Arthropharm Pharmaceuticals Inc.



Could your pet have arthritis ?

Use our Osteoarthritis Calculator to determine whether your pet is displaying signs of Arthritis. Maybe your pet could benefit from Cartrophen Vet.

Clinical Aids

About Us

Arthropharm Pharmaceuticals Inc. welcomes you to our Canadian website. We are the Canadian distributor for Cartrophen Vet. Our goal is to provide you with information and support. With over 7 million dogs and 8 million cats in Canada, there is an increasing need for our arthritis treatment.

We are so pleased that our product, Cartrophen Vet, has been helping your pets for a quarter century.  We would like to thank our distributors, veterinarians and pet owners for your loyalty to our product and continued support.  

Please take a minute to browse our site.

Dr. Christelle Corbin-Roy, D.V.M. (2010/FMV) has recently joined our team and brings with, experience in traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (which includes acupuncture, herbology, and more) as well as canine, feline and zoological medicine. She will respond to all technical and medical issues and Dawn Milway-Arthurs is the General Manager, looking after the day to day operations. Abbie Kelly recently joined our team and will be helping out Dawn with the administrative and marketing side of the business.

Christelle, Dawn and Abbie are dedicated to ensuring that support is only a phone call away.

We are very proud of the fact that our product is a glass vial packaged in cardboard.  Our aim is that promotional products going forward will be environmentally friendly and packaged in the least amount of plastic as we can control. 

With over 3,000 small and mixed veterinary clinics in Canada it is impossible to visit everyone. We are happy to offer telephone and email support. We are also willing to conduct “virtual visits” to offer training and/or question and answer sessions with clinic staff. If you have a computer with a camera we can make it happen.

We welcome your questions, comments and feedback by whichever contact method you prefer. We will make every effort to answer you promptly. It is our goal that at some point paper copies of our promotional flyers will be obsolete. To make this happen, we encourage all veterinary clinics to provide us with email information.

Thanks for visiting.

Cartrophen Vet

Cartrophen Vet, the disease modifying osteoarthritis drug was developed by Biopharm Australia Pty Ltd. for the treatment of osteoarthritis in dogs. It was successfully introduced and cleared by Health Canada in 1994 for the treatment of arthritis in dogs.  It has become the alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs because of its excellent safety and efficacy profile.

Cartrophen Vet is of plant origin and works to retard the progression of arthritis. Cartrophen Vet is not an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug).

Dogs commonly suffer from various types of lameness. Very active dogs such as working dogs (military, sporting) frequently suffer sprains and injuries to the musculoskeletal system. Dogs also suffer from hip dysplasia and other joint related lameness and osteoarthritis. Some animals are lame from a young age and require frequent and regular administration of drugs such as Cartrophen Vet or alternatively NSAIDs.

Cartrophen Vet is administered subcutaneously by your veterinarian once a week for four weeks. This may be followed by booster injections at intervals determined by your veterinarian based on the dog’s age, severity of arthritis and the dog’s response to Cartrophen Vet. Most pets respond quickly with increased activity and well-being. Side effects are rare. A dog may be quieter for a day or two after an injection. About 80% of dogs show visible improvement and, in some dogs, no additional treatment is required for months and in some cases, years. Even though some dogs show no visible improvement, it is possible Cartrophen Vet may assist in keeping the condition from getting worse.

We firmly believe that Cartrophen Vet is the first drug of choice in the treatment of osteoarthritis. This leaves the door open for NSAIDs to be used when they are really necessary to quell bouts of acute pain. With its unparalleled safety profile, Cartrophen Vet is a vital component in keeping old dogs active. It challenges the old adage “If you can’t run with the big dogs, you have to stay on the porch”.

“Together We’ll Get There” Pet Sling

Our “Together We’ll Get There” Pet Sling is a wonderful helping hand for clinic staff and dog owners when floors are slippery, when dogs have difficulty walking or need extra care after surgery. The outside layer of the pet sling is made up of durable oxford containing polyester. The Inner layer is made up of sponge padding with soft fleece lining. The girth can be up to 83 cm (32 in) in length and can weigh up to 35 Kg (80 lbs).



St. Hyacinthe – Head Office
2999 Choquette Blvd. P.O. 608 St. Hyacinthe, QC J2S 7C2 Tel: 450-771-2368 Fax: 450-773-4370

Associated Veterinary Purchasing

27533 50th Avenue Langlay, BC V4W 0A2 Tel: 604-856-2110 Fax: 604-856-2115

Veterinary Purchasing Company Ltd.

485 Queen Street West St. Mary's ON N4X 1B7 Tel: 519-284-1371 Fax: 519-284-2361

Western Drug Distribution Centre

Edmonton – Head Office
17611-109 A Avenue Edmonton, AB T5S 2W4 Tel: 780-413-2508 Fax: 800-329-9332

Western Drug Distribution Centre

1600 Inkster Blvd. Winnipeg, MB R2X W4 Tel: 204-233-8155 Fax: 204-233-8169

Clinical Data

“Left click” the paws to view files or “Right click” and choose “Save” to download the files.

A few Facts

A few facts about Cartrophen Vet

Human Study

Abstract of results where 83 women & 31 men with OA of the knee enrolled in a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study in Australia.

Package Insert

Directions for use that accompanies each vial of Cartrophen Vet

Horse Safety Data

The effect of three diffrent doses of sodium pentosan polysulphate on haematological and haemostatic variable in adult horses.

