Dexketoprofen for Dogs - Dosage, Uses and Side Effects

Cristina Pascual
By Cristina Pascual, Veterinaria. Updated: January 29, 2024
Dexketoprofen for Dogs - Dosage, Uses and Side Effects

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Dexketoprofen belongs to the NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) group of drugs. It is generally used to treat mild to moderate pain because of its analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effects. It can be administrated orally or intravenously through an injection and it can be found in both presentations at your local pharmacy. It is usually prescribed for humans, although it can be used on dogs under veterinary supervision.

If you want to know more about the use of dexketoprofen in dogs, keep reading this AnimalWised article in which we explain its uses, dosage, side effects and contraindications.

  1. What is dexketoprofen?
  2. Uses of dexketoprofen in dogs
  3. Dexketoprofen dosage for dogs
  4. Side-effects of dexketoprofen in dogs
  5. What to do if your dog eats dexketoprofen
  6. Contraindications of dexketoprofen in dogs

What is dexketoprofen?

As we have mentioned before, dexketoprofen belongs to the family of NSAIDs. These types of drugs produce three main effects: analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic. NSAIDs inhibit the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX). As a consequence, the cellular mediators (prostaglandins, prostacyclins, and thromboxanes) that intervene when there is pain, inflammation, or fever are not produced. Hence why NSAIDs are widely used to treat these symptoms.

Dexketoprofen is available in various presentations. If it is administrated orally, these include pills, capsules and powder. It can also be administrated intramuscularly or intravenously through an injection or infusion.

Check out our related article to know more information about whether or not to give anti-inflammatory drugs to your dog.

Uses of dexketoprofen in dogs

Dexketoprofen is more commonly marketed for humans, not dogs. However, several recent studies have proven that its use is safe for dogs and your vet may prescribe it to treat mild or moderate pain. In fact, NSAIDs are commonly used to treat pain in the three different phases of surgery as preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative analgesia respectively. It can also be safely combined with other analgesic drugs with different mechanisms of action and routes of administration to increase its effects. This is known as multimodal analgesia.

Studies have also shown that, when comparing its analgesic effectiveness with that of opioids such as buprenorphine, tramadol, or methadone, we find that the results are quite similar. Furthermore, administration of dexketoprofen during anesthetic premedication does not require the use of inhalational anesthesia or intraoperative analgesia. However, its lack of sedative effect can cause a dysphoric awakening after the anesthesia. For this reason, it is recommended to administer a sedative during anesthetic recovery in order to avoid this situation.

Dexketoprofen dosage for dogs

Since dexketoprofen is a drug formulated specifically for human usage, its technical data sheet only includes the recommended dose in humans. However, recent studies that have focused on the effectiveness of dexketoprofen in dogs have provided us with enough information to estimate the appropriate dosage.

We must keep in mind that in order to determine the right dosage, it is also necessary to take into account other variables such as the route of administration, the reason why is being prescribed and your dog's general health condition.

In the case of dogs that are undergoing surgery, intravenous administration of a dosage of 2.2 mg/lb of dexketoprofen has proven to be both safe and effective. If the treatment is to be prolonged in the postoperative, the same dosage should be administrated every 8 hours.

Oral administration of dexketoprofen in dogs has not been so widely studied. However, one study has determined that a dosage of 4.4 mg/lb in dogs is successful in diminishing the pain and does not cause any side effects in dogs. Nonetheless, more research needs to be conducted before reaching a final conclusion on what would be the best dosage.

In order to avoid potential side effects when administrating these types of drugs to your dog, bear in mind that the dose should always be adjusted according to the specific characteristics of each animal. The dosages mentioned above are merely referential and the appropriate dosage must be prescribed by a professional.

If you wish to know more about administrating medicine to your dog, check out these tips on how to give pills to your dogs.

Side-effects of dexketoprofen in dogs

As we have mentioned above, NSAIDs act by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX). Specifically, they inhibit the two isoforms of this enzyme (COX-1 and COX-2).

The COX-2 enzyme contributes to the synthesis of cellular mediators that intervene in the appearance of pain, fever and inflammation. In this case, the inhibition is positive since the therapeutic effects of NSAIDs depend fundamentally on their ability to inhibit COX-2.

