What can I give my dog for pain? As best friends, we want our best buddy to always be happy and carefree. If our best friend suffers from something, we are affected too and want to share in their pain. This is not only true in human to human relationships, but also in relationships involving animals. Pets make our lives more pleasant and fun because they keep us company. Above all, dogs are people’s first choice as pets, and they are even considered man’s best friend.
Even though dogs are animals, this does not mean that they cannot feel anything at all. Dogs get hungry, they get thirsty, and they even feel pain. Yes, pain. Do you think that as a pet owner and your dog’s best friend, you will feel good when you know your dog is in pain? I don’t think so. A study has shown that 85% of dog owners are upset when they know their dog is in pain, and that they want to minimize pain, if not stop it entirely.
Most of the time we take our dogs to our trusted veterinarians for advice and appropriate health care. But sometimes there really comes a time when we are not able to contact our vet or make an appointment with him, and the only one who can help relieve our dog’s pain is ourselves. So what can you give dogs for pain?
Well, it can be as simple as the regular human medicines that we buy over the counter. Even if they are normal medicines, we should still know what is safe and what is not, because we could put our dog’s life in danger if we use the wrong ones.
The most common over-the-counter painkillers fall into the category of NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. They help to reduce swelling, stiffness, and joint pain in humans. These NSAIDs work by inhibiting an enzyme called cyclooxygenase, which is responsible for the production of prostaglandins that can cause fever, pain, and inflammation. These prostaglandins also ensure adequate blood flow, protect the gastrointestinal tract from stomach acid, and promote normal blood clotting. When these functions deteriorate, dogs may experience diarrhea or vomiting, loss of appetite, bleeding disorders, or, in the worst case, death from these particular drugs.
What Can I Give My Dog For Pain?
There are ways in which you can determine that your dog is having a poor reaction to taking NSAIDs. Just think of the word BEST, which stands for: behavioral changes, eating less, reddening of the skin, and tarry stools. If you notice these symptoms in your dog, you should stop giving the medicine and see your vet as soon as possible. Given these disadvantages, the main question remains: what can I give my dog for pain? Well, there are still several NSAID pain medications that are best prescribed to your dog by vets, including the following:
- Carprofen (Rimadyl). Taking Rimadyl has a lower risk of internal bleeding, irritation, and damage normally associated with the other NSAIDs discussed earlier. However, it can cause liver damage or seizures if not taken as directed or with a veterinary prescription. It is best for your dog to take this medicine with food. You can mix it with your dog’s food, or it can be given before or after a meal disguised as a tasty treat. It is also important to note that this should not be given to Labrador retrievers or puppies under 6 weeks of age.
- Deracoxib (Deramaxx). Deramaxx is usually used to make your pet feel more comfortable after surgery and is only available in tablet form. Deramaxx has the same side effects as Rimadyl. You can give it to your dog with or without food. However, the main concern is the hydration of your dog. Your dog should always drink plenty of water while taking this medicine. It can also be given to dogs suffering from arthritis and is usually administered once daily at a dosage of 0.45-0.91 m/lb of your dog’s body weight.
- Firocoxib (Previcox). As this is one of the latest NSAID painkillers for dogs, it is fast-acting and very effective in controlling pain and reducing the inflammation your dog suffers from. The dose administered is 2.27 mg/lb of your dog’s weight, once daily.
There are also two painkillers that are not NSAIDs but can be administered to relieve a dog’s pain. These are the following medicines:
- Codeine. This is an opioid-containing painkiller and can be used for moderate to severe pain. Codeine is usually well tolerated by dogs, but it is a powerful drug that can lead to addiction. You should only give your dog the amount of this drug prescribed by your vet to prevent your dog from becoming addicted to it.
- Tramadol. Just like codeine, tramadol belongs to the opiates category and is just as addictive. The exact dosage should be determined by your vet and you should follow it closely as it is a powerful drug. Although it is considered safer than NSAIDs because it has a lower risk of side effects, it can still cause your dog to collapse or even die if the dosage is not accurate.
What you give to dogs for pain is up to you and your vet. However, you must ensure that the exact dosage and its effective assessment is entirely up to you, as you are the one who can most closely monitor the effects of the medication your dog has been taking. Make sure that you check the medication you give your best friend not just once, but twice to ensure his safety.
If you notice any adverse effects or have any questions about his treatment, don’t hesitate to ask your vet for advice. Surely you love your dog like any other person and treat him very well. Taking care of his wellbeing therefore also means making sure that you have the best company from your best friend for a long time.
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