Pain Relievers For Pets Dramatically Improved

prescription medicationWith the scrutiny of human pain relievers making headlines, could a discussion of pain relief for our dogs be far behind? What pharmaceutical improvements are helping pets in pain?

Watching Baron struggle up the steps to her house, Erin knew that old age had finally caught up with the beagle mix. Luckily for her canine friend, Erin had stopped by and picked up a new pain reliever recommended by her veterinarian.

Baron’s new drug is called an NSAID (“N-said”). This stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. This is a category of pharmaceutical used in both people and in pets. They decrease the pain and inflammation of conditions such as arthritis without using steroids – which can be harmful when used over a long period of time.

NSAIDs are similar to aspirin and ibuprofen, which help control pain and inflammation by limiting the effects of certain enzymes in the cell. These enzymes produce compounds that drive the inflammatory response after an injury and cause the familiar pain, swelling, and redness. By blocking these enzymes, NSAIDs help to limit the pain associated with acute injuries or even chronic, long-term pain.

These benefits are extremely helpful for dogs that are living longer lives. As with all prescription medicines, there is a potential for some side effects when using NSAIDs. Consequently, pets on these drugs should be closely monitored by their veterinarians to make sure that they are tolerating the medication well.

Seeing the concern of the public and the veterinarians, scientists at numerous pharmaceutical firms began developing a new class of NSAIDS. This new generation of compounds is commonly called “coxib” or COX-2 selective drugs. These NSAIDs are better at controlling pain and inflammation, yet spare the protective functions, such as platelet production and kidney function.

Pet owners may see Internet stories or see “blogs” referring to the use of NSAIDs in dogs and about the potential side effects these medications may have in pets. The FDA recommends that pet owners work with their veterinarians to make medication decisions including using over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, herbal supplements, flea control products, and other medications. Giving medications and other over-the-counter products at the same time could be detrimental to a dog’s health.

Additionally, government officials feel that many of reactions due to NSAIDs may be lessened if owners are aware of potential side effects, and with appropriate use many can be minimized or avoided. First and foremost, if an owner suspects a reaction to an NSAID, the owner should stop administering the drug immediately and should contact a veterinarian. Some reactions are mild and go away after stopping the drug.

FDA sources agree, when treating a dog with an NSAID, the owner should never increase the dose or frequency of administration. The owners should follow their veterinarians’ instructions.

By industry estimates, more than 15 million dogs in the United States and Canada suffer from arthritis. And, an American Pet Products Manufacturers Association survey tells us that almost 70% of dog owners think of their companion as family, so it is not surprising that they want a safe medication to help ease the aches of their pet.

The newer drugs, such as Previcox ® by Merial, have shown great safety and wonderful efficacy in relieving the pains of arthritic dogs. Laboratory studies and field trials with family dogs have given Previcox® high ratings so far. Following new FDA guidelines, Merial has subjected Previcox® to a battery of tests to not only insure its safety, but also prove its effectiveness in helping to control the pain of arthritis. Over a hundred veterinarians and hundreds of pet owners, through the supervision of their veterinarians, have had over a 1,000 dogs participate in the Previcox® Experience Trial (PET).

According to veterinary research, 1 out of every 5 of our faithful canine companions suffers from arthritis, so, the development of a safe, effective pain relief medication is extremely important to the pets and the pet owners. The dog owning public should be extremely pleased to know that many companies are expending large amounts of money to help fund this type research in order to help our friends. To learn more about NSAIDs, visit or log onto for video information.