What You Should Know About NSAIDs for Dogs
Key Facts about NSAIDS for Canine Pain
WHAT ARE NSAIDS?
NSAIDs are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that relieve pain, fever, and inflammation. The mode of action of NSAIDs is to block the pain-inducing molecules to prevent pain and inflammation, helping your dog to stay pain-free and active.
Pain can significantly affect the physical and emotional wellbeing of dogs. However, when pain is reduced and carefully managed, dogs can lead happier, more comfortable lives.
SENIOR DOGS AND NSAIDS
Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine dogs live longer and healthier lives. Because of advanced ages, dogs are often diagnosed with osteoarthritis or undergo surgical procedures and are treated for postoperative pain. NSAIDs are among the most common analgesics prescribed in these cases.
TO AVOID POTENTIAL RISKS, TALK TO YOUR VETERINARIAN ABOUT NSAIDS
Dogs can be killed by the wrong medication so never give NSAIDs without consulting with your veterinarian. It is recommended that you share with your veterinarian information including:
- Your dog’s medical history, especially digestive problems, such as stomach or intestinal ulcer
- Whether your dog has had surgery on the stomach or intestines
- Previous drug reactions your dog may have had
- Details about drugs and other products your dog currently receives
Questions to ask:
- Why does my dog need NSAIDs?
- Does my dog need to be tested before receiving NSAIDs?
- How much should I give my dog?
- For how long should my dog take NSAIDs?
- What are the possible side effects of NSAIDs?
- Is there something I or my dog shouldn’t do while taking NSAIDs?
- How often should I schedule examinations (including baseline blood tests), so that my dog can be monitored?
- What diet should I feed my dog?
- What is adequate exercise for my dog?
WHAT NOT TO DO
- Never give your dog NSAIDs without checking with your vet first
- Don’t ever give NSAIDs prescribed for a specific dog to another dog
- Don’t stray from dosage instructions (amount, frequency and period)
- If your dog is taking NSAIDs, never give him or her aspirin or corticosteroids as well
Caution should be exercised before giving NSAIDs to dogs suffering from heart, intestinal, kidney or liver problems.
MONITOR YOUR DOG FOR SIDE EFFECTS OF NSAID THERAPY
During and after NSAID therapy, monitor your pet for side effects. NSAIDs may cause side effects. Some can be serious, but most are mild. Common ones (that may affect the kidneys, liver and gastrointestinal tract) include:
- Lack of appetite
- Decreased activity level
- Black, tarry diarrhea
- Behavioral changes
- Altered drinking habits
- Lack of energy and enthusiasm
- Yellowing of the gums, skin or eye whites
- Noticeable skin changes such as redness or scabs and/or scratching
HOW TO REMEMBER THE SIGNS WITH THIS ACROSTIC: Check Your BEST Friend for:
B (ehavioral Changes)
E (ating Less)
S (kin Changes)
T (arry Stool/Diarrhea/Vomiting)
WHAT TO DO ABOUT POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
If you notice any side effects, stop giving the drug and
- Contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Don’t give your dog another dose without talking to your veterinarian.