Nothing is more distressing than seeing your dog undergoing painful moments. However hard you try to prevent this problem, it will come up at some point. Pain can result from illness, injuries, or just normal conditions brought about by aging. The majority of older dogs have several cases of arthritis. This is one of the major causes of joint pain. So, what can you give your dog for pain?
Fortunately, it is possible to alleviate dog pain with prescribed medications or natural remedies. Scientific studies and general observations show that both methods work magnificently. However, the degree of success will vary from one medication to another.
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How Will You Know That Your Dog is Suffering From Pain?
You can use many ways to determine whether your dog is having painful episodes. Many of these are usually associated with bacterial or viral infections, parasitic infestation, and other diseases. It is important to identify the initial symptoms to offer the right type of pain relief medication. It’s also highly recommended that you work with a qualified veterinarian because they know the common types of common pain suffered by dogs.
If you notice that your dog is chewing, biting, or licking a specific area of the body so much, then it could be suffering from a painful episode. Other typical symptoms include yelping, growling, and vocalizing. Your dog may also be unable to move around the house, and it may be continuously restless.
Lack of appetite and antisocial behavior are other symptoms of pain among dogs. Other symptoms include trembling and shaking, especially if the dog is older. The veterinarian will examine to determine the causes of the pain and if there is any other health issue. Once that is complete, then they will propose a treatment program.
What Can You Give a Dog for Pain Relief?
It is tempting to go with any pain relief option, especially when your dog is experiencing extensive pain. Over-the-counter painkillers are a preferred choice for most dog owners. But do you think they offer the right treatment option? In many cases, they can worsen the situation. So, here are some of the things that you should know about over-the-counter painkillers.
Can I Give My Dog Ibuprofen?
Over-the-counter painkillers can be divided into two groups. The first is the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The most common members of this type of painkillers are naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin. Most people know naproxen and ibuprofen as Aleve and Advil, respectively. The other category of over-the-counter painkillers is acetaminophen. Usually, it’s used to treat flu and the common cold.
NSAIDs will reduce pain in your dog by preventing certain enzymes from producing prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are responsible for the painful feeling in dogs. Nevertheless, it’s also involved in controlling and maintaining other crucial body processes. If prostaglandins flow is reduced, blood flow to the kidney may reduce. Consequently, NSAIDs will treat your dog’s pain, but the effects on the dog’s general health will be devastating.
Acetaminophen is not without its problems too. It can alleviate the pain, but it can’t reduce inflammation. Very few details are known about acetaminophen, but researchers have linked it to kidney and liver damage. This tends to happen when dogs take large amounts of acetaminophen.
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Why Are NSAIDS Dangerous to Your Dog’s Health?
Scientists believe that there are so many reasons that discourage administering human pain medication to dogs. The main reason is the lack of clarification on dosage. The possibility of overdosing is always a vital factor. At the same time, many dog breeds don’t respond well to NSAIDs. Therefore, even if you determine the right dosage, you can still put your dog’s health in danger. If your dog is on additional medication, kidney, liver, and gastrointestinal diseases may prop up.
You can quickly determine when your dog has overdosed. Look out for appetite loss, bloody stool, diarrhea, and vomiting. If you don’t promptly tackle the overdosing issue, your dog’s liver or kidney may be damaged. In some cases, some dogs have died from overdosing.
Can I Give My Dog Aspirin for Pain
Some pet owners believe that baby aspirin can treat pain among dogs. While the dosage is remarkably less in baby aspirin, the dangers of overdosing hover over the horizon. It has been noted that aspirin has adverse effects on your dog’s stomach. If it is taken continuously, your dog will develop gastrointestinal problems or ulcers.
A veterinarian may recommend that you use baby aspirin to treat your dog’s pain on a few occasions. If such a situation occurs, following the doctor’s instruction is paramount. Your focus should be on finding aspirin with the lowest dosage. Also, it should be offered for a few days. It’s also a good idea to let the doctor offer the aspirin.
Veterinarians may recommend aspirin if your dog is suffering from musculoskeletal inflammation or osteoarthritis. Aspirin can reduce inflammation and lessen pain symptoms.
