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May 8, 2010 at 1:41 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

NSAIDS for Pet Arthritis

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Pets cannot directly inform their owners of their pain, however, many humans who suffer from arthritis can give us an indication of how painful arthritis can be. Pets in pain from arthritis can get relief from many medications available for the treatment of arthritis symptoms. It should be noted that natural treatment options are also available and may be more desirable, as many medications, including NSAIDS, are associated with negative side effects.

About NSAIDs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed to treat certain arthritis symptoms, including inflammation, stiffness, swelling, redness and joint pain. NSAIDs achieve the relief of these symptoms by blocking the production of certain chemicals (prostaglandins) within the body that are responsible for inflammation (arthritis literally means joint inflammation).

Types of NSAIDs

NSAIDs are prescription drugs for the symptom relief of arthritis that must be prescribed by your veterinarian for use. Do not give your pet any NSAID, such as aspirin, without consulting your vet first, as pet's systems are extremely sensitive and the slightest error could cause a serious or fatal injury. Your veterinarian will be able to discuss several types of NSAIDs available, some of which include:

  • Deramaxx (deracoxib)
  • Etogesic (etodolac)
  • Metacam (meloxicam)
  • Novox (generic carprofen)
  • Previcox (firocoxib)
  • Rimadyl (carprofen)
  • Zubrin (tepoxalin)

Side Effects of NSAIDs

As with all medications, NSAIDs are also associated with the presence of certain side effects. The side effects associated with the use of NSAID's will vary based on your individual pet. Pets commonly react differently to the use of medications in comparison to humans, as they are typically more sensitive. If you notice any of these side effects, it is advised that you contact your veterinarian.

  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin, eyes, and gums)
  • Kidney damage
  • Lethargy
  • Liver problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Ulcers
  • Vomiting

Using NSAIDs for Pet Arthritis

While there are certain risk factors associated with the use of NSAIDs, you can take precautions to minimize these risks. However, it should be noted that there is no way to prevent side effects. As with all medications, they must be taken precisely as directed. Additionally, medications should not be used in conjunction with other medications without first consulting a veterinarian. If possible, give the medication with food and always provide fresh water.

Education on NSAIDs

It is vital that you educate yourself as to all of the options for the treatment of pet arthritis. Consult your veterinarian with any questions you may have. Be sure to inform your veterinarian of all the medications your pet is currently taking, in addition to any vitamins, over-the-counter drugs, herbal supplements, even including products for the control of fleas and ticks. Extreme caution should be practiced with any medication that is prescribed.

Sources:

http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/555prostagland.html

http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2006/506_nsaid.html

Photo Credit: Zopidis Lefteris

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