Dog Pain Medications: Aspirin (and Other NSAIDs), Ibuprofen, and More
There are generally five classes of pain reducing alternatives we can provide for our dogs: nutraceuticals, NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), opioids, steroids, and holistic alternatives. However, as with any medication -- especially with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as many pain-relieving " medications" -- there can be occasional adverse reactions for individual patients. Reactions can be variable, subtle, severe, or unusual.
Pain medications come in various forms, including oral and injectable. This dog is being given a pill orally. Courtesy of Dr. Deborah Cottrell
Pain relief for dogs may be necessary in a number of instances, including when the dog is affected by a severeillness such as cancer. Cancer may be treated if detected early enough,but when the tumor spreads in the body, the disease cannot be controlled and the prognosis is poor. In this case, the dog’s condition may be improved only by administering pain medication and making sure that the dog is comfortable.If you and your vet agree that your dog's pain is mild to moderate, aspirin may well be sufficient to relief it. Dogs in the early stages of arthritis often benefit most from the use of aspirin as a pain medication, but dogs suffering from minor muscle injury, joint sprains or other similar conditions may also benefit from the pain relief aspirin can provide. Aspirin can allow you to manage your dog's pain and keep him comfortable, while delaying the need for prescription pain medications, and the onset of their often serious side effects.In the last stages of cancer, when there is not much to do for the dog, the pain relief meds may be the only treatment administered. In this case, prescription medication and opiates will be prescribed, as the NSAIDs or the analgesics will no longer be effective for the intensive pain. Never give your pet any medication or supplement without first consulting a licensed veterinary professional. Although many websites and pet homeopaths allege that certain “herbal pain remedies” are safer or more reliable, there is no scientific data to back up these claims. A found glucosamine/chondroitin supplements can relieve pain related to osteoarthritis in dogs, but are still skeptical, saying it has “some value, little risk.”Drugs for pain relief for dogs after surgery are prescribed in most cases. Surgery in dogs will cause pain and discomfort and the dog may also need to be sedated, so that he will be able to recover and get over the trauma caused by the surgery and possibly by the disease that dictated the need for surgery. The pain medication may be administered orally or intravenously, depending on the condition of your dog.Seizures have occurred in humans taking tramadol. You should not give your pet tramadol if the pet has a history of seizures. Give tramadol exactly as it was prescribed for your pet. For pain relief, the usual dose in dogs is 0.45-1.8 mg per pound of pet's weight given by mouth every 8-12 hours. For treating chronic cancer pain in dogs, the usual dose is 0.45-1.8 mg per pound of pet's weight given by mouth every 6 hours. The usual dose for cats for chronic pain is 1.8 mg per pound of pet's weight given by mouth twice a day. Do not give in larger doses or for longer than recommended by your veterinarian. Seek emergency veterinary medical attention if you think you have given your pet too much of this medicine. A tramadol overdose can be fatal. Tramadol overdose symptoms may include drowsiness, shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, extreme weakness, fainting, or coma. Do not stop giving tramadol suddenly. Symptoms of sudden withdrawal may include anxiety, nausea, diarrhea, tremors, chills, and breathing problems. Talk to your veterinarian about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping this medication.