This study was performed to determine a minimum effective dose of deracoxib to alleviate the induction of acute synovitis. The dogs were pretreated with oral doses of placebo; deracoxib at 0.3 (low), 1 (medium), 3 (high), and 10 (very high) mg/kg; or carprofen at 2.2 mg/kg. Thirty minutes after treatment, urate crystal suspension was injected intraarticularly for induction of synovitis. Ground reaction forces, subjective clinical lameness scores, pain, joint effusion, and quantitative pain threshold responses were measured in a blinded fashion both before and after induction of synovitis. The medium and high doses of deracoxib were effective in preventing lameness and pain associated with synovitis. Carprofen was also somewhat effective in attenuating the severity of the synovitis, but to a lesser degree. It is possible that at the new approved dose (4.4 mg/kg), carprofen may have been as effective as deracoxib at the medium dose but it is unlikely that the new dose of carprofen would be more beneficial than the medium dose of deracoxib. This study was funded by Monsanto Company, St Louis, MO; publication of study results was funded by Novartis Animal Health, Greensboro, NC.

COMMENTARY: Preemptive deracoxib treatment at doses as low as 1 mg/kg reduced lameness and pain of synovitis in a model that evaluated efficacy of analgesia and inflammatory products. Doses of 3 and 10 mg/kg effectively prevented lameness and pain associated with synovitis. 

Effect of deracoxib, a new COX-2 inhibitor, on the prevention of lameness induced by chemical synovitis in dogs. Millis DL, Weigel JP, Moyers T, Buonomo FC. VET THER 3:453-464, 2002.