What Dog Owners Need to Know About Anti-Inflammatory Medication

Medically reviewed by James Davis, PharmD
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If your dog is limping a little or seems sore, then inflammation might be the cause of it. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to a lot of things: infections, injuries, allergies, and more. So you might be looking for a drug to help your dog start feeling better. You’ve heard about anti-inflammatory medicines for humans, but what’s safe for dogs?

Inflammation is your dog’s body trying to protect itself. Let’s say your doggy steps on something sharp. Ouch! The body thinks, “Hey, this is bad. I need to fix this!” Blood rushes to the area, making it red and puffy. It’s kind of like when firefighters rush to put out a fire.

But sometimes, the body gets a little mixed up. Instead of helping, the inflammation sticks around too long. When that happens, your dog can feel sore and grumpy. It’s like the firefighters staying and spraying water even after the fire’s out—no good for anyone!

So, inflammation is not always a bad guy; sometimes, it’s just doing its job. But when it overstays its welcome, that’s when you’ll want to find the safest way to tell it, “Okay, you can go now!”

Traditional Anti-Inflammatory Drugs for Dogs

When it comes to making your pup feel better, following your vet’s advice is always your best option. They will often recommend giving your dog something like carprofen, an NSAID. Now, why is Carprofen often the go-to choice? It’s because it’s designed just for dogs. Unlike human meds, which can have harmful side effects on our furry friends, Carprofen is tailored to a dog’s body, (but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have side effects).

Taking Carprofen is usually a simple process. It’s a chewable tablet that most dogs gobble right up! But, even though it’s generally safe, it’s still strong medicine. That means you should follow the vet’s instructions to the letter. Too much Carprofen can be bad news, leading to stomach upset or even more serious issues.

But Carprofen isn’t the only option. There are a whole host of anti-inflammatory drugs that vets prescribe for inflammation-related issues, and we’ve put together a chart of the more common ones, their side effects, and how frequently vets recommend them:

NSAID Name Common Side Effects Prevalence
Carprofen Vomiting, diarrhea, liver issues Most commonly prescribed; often well-tolerated
Meloxicam Digestive issues, kidney problems Frequently used; available in liquid form
Deracoxib Vomiting, skin issues, liver issues Less common; often used for post-operative pain
Firocoxib Loss of appetite, lethargy Moderately common; long-lasting effect
Etodolac Gastrointestinal upset, liver issues Less common; often used for chronic conditions

CBD: A Recent Development

You may have heard about CBD (Cannabidiol) becoming a popular option for humans dealing with all sorts of ailments. CBD is turning into a go-to choice for dog parents looking for another way to tackle inflammation.

CBD comes from the hemp plant but don’t worry, it won’t get your dog high. What it can do is interact with your pup’s body in a way that may reduce inflammation. The reason? CBD has something called anti-inflammatory properties. In simpler terms, it can help calm down angry, swollen areas in your dog’s body, notably for conditions like arthritis.

People use CBD oils, treats, and topicals for their dogs. The oils can go right into your dog’s food, making it easy peasy. The treats? Well, what dog doesn’t love a treat?

As promising as CBD sounds, it’s not a magic fix. Researchers are still studying how it works for different conditions. Plus, CBD products for pets aren’t subject to oversight. That means quality can vary between brands. Always look for a brand like Relievet CBD for Pets, who publishes up-to-date lab results, has USDA Organic Certified Products, and weight-based dosing that follows the latest in clinical research.

Choosing CBD could be another way to help your fur baby feel their best. Just remember to do your homework and consult your vet to make sure it’s the right fit for your dog’s unique needs.

Going Natural: The Lowdown on Fish Oil and Turmeric

Fish oil is like the superhero of natural supplements. It’s packed with something called omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are good at fighting off inflammation. So, if your dog takes fish oil, it can help make those red and swollen spots feel better. Plus, it’s a perfect addition to products that promote skin and coat health!

Now, let’s talk turmeric. This is not your ordinary kitchen spice. It’s got a special thing called curcumin. Curcumin is like a little helper that tells inflammation to take a hike. Some folks even make a paste out of turmeric to put directly on inflamed areas.

But remember, even natural stuff can be strong. So it’s super important to ask your vet how much fish oil or turmeric is right for your dog. Then you can add these natural wonders to your doggy care toolkit with peace of mind.

A Vet Is Your Best Friend’s Best Friend

We’ve talked a lot about different ways to fight inflammation in your dog. But when it comes down to it, your vet is the real MVP. Why? Because every dog is one-of-a-kind. What works for one pup may not work for another.

Your vet can run tests to see what’s really going on inside your dog’s body. Sometimes inflammation is a sign of something more serious. Other times, it’s just a short-term issue that will go away on its own.

Plus, your vet can tell you how much medicine or natural supplement to give your dog. This is super important because too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing, fast.

So, if you notice your furry friend is not feeling their best, make that vet appointment. It’s the best way to make sure you’re doing the right thing for your special family member.

Time to Take Action: Your Next Steps

Alright, so you’ve gathered all this info. What do you do with it now? First thing’s first: make that vet appointment. Write down any questions or concerns you have, so you won’t forget to ask them. Also, jot down any symptoms or weird behaviors you’ve seen in your dog. The more your vet knows, the better they can help.

If your vet prescribes a medicine like Carprofen, or any other NSAID, make sure to stick to the plan. Set reminders on your phone to give the medicine at the same time every day. This keeps the drug working as it should.

But what if you’re leaning towards natural options like CBD? Even though it’s natural, still run it by your vet. They’ll let you know if the natural options are a good fit for your dog and how much to give.

After you start a treatment, keep an eye on your dog. If they start acting strange or the problem gets worse, call the vet. Remember, you and your vet are a team, working together to keep your dog happy and healthy.

Now you’re all set to take action. With this game plan in hand, you’ll be prepared to tackle any inflammation that tries to bring your pup down.

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