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What Painkillers Can Be Given to a Dog?

Painkillers for Dogs

By Cosmas Nwokafor

A dog experiences pain much more often than it might seem at first glance. Unsuccessful jumps and landings, awkward capture of the sleeves when training or overcoming obstacles, and various injuries—these are the main causes of pain in four-legged pets.

When is it necessary or not necessary to apply anesthesia?

Far from each case requires the use of an anesthetic. For instance, not strong cut paws. Unfortunately, there are a lot of splinters and other sharp objects on the street—as a result of which, dogs often damage the pillows of the limbs.

Lack of anesthesia will help the animal to independently distribute the load during movement, to maintain balance in the body, which contributes to more rapid healing of the injury. The exceptions are those cases when a dog gets similar trauma at the most inappropriate moment—for example, before entering the ring at a show. In this scenario, you can use local anesthesia—lidocaine spray (non-veterinary drug). To abuse this method of influence on the body of a quadruped friend is not worth it.

If a dog has a chronic disease accompanied by pain, a serious inflammatory process in the body, or an injury that requires prolonged recovery time, it is necessary to use painkillers. If the owners do not have special knowledge of these matters, then consult a qualified veterinarian.

Symptoms of Pain in Dogs

Our pets do not know how to speak, and therefore all the processes occurring in their body are reflected in the behavior of the animal. The following symptoms may indicate that the dog is in pain: cautious movements (the dog protects the paw, protects the chest), unnatural postures, impaired breathing, painful reaction to touch, claudication, groans, squeals, and so on.

By itself, the pain effect indicates the presence of a pathological process in the dog. It is important to determine the cause of pain. Only after that can you begin to use painkillers.

Classification of Painkillers

To alleviate the conditions of four-legged pets, drugs that are used include specialized drugs, drugs from veterinary prescriptions, and analgesics for humans.

Painkillers for dogs are divided into two large groups:

  • Drugs, which include narcotic substances.
  • Non-narcotic drugs.

The first group is based on substances that allow the dog to exclude pain in full. Narcotic analgesics are the most potent and can cause serious consequences. They cannot be used without consulting and getting a prescription from a veterinarian. Due to the presence of control over the circulation of narcotic substances by the state, such painkillers are used only in specialized institutions; the possibility of acquiring one's own is absent.

The second group of drugs includes all remaining analgesics: nutraceuticals, non steroidal, and steroid anesthetics. These funds reduce pain, lower the temperature, and prevent the development of the inflammatory process.

Nutraceuticals are essentially biological additives made from natural substances (oils and herbs). Their use is considered the safest—there are practically no contraindications (except, perhaps, an allergic reaction to the components) and they act rather slowly. Giving a dog such substances is advisable with minor pain.

Non-steroid drugs are basically represented by drugs that are in common access—they can be purchased at every regular pharmacy. Improper use of such analgesics in dogs leads to a number of side effects: refusal to eat, lethargy, vomiting, and anupset gastrointestinal tract. Analgin and ibuprofen are common.

Steroid drugs are more potent substances compared to the first two types. Their independent use is not recommended because of the presence of significant side effects.

Veterinary Painkillers for Dogs

Specialized pain relievers for dogs are quite a lot. Each doctor prefers certain analgesics based on their own work experience.

Nowadays, rimadyl (carprofen), vedaprofen (quadrisol-5), supercox, deramax, and flex chewable pats are widely spread.

What Not to Give the Dog

The dog's body and its reaction to drugs are significantly different from humans. Therefore, a number of medications are not recommended for dogs, if it is not possible to observe the animals in the veterinary clinic.

Such painkillers include: naproxen, aspirin, ketorol, voltaren, paracetamol.


Most of the painkillers for dogs have a strong effect on the gastric mucosa and the entire digestive system. Often, when using analgesics, an animal develops vomiting and diarrhea. The first sign of opened gastric bleeding is the black-brown color of the corresponding discharge.

Some drugs used as painkillers for people can lead to the rapid death of an animal, when there is almost no time to save them. Therefore, before you begin to give dogs pain medication, you still need to consult with a specialist. This will help save the life of your pet.

CosCom Writers
CosCom Writers

Cosmas Nwokafor

Founder, CosCom Inc.

In addition to serving as a senior writer for CosCom Writers, Cosmas Nwokafor is a photographer, a journalist, editor, freelance writer and a novelist who is passionate about telling creative stories. 

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