Everything You Need to Know About Pain Relief for Dogs

by | Jun 1, 2021 | Dog Health

Just like humans, dogs feel pain. The pain could be caused by tripping after a vigorous play session or because of an injury. 

Regardless of the cause, experiencing pain could make your dogs feel frustrated and let down, preventing them from enjoying their everyday activities. The pain could also make them feel worse, especially if they have an existing condition.

As a pet owner, it’s hard seeing your pets endure such pain. Read on to learn about different options to address pain relief for dogs, when to use them, and the possible side effects. This way, you can give your pooch the care they deserve for a better quality of life.

What are the common signs of pain among dogs?

Pets are naturally playful, and they love to run, jump, and follow things around. Their activeness, however, could put them at risk for injuries and accidents. In particular, some dog breeds are more prone to injuries. Some examples of conditions that could cause pain in dogs include cancer, pancreatitis, gum disease, and more.

It’s easy to tell if your pooch is in pain since you’ll notice a difference in behavior. For instance, they might act more submissive than usual or become overly aggressive. You may also observe signs of restlessness, such as excessive grooming, self-biting, howling, and barking. Some dogs may even stretch more than usual because they’re experiencing back pain. 

Loss of appetite is also a telltale sign of animal pain. Dogs often have a large appetite and they’ll usually be happy playing with a treat-dispensing toy, for instance. But when in pain, you’ll notice their disinterest in food. This could, in turn, lead to poor nutrition and unhealthy eating habits.  

What are the things to avoid when your dog is in pain?

It might be tempting to give over-the-counter (OTC) medications to your pet, but some can cause life-threatening issues to animals. For example, not all nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a safe option for joint pain relief for dogs. In particular, medicines specifically formulated for human consumption such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin, should never be given to animals.

These NSAIDs cause stomach bleeding and ulcers. In some cases, even a single dose of the pain medications can cause renal failure in dogs. So be extra careful because these OTC medicines could make your pet’s condition worse. For cases of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin poisoning, bring your dog to a veterinarian immediately.

What can you give a dog for pain relief?

There are various ways to manage your dog’s pain symptoms. You can choose from natural pain relief solutions and OTC medicines. But first, make sure to contact your veterinarian to find the best dog pain relief solution.

  • Natural pain relief 

Natural pain relief solutions include joint supplements and natural oils. Joint supplements help lessen discomfort and improve range of motion. Most of these supplements include glucosamine and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM),which help repair dog cartilage and reduce inflammation. You can also incorporate fish oil into your dog’s diet to help manage pain and relieve allergies.

You can also opt for alternative treatments such as hot or cold therapy. Generally, applying ice is beneficial after surgery, while using a heat pack is recommended for pets experiencing chronic pain. However, it’s best to ask a specialist regarding the appropriate therapy for your dog. Conducting hot or cold therapy is straightforward — simply apply an ice pack or warm compress to the affected area. 

  • Over-the-counter medicines

Here’s a common question we’re often asked: what can you give a dog for pain relief over the counter

The answer is to look for FDA-approved NSAIDs for dogs that can effectively control pain and inflammation. Unfortunately, there is no reliable way to acquire these drugs without a prescription from a veterinarian. These NSAIDs usually contain the following ingredients: carprofen, deracoxib, firocoxib, grapiprant, and meloxicam.

These medications work by blocking cyclooxygenase (COX), an enzyme produced when a cell is damaged due to inflammation, injury, or other conditions. Just keep in mind that even pet-approved pain relief medicines can cause serious side effects. Always consult a veterinarian before giving NSAIDs to pets.

What are the possible side effects of pain relief?

  • Natural pain relief solutions

Some examples of natural pain relief include joint supplements, physical therapy, hydrotherapy, turmeric, and hot and cold therapy.  Natural pain relief for dogs is generally harmless, but its effectiveness can vary. 

In some cases, they only offer short-term relief. This means your dog could still feel uncomfortable even after applying an ice pack or warm compress, but the effectiveness could still depend on your dog’s condition. 

  • Over-the-counter medicines

OTC medicines for dog pain relief include NSAIDs such as deracoxib (Deramaxx), firocoxib (Previcox), carprofen (Novox or Rimadyl), and meloxicam (Metacam).

These dog pain relief medications can alleviate pain symptoms, but they could also cause side effects such as moodiness, skin allergies, and loss of appetite. Some pets may even experience diarrhea and vomiting since some NSAIDs can irritate the lining of the stomach. If your dog experiences these symptoms, consult a veterinarian immediately to prevent further complications.

What is the best way to manage dog pain symptoms?

Dogs that experience extreme pain and discomfort can’t perform normal activities and this could cause your pooch to feel down. Hence, it’s crucial to provide natural pain relief solutions and FDA-approved medications. Remember to monitor your dogs after giving them any type of medication to ensure a smooth and comfortable recovery and always consult a veterinarian.

Ensure a better quality of life for your furry companion with the best pain relief treatment. As long as you know the signs of pain and consult your vet about the possible treatment options.

Want to learn more about dog injuries and TPLO surgery? Browse the TPLOInfo blog today.



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