days and struggled to get out of bed at 2! We changed her food and added seraquin (glucosamine and chondrotin) and salmon oil. 5 years on and she moves better than she did at 2, she has 4 shots every 4-6 months and we have never experienced and problems. When she was diagnosed with elbow dysplasia at 2 our vet gave us all sorts of options and we researched each and every one. In our particular case we have found the combination of cartrophen a change in her diet and a few supplements to work wonders and we do notice if she doesn’t have this combination she will stiffen and cry out in pain. As it is she still jumps in to the back of our 4×4 (we do try to stop her and lift her) plays with her friends (which are mostly working dogs so very active) and jumps up in the mornings like a pup. I am sorry to hear cartrophen hasn’t worked for some people and in some cases been detrimental to your babies health but in our case we really rate it !


    • Posted by Sioux Lewis on August 3, 2016 at 12:53 am

      I am so pleased to read this, there are just a few positive comments in this discussion but I guess it’s not the practice to praise publicly as much as complain. Our staffy Samson was great on Cartrophen for 18 months before it hit him hard and it was all down hill from there till his death six months later. But I am truly happy it’s working for Alice … whatever works I say … and thanks for leaving a positive comment, some balance is healthy in these discussion groups.


  56. Posted by Denny on August 7, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Our 16 year old Lab cross has been on Cartrophen for six months with good results. We noticed she went off her food for a day shortly after the monthly injection. This month, the morning after the injection, her back legs kept giving way, she was panting, trying to walk continuously and looking stressed. This lasted most of the day and it was 11pm before she was able to settle.
    Our vet didn’t push Cartrophen, just suggested it as an alternative to another drug that was affecting her kidneys.
    We have to accept she is an old dog, with several medical problems and it is thanks to our vet she is still alive. Hopefully they will be able to think of a different treatment to keep her enjoying life.


  57. Posted by Dave Bruen on February 8, 2017 at 11:42 am

    It is now two days since our 15 year old collie cross had his first Cartrophen injection. He has a large testicular tumor for the past two years, which we can’t remove as he became distressed under anesthetic when we previously tried. He also had a stoke last year which he recovered from quite well. Appetite was very good and though quite stiff in the rear joints, he still walked every day, until the injection.
    Within hours of the injection he stopped eating. While he is drinking water, he seems stiffer in the joints and is very lethargic. Very concerned that he won’t pull through.


  58. Posted by mary on June 27, 2017 at 3:12 am

    Our vet gave our 9yo Charlie a cartrophen injection a month ago for arthritis/stiffness in his hips. When we went back for the 2nd injection I told her that he seemed worse and had developed slight lameness in one of his back legs. Straight after the second injection I took the dogs for a walk and ended up having to carry Charlie because he could hardly use his back leg at all. I contacted the vet again asking if it was possible that something might have been aggravated when she tested his hips and knees – he’d growled and turned to bite her when she pulled his leg. She said v unlikely but it might be a bit inflamed. Two weeks later and he is still very lame and holding the leg up nearly all the time. He’s also been wanting to eat grass a lot more than usual and vomiting – not every day, but every 2 or 3 days. He was due to go back today – glad I researched and won’t be getting another cartrophen injection.


  59. Posted by Graham hibble on December 26, 2017 at 2:18 am

    Keep up the good work,


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