It can be heart-wrenching to find your dog in pain or discomfort. No one wants to see their four-legged pet in some sort of trouble. Additionally, dogs are notorious for concealing their uneasiness. In other words, by the time a caring dog owner like you is actually able to sense the pain of their pups, your canine companion is possibly already suffering very badly. What can you do in situations like these? What can dogs have for pain relief?
So, What Can Dogs Have for Pain?
Inflammatory drugs and doses under OTC are specifically developed to address pain in a human body, they can potentially cause more harm instead of easing the pain of your pup. As dogs cannot take the same over-the-counter (OTC) medications that humans take, alternatives like NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are popular pain meds that are known to counter a broad spectrum of ailments in dogs. Want to know more about these meds? Read on to know further!
How To Know If My Dog Is in Pain?
Before you give any meds, you must know when your dog is feeling the pain, right? Knowing when your dog is in pain can be a challenging as well as a tedious task. Going back to the time when dogs used to live in the wild like modern wolves and foxes, it was very risky for these canines to reveal their pain and weakness because there were higher chances of being attacked by members of the pack they belonged to. Even now these canines tend to hide their pain for survival in the wild.
Also, the domesticated dogs follow the same legacy of hiding their pain. However, pain cannot be avoided completely. Your furry friend might give you a hint or two when they are in discomfort. So, it is essential for you to take your pooch to the vet as soon as you observe some of the signs listed below:
- Decrease in energy level
- Loss of Appetite
- Vocalization like unusual or excessive whining, howling, groaning, or grunting
- A lowered sagging tail in between legs
- Tired looking eyes
- Swelling of the face or body parts
- Showing mild aggression and biting whoever approaches them
You might also be interested in Can Dogs Have Zofran?
Can We Use Human Meds on Dogs?
Using human meds on dogs is a solid NO. These medications, including anti-inflammatory drugs, have been developed primarily to relieve human pain and are therefore dangerous to give to your dog. Instead of calming your dog’s pain, they can actually do a lot more harm than good. Some of the drugs that humans use are toxic for your dog.
Never give your dog the below-mentioned drugs under any circumstances:
- Ibuprofen– found in Motrin, Nuprin and Advil
- Acetaminophen– found in most of the decongestants
- Naproxen– found in Aleve
What Meds Can I Give to My Dog?
The NSAID is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. NSAIDs are common pain medicines known to treat a wide variety of conditions, including joint pain caused by arthritis. Pain medicines such as anti-inflammatory drugs also help to minimize fever and swelling. As mentioned before although dogs and humans have separate body mechanisms, some NSAIDs can be commonly used for both. Note that only some NSAIDs are harmless while others are still fatal for your dog. Following are some safe NSAIDs for dogs:
The first thing you do when your dog is in pain is consult your vet and your vet may prescribe either aspirin or baby aspirin for your dog. It is highly suggested that you provide coated aspirins as it goes down on your pup’s gut with ease. That said, beware that prolonged aspirin usage causes internal bleeding and kidney damage in canines. Thus, make sure you follow the proper dosage as prescribed by the vet.
Gabapentin is used for treating pain from damaged nerves in humans and dogs. This might make a dog drowsy for some time, but that normally dissipates. Sometimes your veterinarian will include it in a prescription for painkillers with other drugs,
Tramadol is a pain reliever that acts partly like other weaker pain medications. Vets sometimes give it to aging dogs with constant discomfort. Some side effects that may occur include an upset stomach, vomiting, and dizziness. Make sure to talk with your veterinarian if you are worried.
Be sure to look out for the side effects. Safe use of NSAIDs is a must. Not all NSAIDs are equally suitable for every dog. Allergic reactions are still a possibility, but it is important to note that they are rare. Medications are screened until they can be approved so that they don’t have a high risk of triggering a reaction. Still, some dogs can respond badly to certain medications, so it’s always important to be super careful when you start a new medication for your furry friend.
Be sure to watch out for certain side effects as mentioned below and contact your vet as soon as these signs are seen:
- Change in behavior
- Loss of Appetite
- Skin Irritation
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Severe, painful intestinal issues
- Bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract
- Liver failure
- Kidney failure
Are There Any Alternatives to Meds for My Dog in Pain?
If you’re looking for a therapeutic solution that can help with your dog’s pain but doesn’t have the same side effects as drugs designed for human use, there are plenty of options to choose from.
For some conditions like Arthritis, food supplement with omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in joints and hence reduce pressure. Other supplements like chondroitin and glucosamine can also help to reduce swelling in joints and cartilage. Feverfew and turmeric can act as perfect pain killers for your dog. Similarly, Spirulina, Yucca, Ginger, and Devil’s claw are some herbs that you may want to explore as an alternative for NSAIDs.
Also, check out Can Dogs Take Tylenol?
In short, there are a lot of meds that dogs can’t consume as humans do. Also, it is not healthy as well as convenient for your dogs to take meds. Prevention is better than cure. So, keep your dog healthy and avoid medicines as much as possible. In any case, make sure to contact a vet before trying any new medication for your pup.
Thank you for reading the article.
To explore more, check out other medication-related dog articles that you might be interested in.
What measures do you take when your dog is sick? Which medication do you give them to relieve pain? We would love to hear from you. Please share with our community by leaving a comment below!