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What Can I Give My Dog/Cat For Pain?

Posted 03.09.16 by Emily Lindsey

pain in dog over the counterUnderstandably, it is very hard for us to see our pets in pain.  While it may be tempting to go in your medicine cabinet and reach for over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen, and give it to your pet, these medications must be avoided.

Over-the-counter pain medications created for humans can be very harmful, and even fatal, in pets when used improperly. For example, even one regular strength Tylenol can cause life-threatening illness in cats.

If your pet ingests any of these medications, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

When used improperly to treat pain, your pets may see the following symptoms:

-Gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite)

-Gastric ulcers

-Liver damage and/or failure

-Kidney damage and/or failure


Thankfully, there are veterinary medications that are very safe for our pets. These medications have been designed by drug companies specifically for either dogs or cats, and have undergone extensive safety and efficacy testing.

dog in pain cat in pain

Some common (and safe) veterinary medications for when your pet is hurting include:

-Deramax (deracoxib)

– Rimadyl (carprofen)

-Metacam (meloxicam)

-Onsior (robenacoxib)-cats only

While these medications are proven to be safe, they can occasionally cause side effects, too. For this reason, a veterinarian with knowledge of a pet’s health history and current medical condition should determine which medication and dose is most appropriate for your pet. Most of these medications work well for either short-term or long-term pain. If a pet is on these medications continually, we recommend performing blood work twice yearly to ensure that your pet’s liver and kidneys are tolerating the medication well.

Every pet is different , so we recommend discussing which pain medications and other treatments are right for your pet.

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