On the other hand, the COX-1 enzyme allows the synthesis of the cellular mediators that intervene in mechanisms of gastro-protection, nephroprotective, homeostasis of coagulation and the vascular system. Therefore, the inhibition of COX-1 will have negative effects. The side effects of NSAIDs depend fundamentally on the inhibition of COX-1.

Here is a summary of the main side effects of dexketoprofen:

  • Gastrointestinal: they injure the parietal cells causing edema, hemorrhage and cell necrosis. In addition, they reduce the blood supply to the gastric mucosa, decrease protective mechanisms (mucus and bicarbonate) and increase harmful products (hydrochloric acid and pepsin). As a result, they favor the appearance of gastritis, ulcers and perforations. These can cause other clinical symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, anorexia and diarrhea.

  • Renal: they reduce the blood supply to the kidney and its rate of filtration. Consequently, they decrease kidney function causing kidney failure.

  • Liver: its excessive and continued use causes hepatocellular damage, with the consequent increase in liver transaminases. In the event of a relevant increase in these hepatic indicators, treatment should be discontinued.

  • Platelet: they inhibit platelet aggregation, increasing the risk of bruising and bleeding.

  • Tissue perfusion: they prevent the correct maintenance of blood perfusion in different organs.

  • Respiratory: they can lead to asthma attacks or bronchospasm, especially in dogs allergic to NSAIDs.

What to do if your dog eats dexketoprofen

If your dog accidentally ingests dexketoprofen, it is important that you contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. Inform them of the quantity your dog ingested and the presentation, i.e. whether it was a pill, an injection, etc.

Depending on the presentation, the dose of each pill/capsule can vary from 12.5 mg to 25 mg. It is important that you provide this information to your veterinarian so that they can evaluate the level of overdose based on the weight of your dog and the amount they ingested. In case of overdose, the side effects explained above will be enhanced.

It is very important to remember that you must always keep any medication out of the reach of your pets to avoid accidental consumption.

If you think your dog might have accidentally ingested something potentially harmful, read this article on dog poisoning.

Contraindications of dexketoprofen in dogs

The contraindications of dexketoprofen in dogs derive from its side effects. Therefore, considering the side effects explained above, dexketoprofen will be contraindicated in the following cases:

  • Dogs with digestive diseases such as ulcers or any other gastrointestinal lesions.

  • Dogs with kidney pathologies or under treatments that compromise kidney function: these include states of decreased renal perfusion, glomerulonephritis, geriatric animals treated with ACEIs (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors) or ASA diuretics.

  • Dogs with liver failure who can't perform common liver functions such as manufacturing bile and ridding the body of harmful substances.

  • Dogs with coagulopathies who are in perioperative periods.

  • Dogs that are receiving other treatments that can alter hemostasis, such as heparin or warfarin.

  • Dogs with systemic perfusion disturbances due to hypovolemia, hypotension, dehydration, or shock. In these cases, the administration of NSAIDs further increases the risk of nephrotoxicity.

Now that you know more about dexketoprofen in dogs, you may be interested in this other article about the best anti-inflammatories for dogs.

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.

If you want to read similar articles to Dexketoprofen for Dogs - Dosage, Uses and Side Effects, we recommend you visit our Medicine category.

  • Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products. Technical data sheet Enantyum 5mg / 2ml solution for injection and infusion . Available at:
  • Gutiérrez-Bautista ÁJ, Morgaz J, Granados MDM, et al. (2018) . Evaluation and comparison of postoperative analgesic effects of dexketoprofen and methadone in dogs. Vet Anaesth Analg; 45: 820-830
  • Morgaz J, Navarrete R, Muñoz-Rascón P, et al. (2013). Postoperative analgesic effects of dexketoprofen, buprenorphine and tramadol in dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy. Res Vet Sci; 95: 278-282
  • Saritas ZK, Saritas TB, Pamuk K, et al. (2015). Evaluation of preemptive dexketoprofen trometamol effect on blood chemistry, vital signs and postoperative pain in dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy. Bratisl Lek Listy; 116: 191-195
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Dexketoprofen for Dogs - Dosage, Uses and Side Effects