Deracoxib for Dogs: Dosage, Side Effects, and Alternatives


James Davis PharmD - May 19th 2022

Does your dog suffer from symptoms of arthritis? Stiffness in the morning, unwillingness to go on walks they used to enjoy, or painful yelps during stretching?

Whether caused by an autoimmune disorder or wear and tear with age, the swollen joints of arthritis can take the joy out of life for your dog and you. Deracoxib is a special kind of anti-inflammatory that may help your dog get mobility back and enjoy a less painful existence. This guide is to help inform you on options to discuss with your veterinarian to determine the best care for your pet.

Table Of Contents


Deracoxib is a selective non-steroid anti-inflammatory used to control short and long-term pain in dogs, including post-surgical pain, pain from a wound causing inflammation, to prevent pain during physical therapy, and pain associated with chronic inflammation like arthritis.

Brand names for Deracoxib in the United States include Coxiba, Deramaxx, Doxidyl, Ostimax, and Rederox.


Deracoxib's side effects include those associated with most non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like aspirin or carprofen but are better because of its special selectivity. It only affects a target that helps with inflammation and does not affect a similar target in the body that can cause some severe side effects, especially involving ulcer formation in the stomach.

Some of the side effects reported with deracoxib use are as follows:

Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, ulcers (including perforating ulcers), anorexia, weight loss, elevated liver enzymes, seizures, coughing, and death.

These side effects are not common in safety studies. Most of the side effects listed are from post-marketing reports made to the FDA. The safety studies show that deracoxib is effective for treating pain in dogs. The drug has very few side effects, and it does not cause discomfort or damage to dogs.

There is a drawback to those studies that may explain why the drug is studied to be safe and then reported to cause severe discomfort or damage to dogs – the safety studies lasted only six months. Some of the safety studies lasted less than 50 days. As a class, NSAIDs are generally better-tolerated and less likely to do damage in a shorter use period. It may be that these safety studies were too short to see the side effects that could arise after a year or more of use.

To better understand the safety of this class of NSAID, the FDA has studied it for three years using materials provided by and to the FDA.

Why is this important? Arthritis is not a problem for only 50 days or 180 days in most dogs that have it. Most will live longer than 180 days and still need relief – and a safety study proves that a drug is safe for the period studied, or 180 days.


Deracoxib is available in several strengths for dogs as follows (dosing given is for arthritis – your veterinarian will direct you on dosing for other problems):

  • Deracoxib 100mg for dogs   - 
    Used for dogs in the 100-200 kg range. (Can be split in half for 50-100 kg range)
  • Deracoxib 75mg for dogs   - 
    Used for dogs in the 75-150 kg range. (Can be split in half for the 32.5-75 kg range)
  • Deracoxib 25mg for dogs   - 
    Used for dogs in the 25-50 kg range. (Can be split in half for the 12.5-25 kg range)
  • Deracoxib 12mg for dogs   - 
    Used for dogs in the 6-12kg range. (Can be split in half for the 6-12 kg range)

 Used for dogs in the 6-12kg range. (Can be split in half for the 6-12 kg range)

NOTE : The manufacturer says you should only split the tablets in half for accurate doses. This is very important for small dogs who need doses of less than 12.5mg. It would be best to use the smaller tablet to dose small dogs. Breaking apart larger tablets can result in inaccurate dosing, which can harm your dog.


The following dose table is only a guideline and may or may not be precise for your dog's needs. It follows a dose of 0.5mg/lb for osteoarthritis, which is considered suitable for long-duration therapy:


Deracoxib has been given with other medications, usually without any problems. One major interaction to avoid is using any other NSAID drugs. If your dog is already on one of these drugs, discuss a "washout" period with your veterinarian. If you are using more than one NSAID, it is essential to wait until the other one is mostly out of your dog's system before starting deracoxib. Mixing different NSAIDs can increase the risk of specific side effects, like severe side effects like perforating ulcers or uncontrolled bleeding.

  • Medications -   Other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories may work in place of deracoxib. These include other specialized NSAIDs in the same class (you can tell because they end in "-coxib") like firocoxib and robenacoxib and other less selective NSAIDs like ibuprofen and carprofen.

    These are all excellent choices when used in the short term under the guidance of a veterinarian. Long-term use can get more concerning as safety studies have not been performed on many of these drugs beyond the 180-day window, and the FDA has issued a  letter of advice to dog owners who take NSAIDs. This letter informs dog owners what to expect in terms of education from their veterinarian and what to look for to make sure their dog is safe, especially with long-term use. If your veterinarian prescribes an NSAID, make sure they provide the FDA-required  Client Information Sheet and that you read and understand it. Ask your vet any questions you have after reading.

    - Acetaminophen (Tylenol): This is not a good choice for dogs. A good drug in humans, acetaminophen in dogs, can lead to toxicity at even low doses, and it is not as effective as NSAIDs.
  • Natural -   NSAIDs are a time-proven choice for short-term pain relief in many organisms. The major concerns with NSAIDs at typically recommended doses usually appear after long-term use. This is where other products may shine.

    Cannabidiol (CBD): While evidence for CBD is not as high quality as for NSAIDs, what evidence does exist shows CBD has fewer associated side effects in the short or long term. While long-term use of NSAIDs has resulted in many serious side effects, long-term use of CBD at appropriate doses has resulted in very few cases of any side effects. These are usually vomiting or diarrhea, which go away when CBD is withdrawn and are often associated with accidental overdose.


Deracoxib is one of the safer NSAIDs that your dog can take, especially compared to aspirin, ibuprofen, or carprofen. It is less likely to cause discomfort or damage in the short term or long term.

After several years on the market, case reports have cropped up supporting the FDA's warning on all NSAIDs for dogs – that long-term use can lead to concerning side effects, some of which are serious. Talk to your veterinarian about using NSAIDs, especially long-term, mainly because safety studies last six months or less.

Ask your veterinarian if a high-quality, laboratory-tested CBD extract would be a viable alternative for pain control, especially past the six-month mark. Always consult your veterinarian when adding, removing, or changing a medication for your pet — we all love our dogs, and they deserve the best care available!

If you do decide to avoid NSAIDs all together, below is excellent information regarding CBD oil for dogs with Arthritis. 

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Biscuit's Story

Chris Kjolseth | CEO, Relievet

To say Biscuit lived an active life would be an understatement. Ever since she was a puppy, she’d spend her days running and playing. I’d take her on walks, to the beach, and to dog parks.​​

Unfortunately, at age 10, she started to limp after trips to the dog park. It broke my heart to see her in pain doing what she loved the most. I started feeding her a raw food diet and added high-quality supplements to ensure her nutritional needs were met.

Unfortunately, while she loved the food, the limping...

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