If your dog has been impacted by arthritis or joint stiffness and swelling, then the articles and reviews contained in this site will be of great interest to you.
I have researched as many dog arthritis and dog joint supplements as I could find. There are some good ones out there, as well as a fair amount of useless products. See this post for a table of 5 top dog joint and pain meds.
My criteria focused on the solutions being safe, having low/no side effects, natural ingredients and of course effective. It needs to be a safe, and where possible, all natural anti inflammatory.
If you want my review of the best dog pain relief product I have come across in a long time click here.
The Need For An Anti inflammatory For Your Dog
One very critical aspect of your dogs health is diet. If your pet has any illness, then reviewing what you feed them is one of the first areas to address. To discover what you should be feeding your pet to avoid many debilitating conditions, give relief, and strategies to improve existing health issues then check out this article on what is a great diet for your dog.
With pets being fed a premium diet and kept healthy by caring owners, they are living longer than they would in the wild. A part of getting older may be joint stiffness and pain caused by injury or just plain old wear and tear (perhaps from a condition such as hip dysplasia). Is your dog limping or displaying any of the following symptoms, there may be a need for anti inflammation type medicines for dogs:
- Licking affected joints
- Falls behind on walks
- Reduction in muscle tone/bulk
- Unable /unwilling to jump on your lap
- Mild swelling/heat in the joints
- Slight Stiffness on rising/lying down
- Somewhat reluctant to climb stairs
Analgesics Versus Anti Inflammatory medicines For Relief Of Symptoms
Inflammation is a localized area of swelling, redness and pain that acts as a protective response at the point of an injury. An anti inflammatory product is one that reduces the symptoms associated with an inflammation thus delivering quick relief. By contrast, an analgesic specifically targets pain without reducing inflammation (so not anti inflammatory) or the associated rise in body temperature.
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Are Human Anti Inflammatory Medications Safe For Dogs?
Certain drugs formulated for humans, such as buffered aspirin, are generally safe when it comes to pain medication for dogs. Some formulations, like enteric-coated aspirin, are less effective for dogs than for humans because of the differences that exist in human and canine physiology. When looking for pain relief for your dog be aware of the differences.
It is always best to use canine formulations of similar drugs for dog pain relief, particularly in the case of non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Please avoid trying to diagnose your dogs condition and administering drugs without talking to a vet. Anti inflammatory medicines are dangerous if not administered for pain relief correctly.
The Cost Differences
Due to the greater availability of human-formulated OTC anti-inflammatory drugs, they are typically less expensive than corresponding canine formulations. Humans consume far greater volumes of pharmaceutical drugs and therefore the competition and production costs affect the pricing. I caution you to not use price differences as the only factor in choosing medications, especially the anti inflammatory type, for your pet.
Unsafe Human Over-the-Counter Anti Inflammatory Medications
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, human-formulated NSAIDs “are the most common causes of pet poisoning in small animals, and can cause serious problems even in minimal doses.” Examples of NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ketoprofen (Orudis), which in high doses, can cause permanent liver damage in dogs.
Ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti inflammatory (NSAID), is a popular pain reliever and fever reducer. While it is a relatively safe medication for humans, ibuprofen is not appropriate as an anti inflammatory for dogs.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Advil & Motrin are the No. 1 cause of accidental poisoning in cats and dogs.
When given to a dog, these products can cause stomach ulcers, internal bleeding, kidney failure and even death.
Signs To Watch For
Even very low doses of this medication when selecting painkillers for dogs can cause stomach ulcers in dogs.
A dog should never ingest more than 50 mg of ibuprofen per pound of body weight.If you are administering ibuprofen to your dog beware of the following symptoms:
- stumbling (staggers)
- abdominal pain
See your veterinarian immediately should your pet display any of the above symptoms. For more information on dog joint pain read this related article. The video below is a brief summary of some of the actions you can take if you have an older dog with arthritis.
Whenever contemplating using an anti inflammatory for dogs make sure you consult your vet first.