Knowing your dog has any kind of pain or inflammation can be heartbreaking. Knowing how to choose the right anti-inflammatory for dogs can be even harder.
There are steroid based anti-inflammatory drugs, non-steroid based anti-inflammatory treatments and natural alternatives.
Inflammation can be the result of an injury, infection, a reaction, an allergy, a long-term chronic condition such as arthritis, or inflammation post surgery. The good news is that inflammation is a natural response of the body’s immune system to protect and fight infection.
The not so good news is, yes, your dog is likely to be in pain.
What do Anti Inflammatory Drugs for Dogs Do?
Anti-inflammatory drugs for dogs do just as they sound – they help stop inflammation or swelling. Anti-inflammatory medication for dogs can also provide pain relief.
Inflammation in your dog or cat may be something you can easily see externally – the area may look red, swollen or feel hot. Inflammation can also be internal and unseen by our eyes. Dogs and cats have a knack for hiding for what’s going on, but you may have noticed something’s amiss.
Seek advice from a veterinarian if you think your dog has pain and inflammation that needs to be treated with medication.
A veterinarian’s professional diagnosis will guide you towards appropriate treatments for your pet which include the use of steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), an anti-inflammatory diet, and other anti-inflammatory agents.
Very importantly, whatever you do, don’t reach for your own prescribed medications or store-bought drugs for humans, including aspirin.
Animal systems, including dogs and cats, work a little differently than ours. While there can be similarities in the ways illnesses and injuries are treated, the powerful anti-inflammatory medications and dosages used must be those that have been developed to suit the way dogs and cats’ bodies function.
When Should You Use Anti-Inflammatory for Dogs
The times you should consider whether anti-inflammatory drugs are needed for your dog are if they have:
- Infection caused by bites from other animals, or punctures wounds from sharp sticks
- Arthritis, osteoarthritis, joint pain or joint tenderness
- Swelling after surgery
- Post-surgical pain
- Allergies/allergic reactions
- Injuries that have resulted in swelling.
Science 101: How Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory for Dogs Works!
Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) relieve pain and reduce inflammation and fever. NSAIDs work by blocking the chemicals that the body releases to produce prostaglandins and are used as an anti-inflammatory for dogs.
The important thing to know about prostaglandins is that while they do contribute to swelling, pain, and fever, they are also nourishing – they promote the healthy blood flow to the affected area.
They also function with blood flow to kidneys, protect the stomach lining and intestinal tracts, and help with blood platelet function.
Hence the reason anti-inflammatory medication must be used appropriately and as they are designed for. The dosage of any anti-inflammatory drugs must be enough to relieve pain and inflammation, but not to the extent that any damage or harm is caused to the good stuff prostaglandins are needed for.
Side Effects When Using Nonsteroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs
Because NSAIDs work by reducing enzymes that are creating the good and bad things going on in your dog’s body, the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also have side effects.
So there are risks associated with NSAIDs when used as an anti-inflammatory for dogs to be mindful of, especially if your pet has existing issues with their digestive tract, kidneys, liver and blood, or are on medications for other illnesses. Side effects of NSAIDs to keep an eye out for include your dog’s:
- appetite decreasing
- yellow gums
- yellowing whites of their eyes
- reduced levels of activity
3 Tips You Need to Know About Anti Inflammatory Meds for Dogs
- Get a diagnosis and treatment advice from a veterinarian on the best anti-inflammatory for dogs.
- Only give anti-inflammatory drugs in recommended doses – that includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory and natural anti-inflammatory for dogs
- Look out for any side effects
NSAIDs: When Your Dog, Cat, or Pet, in General, has Inflammation
If you have a large pet family, don’t assume that one type of animal NSAID will be good for them all.
What suits Fido will probably not go down so well in Felix. Anti-inflammatory activity differs between species, so don’t use an anti-inflammatory for dogs on your other pets! Cats, in particular, have sensitive systems when it comes to anti-inflammatory medication and only some are suitable.
Again, your vet’s advice should be sought so you give the best possible care and treatment to manage the type of pain and inflammation, the type of pet you have and their individual overall health.
Your vet will recommend whether a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug is needed, and give advice on a natural anti-inflammatory, or anti-inflammatory foods if that is a path you would like to explore to care for your pet.
You can help reduce swelling by cleaning any affected areas with a neutral soap and cool water.
Reduce Pain, Keep Doggo Happy! Best Anti Inflammatory for Dogs
After you’ve done all the due diligence on understanding the pros and cons of anti-inflammatory drugs for dogs, there are a few common veterinary approved brands become familiar with.
Rimadyl, Metacam and More! Anti Inflammatory Medicine for Dogs
Rimadyl, also known by Novox or its generic name carprofen, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that may be used as an anti-inflammatory for dogs with osteoarthritis, joint diseases, or post-operatively.
This non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug requires a veterinarian’s prescription and comes in chewable tablets or non-chewable caplets. Carprofen Caplets are suitable for dogs only.
Metacam, or its generic name meloxicam, is also a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication that may be used to treat inflammation, stiffness, and pain. This non-steroidal anti-inflammatory for dogs also reduces fever.
Metacam, or meloxicam, for dogs requires a veterinarian’s prescription and is one of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs available in liquid form to mix in your dog’s food or administer directly into their mouth.
Over The Counter Anti Inflammatory for Dogs
As already mentioned anti-inflammatory medications do wondrous things, but the use of over the counter drugs can put your dog at unnecessary risk.
Talk to your vet about which anti-inflammatory drugs and treatments to use for your dog, including types of aspirin as an anti-inflammatory for dogs.
Turmeric, Gingko, and More! Natural Anti Inflammatory for Dogs
Another option, especially for dogs with chronic long-term inflammatory conditions, is to use natural alternatives.
Consult with your vet about introducing a natural anti-inflammatory you’re your dog’s diet and daily routine.
Herbs and spices are known to help with reducing inflammation such as turmeric, gingko, ginger, fish oil, plant extracts, and vitamin C and can be incorporated as a beneficial anti-inflammatory for dogs.
Choosing A Fresh, Healthy Diet! Anti Inflammatory Diet for Dogs
Fresh is best!
Keep your dog’s natural immunity levels up with by feeding them quality fresh food on a daily basis. Dogs can benefit from many of the same kinds of anti-inflammatory foods that we do.
Natural anti-inflammatory foods such as fish with omega 3 fatty acids, fresh quality meat, leafy green vegetables, and berries are all ok to feed dogs.
Anti Inflammatory Foods for Dogs…Can they Work?
Combine anti-inflammatory foods for dogs with some healthy exercise, a balanced diet, low stress and a lot of love and you’re onto a winner. Recent studies on ‘functional’ foods are backing up the health benefits.
A Pain-Free Dog, Is A Happy Dog!
Work with your vet, your dog, and their diet to find a way to ensure your dog is pain-free.
Being in pain is obviously not a fun place to be. Doing what you can to help alleviate your dog’s pain and using an anti-inflammatory for dogs will lead to many happy days ahead!