Can I Give Anti-Inflammatory Drugs to my Dog?
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There are anti-inflammatory drugs especially made for dogs, and it is not so rare to use them to heal our pets. In order to help you understand how to keep your dog healthy, we at AnimalWised will tell you what these anti-inflammatory drugs are, what they do, and explain what are their possible side effects. Moreover, we will also inform you of other, more natural alternatives.
Read on to get a complete answer to your question: Can I give anti-inflammatory drugs to my dog?
What are anti-inflammatory drugs for drugs? How do they work?
Anti-inflammatory drugs are very commonly used to alleviate pain and inflammation. Some of them are also useful for lowering a fever. These kinds of drugs, both for dogs and for humans, are divided into two large groups, steroidal and non-steroidal according to their composition:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are the least harmful for your dog. They act by cutting off the chemical pathway of the inflammatory response, thus reducing inflammation and pain. Overall, they have fewer side effects.
- Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are cortisone-based and can negatively affect the dog's health, since they stifle the responsiveness of its immune system. Their mechanism of action is more aggressive because, as already mentioned, they act on the immune system. Check out the side effects of cortisone on AnimalWised.
Anti-inflammatory drugs for dogs are prescribed for cases of inflammation, pain, fever and surgery, as well as in the case of particular diseases such as canine osteoarthritis. However, always go to your vet for an official diagnosis and prescription.
What are the adverse effects of anti-inflammatories?
By cutting the route of inflammation, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) also inhibit the synthesis of substances called prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins are essential for the protection of the dog's stomach lining. When these substances are not synthesized sufficiently, the gastric mucosa starts to become irritated and remains unprotected, meaning it may even ulcerate. To stay clear of this adverse but common side effect, it's imperative that the dog always takes its medication after eating. It's important that you keep an eye on your dog's food, and that ensure that your dog takes the drug after eating.
On the other hand, it's very difficult to prevent adverse effects in cortisone-based anti-inflammatory drugs, which include the following: bloating, fluid retention, weight gain, lowering of defenses and opportunistic infections owing to a suppressed immune system. The vet may decide to prescribe your pet another drug with the intention of protecting its stomach.
Natural alternatives to anti-inflammatory drugs
If anti-inflammatory treatment is given for a short period of time, it is unlikely to cause any problems. However, the dog's health is certainly compromised when these treatments are prescribed over a longer period of time.
For osteoarthritis, for example, it's suggested to reduce the consumption of anti-inflammatory drugs and provide it with other nutritional supplements, such as vitamins, minerals and substances that strengthen joint cartilage.
It's equally important to remember that an anti-inflammatory is not a cure; rather, it only acts to control the symptoms. Talk with your vet and try to attack the causes directly, thus nipping the problem in the bud. This is more desirable than providing symptomatic treatment.
Remember that your dog can also benefit from natural therapies such as homeopathy or acupuncture.
This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.
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