Aspirin Side Effects
Side effects associated with aspirin are rampant among dogs. You must know the symptoms and risks of giving aspirin to your dog. In general, the main symptoms of impending side effects are:
- Mucosal erosion
- Black stool
The best way to detect symptoms of side effects is to keep a close eye on your dog as soon as you give it aspirin. During the observation, you should record its appetite and behavioral changes. It would help if you kept samples of its urine as well as its activity levels. Checking for bowel movements also comes in handy.
Can I Give My Dog Paracetamol?
Paracetamol is a very common painkiller sold over the counter. It has been used to treat pain in human beings for a long time, but can it be safe for dogs? It is commonly accepted that paracetamol can kill cats in less than one day. This has been associated with absorption in the liver where cats’ liver fails to process paracetamol as expected.
Nevertheless, paracetamol does not have extreme effects on dogs. That does not mean that you shouldn’t seek a veterinarian’s approval before providing paracetamol to your dog.
You should be aware that paracetamol will have little effect on your dog’s kidneys. If your dog has been diagnosed with any renal disease, you can use paracetamol to treat pain.
Research is still ongoing on the use of paracetamol on dogs. Once you put your dog on paracetamol medication, you need to plan for occasional urine and blood testing. The paracetamol may have interfered with the kidney or liver’s operation. These tests will reveal problems at the early stages to stop the paracetamol medication.
As indicated above, the primary concern is liver damage. Your ailing dog may start to vomit, diarrhea, or lose its appetite. Once you detect any of these signs, you must contact the vet as soon as possible.
It would be best if you were on the lookout for other common signs to look for include red-blue gums, quick breathing, general fatigue, and muscle tremors. As a rule of thumb, your dog shouldn’t use more than ten milligrams of paracetamol in a day. If you need to go above this amount, you should seek clarification from your veterinarian.
Pet owners have used chondroitin and glucosamine to treat pain in dogs. For a long time, nobody knew why these two supplements were beneficial. However, recent research has revealed their impact on cartilage. The supplements provide nutrients to the cartilage. The cartilage can then use these nutrients to repair itself. Besides, supplements offer lubrication to the cartilage, reducing friction and pain. As usual, you should talk to your veterinarian before you are tempted to provide any of these supplements to your dog.
If the veterinarian recommends these two supplements, they should also provide a treatment plan. The treatment plan should be in written form with clear guidelines, dosages, and contingencies. Failure to follow the instructions can be fatal for your dog. If you offer your dog too little medication, its pain may not go away. On the other hand, too much medicine may end up overdosing your dog. Remember that the drug should not be transferred from one dog to another.
It is impossible to end your dog’s pain in totality, but improving the general feeling and mood is possible. Working with your veterinarian is a sure way to benefit from the supplements.
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NSAIDs work very well during pain relief, but they come with the baggage of side effects. Consequently, you may want to explore other medications. Once in a while, your veterinarian may propose tramadol or gabapentin use.
Gabapentin has been used to treat damaged nerves in people. This usage has now been extended to pets such as dogs. Your dog will become sleepy during the first hours or days, but it will eventually regain its activity level. Besides, most veterinarians advise that gabapentin should be taken alongside other medications.
Tramadol is also another excellent provider of temporary pain relief for dogs. Its function has been likened to that of other opioid medications. Initially, it was used to improve old dogs’ comfortability, but it is now used to treat all dogs’ pain. Unfortunately, tramadol also comes with some side effects. You may notice that your dog becomes dizzy or develops an upset stomach after taking tramadol medications.
You love your dog so much, and the last thing you want to see is its suffering from pain. When you notice that your dog is undergoing painful moments, your first instinct is to find medication immediately. In the process, you may be tempted to offer human painkillers to your dog.
It is not fair to offer human pain medications to dogs because they have been formulated for the human body. If you want to use human pain medications on dogs, you must look for those modified to fit the dog’s body. So far, meloxicam and deracoxib have been fronted as the best natural anti-inflammatory for dogs.
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