What are the pros and cons of giving my pet pain medications (Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Novox)?
This is a question many pet guardians often ask, especially as veterinarians may increase the amount of prescription pain medications from short term use to more long term use. Many of these newer pet medications developed in recent years act similarly on our pets’ bodies as they do to similar drugs commonly prescribed to humans for pain, fever, headaches, etc. Although these pet medications can sometimes yield amazing results, it’s important for pet owners to be aware of some of the potential side effects in sensitive dogs, especially when used over a long period of time.
Although the newer NSAIDs are often deemed safer than some of the older ones, like buffered aspirin, individual responses and reactions can indeed vary. Regardless of whether these drugs are being prescribing for short or long term use, a pet owner should always be offered pre-medication blood work to check a CBC, and liver/kidney function to insure there are no preexisting conditions that may increase the chance of reactions. While reactions to newer drugs are rarer than the older ones, severe reactions can still occasionally occur. These reactions can include gastrointestinal bleeding, diarrhea, or vomiting and even liver/kidney complications. If these drugs are used long term, such blood work should be done every 3-6 months.
While it’s important for pet owners to be aware of these possible reactions with NSAIDs, when they’re properly prescribed and adequately monitored, most pets do very well on such prescription pet medications, like Previcox, Rimadyl, Deramaxx and Metacam. Plus, if a condition is chronic, I would always recommend that pet owners and veterinarians explore the use of adjunctive nutritional supplements such as Super Joint Enhancer and other supplements, including those previously mentioned in my post Supplements for Every Pet.