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Preliminary Evaluation of the Efficacy and Safety of Snail Mucin on Experimental Osteoarthritis in Dogs

The efficacy and safety of intramuscular (IM) injection of snail mucin on the progression of osteoarthritis was compared with dexamethasone in ten adult local dogs of both sexes with mean age (2.4 ± 0.3 years) and mean weight (10.2 ± 1.4 kg). The dogs were randomly divided into two groups following groove model of experimental osteoarthritis. Two weeks later, the dogs were either treated with dexamethasone (0.4mg/kg) or snail mucin (5mg/kg) twice weekly. The parameters measured included gait assessment score and the radiographic score of the knee joints. In addition, blood was obtained from the cephalic vein for the determination of packed cell volume and total white blood cell counts, while observable adverse effects associated with drug usage were noted. In this study, the only adverse reaction observed was swelling at the site of injection and only in the snail mucin-treated dogs. The gait assessment score did not differ significantly between the dexamethasone-treated and snail mucin-treated dogs. In addition, the radiographic score between dexamethasone-treated dogs (6.3 ± 2.1) and snail mucin-treated dogs (7.0 ± 2.7) did not differ significantly. However, the packed cell volume after treatment was significantly higher (P ≤ 0.05) in snail mucin-treated dogs (42.2 ± 3.1%) than dexamethasone-treated dogs (37.0 ± 3.3%). It was therefore concluded that intramuscular injection of snail mucin produced osteoarthritic effect comparable to dexamethasone in a groove model of osteoarthritis, however with adverse effect characterized by swelling at the site of injection. In addition, snail mucin had a better haematological effect compared to dexamethasone necessitating further study on the purification of the snail mucin.

Ajadi, R. A. and Martins, M. M. Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria

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