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Librela: A New Treatment Option for arthritis in Dogs


Librela is a monoclonal antibody that is designed to target and neutralize a specific protein in dogs that causes pain and inflammation. This protein is called nerve growth factor, or NGF. By neutralizing NGF, Librela can help to alleviate pain and inflammation in dogs, which can improve their mobility and quality of life.

How does Librela work?

Librela works by binding to Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and preventing it from interacting with its receptors in the body. This prevents the activation of pain-sensing nerve fibers, which in turn reduces pain and inflammation in the affected area. Librela is administered as an injection and is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it can travel throughout the body to target NGF and provide pain relief.


Librela is an anti-NGF monoclonal antibody

Diagram of Anti-NGF monoclonal antibodies - Courtesy of Zoetis

What are the benefits of using Librela for my dog?

The main benefit of using Librela is the relief of pain and inflammation in dogs. This can improve their mobility, which can lead to increased activity and a better quality of life. 

Two studies were conducted to determine how effective Librela is in treating osteoarthritis in dogs.

The first study involved 287 dogs of different breeds in the Europe. These dogs were either given Librela or a placebo (a fake treatment).


Librela is the new monoclonal antibody to fight arthritis in dog

Photo of Librela - Courtesy of Zoetis


The first study measured effectiveness by assessing the dogs' pain scores 28 days after treatment using a Canine Brief Pain Inventory (CBPI), as well as by evaluating the dogs' weight-bearing ability, sensitivity to touch, mobility, and general condition.

Results showed that 43.5% of dogs treated with Librela saw an improvement in pain scores, compared to 16.9% of dogs who received the placebo. Veterinarians also observed significant improvements in the Librela-treated group.

In a second study conducted in the USA, 135 dogs received Librela, and 137 dogs received the placebo.
The study found that Librela was successful in treating osteoarthritis in 47.4% of dogs, while the placebo was successful in only 36.6% of dogs.


What are the risks of using Librela?

Like any medication, Librela may come with potential risks, although they are few and far between. Some dogs may experience mild to moderate reactions at the injection site, such as swelling and warmth, but this is not common. In very rare cases, hypersensitivity reactions have been reported, and if this occurs, appropriate symptomatic treatment should be provided. 

As with any medication, it's always a good idea to discuss the risks and benefits with your veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment for your furry friend.

Additionally, if you are looking for alternative solutions with minimal risk, supplements may be a good option.

Check out our article on the top 5 best collagen chews for dogs to find an effective solution.


How long does it take to see results from using Librela?

The effectiveness of Librela varies from dog to dog, but many dogs experience relief within a few days of starting treatment. However, it may take several weeks for the full effects of the medication to be realized. Your veterinarian will work with you to develop a treatment plan and schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your dog's response to the medication.



What is the recommended dosage or frequency of use for Librela?

The recommended dosage of Librela is based on your dog's weight and is administered as a subcutaneous injection. The injection is typically given once a month, but your veterinarian may adjust the frequency of the injections based on your dog's response to treatment. It is important to follow your veterinarian's instructions carefully to ensure the optimal dose and frequency of use.

 In the UK, the following dosage is recommended:

  • 11-22.1 lbs: 1 vial of 5 mg
  • 22.2-44.1 lbs: 1 vial of 10 mg
  • 44.2-66.1 lbs: 1 vial of 15 mg
  • 66.2-88.2 lbs: 1 vial of 20 mg
  • 88.3-132.3 lbs: 1 vial of 30 mg
  • 132.4-176.4 lbs: 2 vials of 20 mg
  • 176.5-220.5 lbs: 1 vial of 20 mg and 1 vial of 30 mg
  • 220.6-264.6 lbs: 2 vials of 30 mg

It is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate dosage and frequency of use for your dog.


Is Librela safe to use with other medications or supplements?

These data come from the European version of Librela which was launched before.

The laboratory study conducted on healthy dogs without osteoarthritis showed that Librela had no adverse effects when administered concurrently with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen.

However, there are no safety data on the long-term concurrent use of NSAIDs and Librela in dogs. While rapid progressive osteoarthritis has been reported in humans receiving monoclonal anti-nerve growth factor (NGF) antibody treatment, the equivalent has not been reported in dogs. No other laboratory studies have been conducted on the safety of concurrent administration of Librela with other veterinary medicines.

Field studies have shown no interactions when Librela was administered at the same time as veterinary medicines containing antiparasitics, antimicrobials, topical antiseptics with or without corticosteroids, antihistamines, and vaccines.

However, if one or more vaccines need to be administered concurrently with Librela treatment, they should be given at a different site to reduce any potential impact on vaccine immunogenicity.

Consider supplements as a safe alternative for your dog's arthritis, in addition to medication like Librela. For effective results, check out Jope Hip and Joint Dog Chews, whose ingredients are supported by research.

Key facts about UC-II®

UC-II® = Undenatured Type II Collagen

  • UC-II® reduces dog pain and inflammation.
  • According to scientific studies, UC-II® works better than the combination of chondroitin and glucosamine to relieve your dog's pain and help them regain mobility.
  • UC-II® and Omega 3s are the only supplements that demonstrated benefits in plate-force studies. Chondroitin and glucosamine failed to do so.
  • UC-II® is an undenatured type II collagen derived from chicken sternum cartilage with a patented extraction process.
Learn more

In conclusion, Librela is an effective treatment for osteoarthritis in dogs, with a low risk of adverse effects. However, caution should be exercised when using it with other medications, especially those containing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and monoclonal antibodies.

Additionally, it should not be used in pregnant or lactating animals or those intended for breeding. While supplements can provide a safe alternative for those looking to avoid the risks associated with medications, Librela remains a valuable treatment option for veterinarians and pet owners seeking to alleviate the pain and improve the quality of life of dogs suffering from osteoarthritis.


The content presented here is for informational purposes and reflects Jope's team own opinions, expertise, and experience. It is not intended to replace professional veterinary consultation, diagnosis, or treatment. For personalized advice and care for your pets, always consult with your veterinarian.

Author: Dr. Jeremy

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), MS

Meet Jeremy, a passionate veterinarian and co-founder of Jope, with a decade of experience—7 years in the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industry and 3 years as a veterinarian. Passionate about enhancing the well-being of pets, Jeremy's mission is to provide practical, evidence-based advice and products that support pet parents and their furry companions. His favorite breed, the Australian Shepherd, holds a special place in his heart for their playfulness, cleverness, and beauty.

Join Jeremy on an insightful journey through the world of pet health and discover how science and compassion come together to improve the lives of pets.

The content presented here is for informational purposes and reflects Jeremy's own opinions, expertise, and experience. It is not intended to replace professional veterinary consultation, diagnosis, or treatment. For personalized advice and care for your pets, always consult with your veterinarian.

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