Is your dog suffering from elbow arthritis? Veterinary clinics are starting to offer a new treatment—Synovetin OA®.
Synovetin OA® is a form of nuclear medicine.
Nuclear medicine is a medical specialty that involves the application of radioactive substances in the diagnosis or treatment of disease.
Typically, you might encounter it as a diagnostic tool. For example, the veterinarian will administer a small amount of radioactive isotopes–tracers during specialty imaging. As a result, when viewed with a special gamma camera, it allows the evaluation of organ function. Unlike other types of imaging, nuclear imaging focuses on function rather than structure. In other words, it can help to:
- assess kidney filtration rate
- evaluate liver function
- detect liver shunts
- locate infection
- bone metabolism
- cancer distribution
- thyroid function
- heart function
Similarly, Synovetin OA® treatment introduces microscopic particles of radioactive medical material—Tin-117m into the affected joint by injection. Tin-117m is a novel radioisotope. However, rather than a diagnostic, Synovetin OA® is a treatment.
Current available treatments for elbow arthritis in dogs
In general, treatments for canine elbow arthritis are the same as for any other form of osteoarthritis in dogs. Treatment options include:
- weight management
- physical therapy
- anti-inflammatory medications
- other pain medications
- laser therapy
- TPEFM therapy
- regenerative therapies (stem cell therapy, PRP, or a combination of the two)
- elbow replacement
So what if your dog doesn’t respond to the standard therapies and supplementation? What if you don’t want to use medications with systemic impact? And what if you consider surgery too invasive?
Synovetin OA® uses novel conversion electron therapy to target macrophages and synoviocytes in the injected joint. The goal is to break the cycle of inflammation and provide long-lasting pain relief.
What Synovetin OA® has going for it is simplicity.
- the treatment consists of an injection into the joint(s) which makes it minimally invasive
- he company projects the pain relief to last up to one year
How does it work?
The treatment reduces synovial inflammation. According to the manufacturer, the microparticles eradicate inflammatory cells in the joint.
Synovial inflammation is prevalent in all stages of osteoarthritis. Further, some studies demonstrated that synovitis is related to pain and poor function. The paper states that synovitis is the initial issue in degenerative joint disease (DJD). The resulting inflammation triggers the rest of the degeneration that happens in the affected joint.
It would make sense since the synovium is the source of lubrication and nourishment for cartilage. Therefore, if a treatment could address the synovial inflammation, it might go a long way in reducing pain and healthier joints.
Are there adverse effects?
None of the available materials and papers list any clinically significant adverse effects at this time. However, since the treatment is new, it’s essential to keep an eye on developments.
Naturally, as with any injections directly into a joint, it is essential to ensure sterility of the procedure not to introduce infection.
Further reading: Safety and Effectiveness of Synovetin OA®
I am instinctively skeptical about introducing foreign substances into my dog’s body. Further, I am cautious when I read about no side effects, adverse reactions, or incidental undesired effects.
I am more inclined to reach for cell therapies than nuclear medicine.
Nonetheless, I appreciate that treating elbow issues can be tricky, and I always lean toward less-invasive treatments. Short of cell therapies, Synovetin OA® is minimally invasive and with local effect. For this reason, it might beat NSAIDs, arthroscopies, and other surgical interventions.
Consequently, I would consider Synovetin OA® if my dog’s pain reduced their quality of life and I couldn’t control it with modalities I instinctively prefer.
The synovium is the inner lining of the joint that secretes the lubricating synovial fluid.
The synovial fluid is a joint lubricant and the delivery system for nutrients for cartilage.
Inflammation of the synovium
Further reading: Synovetin OA