K9 joints join in trial

Ex­tract to be tested

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Porirua pooches could soon prance pain-free by tri­alling a new Welling­ton-made arthri­tis treat­ment.

Pare­mata’s Rap­paw vet clinic is seek­ing 60 dogs to test di­etary sup­ple­ment arthRem, a plant ex­tract pill which has seen huge suc­cess in hu­man arthri­tis suf­fer­ers.

Dogs in the trial will have their ac­tiv­ity mon­i­tored through a col­lar sen­sor for two weeks be­fore start­ing treat­ment, and will then re­ceive a three-month course of pills. Half the dogs will re­ceive a placebo, but will re­ceive a full course af­ter the trial fin­ishes.

arthRem pills are made from the plant artemisia, which is used throughout the world to al­le­vi­ate ills from malaria to breast can­cer, says Amanda Clark, gen­eral man­ager of Up­per Hutt com­pany Ben­e­fit Arthri­tis, which makes the treat­ment.

About 15 per cent of the hu­man pop­u­la­tion suf­fers from arthri­tis, but too of­ten peo­ple re­sign them­selves to liv­ing with the pain, Ms Clark says.

‘‘Arthri­tis is some­thing that’s so de­bil­i­tat­ing and it’s taken for granted. It doesn’t kill you so it’s more of a man­age­ment thing and there’s no sense that it could be cured.’’

Arthri­tis rates are much higher for dogs – half of all dogs over eight years have some de­gree of arthri­tis, Ms Clark says. ‘‘ We’re hop­ing [arthRem] will make a huge dif­fer­ence to peo­ple and an­i­mals.’’

Ms Clark and busi­ness man­ager Gar­rick Wells dis­cov­ered artemisia’s ef­fect on arthri­tis in Pa­pua New Guinea in 2010 when tri­alling a malaria treat­ment. Trial sub­jects found their joint pain dis­ap­peared, Ms Clark says.

Mr Wells has built a ca­reer from plant ex­trac­tion – his daugh­ters launched the Tril­ogy skin­care com­pany with a rose hip ex­tract he pro­duced.

Ben­e­fit Arthri­tis’ artemisia ex­tract has fewer side ef­fects than sim­i­lar prod­ucts be­cause 98 per cent of plant mat­ter is re­tained in the pill, giv­ing the ac­tive in­gre­di­ents a fa­mil­iar con­text to work in, Ms Clark says.

To reg­is­ter for the ArthRem trial contact 0800 995 034 or info@arthrem.co.nz. ArthRem is avail­able from Whitby and Porirua Metro Phar­ma­cies.

Doggie trial: Porirua dog own­ers can test a new arthri­tis treat­ment in a trial run by Ben­e­fit Arthri­tis gen­eral man­ager Amanda Clark and Pare­mata vet Ian Schraa.

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