Treating Pain in Your Dog

By: SA Perillo

Managing your dog’s pain is now a lot easier than many decades back because of the medication that proliferated the market such as analgesics, acupuncture, herbal supplements and steroids. However, administration of any of these medications must be with proper guidance and in-depth research. A dog owner should not just prescribe any medication to a dog without actually visiting the vet’s clinic and consulting the case with him. For instance, steroids, when used may have side effects in the long run especially when used in long-term case. This is why Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs are now the top suggestion of veterinarians to manage dog’s pain. NSAIDs act in such a way that they block the production of prostaglandins that are chemicals produced by the body causing inflammation. Inflammation is a natural reaction of a body to irritation and injury manifested through redness, swelling, warmth, and pain. NSAIDs are known to treat chronic pain such as arthritis, joint pain, inflammation, stiffness, swelling and even osteoarthritis experienced by dogs.

Among the examples of NSAIDs recommended by veterinarians for dogs are--- Etogesic, Rimadyl, Metacam, Deramaxx, Previcox, Zubrin, and Novox. Cats however cannot use these NSAIDs as there were no approved NSAIDs for them in the US. Improving the quality of life of your dog is the goal of NSAIDs. Dogs that are in pain do not participate in active play and this could also make them loss their appetite resulting to undernourished bodies. When this happens, your dog is more prone to other sickness and this is not what you want your dog to experience.

When discussing NSAIDs to your dog’s veterinarian ask the following questions such as: what is NSAIDs prescribed for, the amount to be give and for how long, what are the possible side effects, what to avoid when the dog is currently taking NSAIDs, what kind of tests should be given before giving NSAIDs, the frequency of your dog consultation with the vet, your dog’s medical history and possible allergies and reactions to drugs, as well as tell your vet all the kinds of medications that you are currently giving your dog.

NSAIDs should not be given to a dog while the dog is taking aspirin or corticosteroids. Dogs with liver, kidney, heart and intestinal problems should be watched out and observed keenly as NSAIDs may have effects on these organs. Dog owners should also give NSAIDs to their dogs ONLY when the veterinarian recommends so. Since dogs differ from one dog to another, administration of any NSAIDs should not be generalized. NSAIDs must be given to dogs only when the veterinarian prescribes it so and in proper dosage and frequency.
NSAIDs however has possible side effects that may occur to a dog who has intestinal, heart, and kidney problems such as the following: loss of appetite which could totally make them not to eat, depression, lethargy, vomitting, diarrhea, jaundice in skin and eyes, changes in drinking, and other skin changes such as redness, scratching and scabs.

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