Generic Drug Name: Hyaluronic Acid
Other Common Names: Hyalovet, Hyvisc, Legend
Hyaluronic acid is a parenteral, high viscosity mucopolysaccharide used to treat synovitis not associated with severe degenerative joint disease. It may also be useful in treating secondary synovitis in conditions where full thickness cartilage loss exists. Hyaluronic acid may be useful in treating equine joint disease, but research is currently ongoing.
Hyaluronic acid should not be injected through skin that has recently been fired, blistered, or has had excessive scurf and counterirritants on it. It should also not be used as a substitute for adequate diagnosis. Radiographic examinations should be done on the patient to rule out serious fractures before turning to hyaluronic acid for treatment.
Some side effects associated with hyaluronic acid are local reactions characterized by heat, swelling, and effusion. These symptoms will typically disappear after 24-48 hours, though some animals may require up to 96 hours before symptoms disappear. Incidence of flares may be higher when hyaluronic acid is used with other drugs.
Hyaluronic acid should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. A veterinarian should be contacted immediately if an overdose is suspected.
Hyaluronic acid should be kept at room temperature and stored in a tight, light resistant, childproof container. Some products may require that the drug be refrigerated, but it should never be frozen.
The typical dose of hyaluronic acid varies greatly depending on which product is being used. For horses, these dose ranges from 10-50 mg. When being used to reduce joint effusion post-arthroscopic surgery for osteochondritis dissecans, a normal dose is 100 mg once daily for 30 days. For treating synovitis in dogs, a normal dose is 3-5 mg intra-articularly using sterile technique weekly. Should a dose be forgotten, it should be administered as soon as possible unless it is almost time for the next does. In this case, the missed dose should be skipped and the regular schedule should be resumed. No matter what, two doses should not be administered at the same time.
Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.