Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Arthritic Efficacy and Safety of Purified Shilajit in Moderately Arthritic Dogs
Journal of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry
The objective of this investigation was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of purified Shilajit in moderately arthritic dogs. Ten clientowned dogs in a randomized double-blinded study received either a placebo or Shilajit (500 mg) twice daily for a period of five months. Dogs were evaluated each month for physical condition (body weight, body temperature, heart rate, and respiration rate) and pain associated with arthritis (overall pain, pain from limb manipulation, and pain after physical
... after physical exertion). Serum samples collected from these dogs were examined each month for biomarkers of liver (bilirubin, ALT, and AST), kidney (BUN and creatinine) heart and muscle (creatine kinase) functions. The findings of this study revealed that dogs receiving Shilajit (Group-II) showed a significant (P<0.05) reduction in pain from limb manipulation by day 60, and overall pain and pain after physical exertion by day 120. Maximum pain reduction, using all three criteria, was observed on day 150. Pain level remained significantly unchanged in dogs receiving the placebo. Dogs in either group showed no significant change (P>0.05) in physical parameters or serum markers, suggesting that Shilajit was well tolerated by moderately arthritic dogs. It was concluded that Shilajit significantly (P<0.05) reduced pain in osteoarthritic dogs and markedly improved their daily life without any side effects. Currently, there are more than 78 million dogs in the US, and every fifth adult dog suffers from arthritis . Dogs suffer more frequently from osteoarthritis (a chronic and progressive disease) than any other form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is a functional disorder of the joint, characterized by a change in joint shape secondary to a loss of articular cartilage, osteophyte formation, subchondral sclerosis, bone marrow lesions and synovial proliferation, with subsequent alteration of mechanical properties that result in decreased stability, movement and loading         . In the early stages of osteoarthritis, there is a progressive depletion of the cartilage proteoglycan leading to a net loss of matrix from the cartilage  . This leads to a cascade of negative events, including changes in enzymatic cleavage of proteoglycans and an increase in minor collagen types leading to structural damage and deterioration of the cartilage. The breakdown of cartilage can be increased with certain enzymes including the matrix metalloproteinase enzymes (MMPs). The severity of cartilage lesions in osteoarthritis can be cor-related with the levels of collegenase (MMP-1) present    . The cascading events lead to increased friction and inflammation in the joints. Dogs suffering with osteoarthritis show stiffness of joints, crepitus, pain upon manipulation of the joint, periarticular swelling, palpable effusion, restriction in range of motion, lameness and pain and loss of function [7,       . The combination of history, physical exam, and radiograph can help diagnose osteoarthritis in a canine patient. Radiographs indicate osteophytosis and subchondral bone sclerosis that develops over time in osteoarthritic patients. MRI findings can reveal changes consistent with osteoarthritis in the cartilage [17, 18] .