Efficacy Study

Double-blind, comparator controlled,randomized clinical study of 104 dogs in Germany to establish effectiveness of Cartrophen Vet

Frequently Asked Questions

Dogs may be started on Cartrophen Vet when they exhibit the first signs of lameness and the diagnosis of arthritis has been made by X-ray or clinical assessment.
It is important to follow the directions for use and to follow through with the 4-week course of treatment for the best clinical response. If treatment is interrupted for a week and there is a two-week hiatus, it is not necessary to start a further 4 week course of treatment. Pet owners may be reluctant to come into the clinic for the entire course of treatment. It is suggested that treatment with NSAIDs requires regular visits to determine whether or not NSAID therapy should be continued and this requires additional bloodwork. Cartrophen Vet does not require bloodwork. In addition, the dosage set out in the package insert should be followed.

In some pets no additional injections are required for as many as 5 or 6 months. In other animals more frequent injections are required. In some cases, single monthly injections of Cartrophen Vet are sufficient to keep the lameness in check. The frequency may vary with the degree of arthritis, the age of the animal or the individual metabolism of the animal. Usually, single injections are sufficient. Where an animal has gone for an extended period without an injection, (8 or 9 months or longer) consideration should be given to a repeat of the series of 4 injections.

The client should be advised to monitor their pet for increased signs of lameness and should contact their Veterinarian as to the necessity of another injection of Cartrophen Vet.

Surgical intervention involves a recovery period during which there is an acute phase of pain from the surgical trauma. Veterinary surgeons often prescribe NSAIDs during this period for the acute pain and to assist in the immediate reduction of swelling and pain. Cartrophen Vet acts differently from NSAIDs in the reduction of pain and is slower acting but of longer duration. In contrast to NSAIDs, Cartrophen Vet is a disease-modifying drug and therefore its onset of action is somewhat longer than NSAIDs.

Is not recommended that Cartrophen Vet and NSAIDs be given together prior to surgery. Consequently, the administration of Cartrophen Vet a week prior to surgery is not contraindicated but generally, if other drugs are to be used to control the acute phase of pain, Cartrophen Vet should not be administered for at least a week prior to surgery.

Some Veterinary surgeons avoid the use of NSAIDs because of the delay in healing time (up to 25 %). NSAIDs are often used to take care of the acute phase of pain. Dosage instructions require the daily use of NSAIDs and they are rapidly excreted. Cartrophen Vet may be administered a few days after surgery after the NSAIDs have been discontinued, often with very beneficial results without the possibility of the adverse reactions and delay in healing time exhibited by NSAIDs.

Some surgeons administer Cartrophen Vet shortly after surgery rather than use NSAIDs.

There is an unintended benefit from the use of Cartrophen Vet administered after surgery when compared to NSAIDs. The pet tends to be somewhat less robust in its movements than after the use of NSAIDs. The latter may increase a false sense of confidence and the analgesic effect may result in increased physical activity when the pet should really be resting. Cartrophen Vet, being a disease-modifying drug has a slower onset of pain relief and the animal will tend to rest, as it would normally do when recovering from trauma. In human medicine it is possible to instruct the person in conservative management of lameness recovery but an animal requires some internal indicator (e.g. some pain) to instruct it to take it easy.

No, no blood monitoring is required. Cartrophen Vet is not an NSAID. It therefore does not have the adverse reaction profile of NSAIDs. It does not have an adverse reaction profile for which a routine blood monitoring and a close watch for adverse reactions is required. For example, gastrointestinal side effects characteristic of NSAIDs are not part of the adverse reaction profile of Cartrophen Vet.

In the discussion above concerning the administration after surgery reference was made to the benefit of rest. In the treatment of arthritis, rest and avoidance of strenuous activity is part of the treatment regimen. Cartrophen Vet's slower onset of pain relief together with its disease modifying action impose the natural tendency of the animal to rest rather than engage in strenuous exercise. NSAIDs, on the other hand by their immediate pain relief do not engage the natural inclination of the pet to take it easy.

Cartrophen should form a significant part of a geriatric program for pets. Older pets have aging body systems which make them more vulnerable to adverse reactions from drugs with adverse reaction profiles such as those exhibited by NSAIDs. NSAIDs have to be administered daily for a long time thus potentially causing increased wear and tear on aging body systems thus increasing the chances for adverse reactions. Cartrophen Vet has remarkably few adverse reactions and yet is a very effective drug. It does not have to be administered daily.

ELMIRON (pentosan polysulphate sodium) is the first and only oral medication that has been approved by the FDA for treating the pain or discomfort of interstitial cystitis (IC) in man. It's available by prescription only, and is believed to help repair and restore the damaged bladder lining. Clinical studies show some persons may experience symptom improvement in as little as 4 weeks or as long as 3 months.

It has become fairly common practice to use Cartrophen Vet off label in cats for interstitial cystitis and hence we are providing the following information on its current use.

Cartrophen Vet use in cats is an off label use since the product has not been approved for this indication in cats. Information as to its efficacy is anecdotal. Our experience in Canada is that there has been a steady increase in the use of Cartrophen Vet for cats.

Use of Cartrophen Vet to treat arthritic conditions (e.g. cruciate problems) in cats is an off-label use. The same dosage as for dogs has been used by Veterinarians.

Clinical trials in man and animals are equivocal as to the efficacy of these products. Much controversy has focussed on studies showing some efficacy and no efficacy. No proven dosage levels have been established. Many problems have surfaced in relation to the content of the "active ingredients" in the various brands of these products. Many do not contain the labelled content of the products. None have been through the submission process for either man or animal. In some cases, these products are of such molecular structure that they are destroyed by the stomach acidity and if not, their molecular weight is such that they are not absorbed through the small intestine.

Much work needs to be done with these products in relation to efficacy and dosage. The literature needs to be read with care and skepticism since much of it is published in nonpeer reviewed journals.

Refer to the package insert for Cartrophen Vet prior to its administration for additional information respecting indications, dosage, efficacy and adverse reactions.

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302-134 Main Street East
Hawkesbury, ON K6A 1A3

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