So your dog is in pain.
One day you came home from work and noticed something different in your beloved canine companion. You then realized he’s in pain but your favorite vet is out of town. And now you start panicking and found yourself asking, what can I give my dog for pain?
While you may not be able to give your dog a complete relief, you can at least make him feel better. In this article, we have compiled ways of giving relief to a dog in pain.
This is short for Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. NSAIDs are formulated to reduce joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and pain in humans. The beauty of NSAIDs is they can do the same for a dog.
If your dog just had a surgery recently or if he’s suffering from arthritis, NSAIDs can be the first thing you can give him.
1. List of NSAIDs
Take note that you should not give your furball something straight out of your medicine cabinet. There are NSAIDs designed just for dogs. Here’s a list from WebMD:
- Deracoxib (Deramaxx)
- Carprofen (Novox or Rimadyl)
- Meloxicam (Metacam )
- Firocoxib (Previcox)
This is a popular choice if you’re looking for an over-the-counter medication you can give your dog to relieve pain. You can give him the aspirin pills together with his food. Coated aspirin, for instance, is ideal for the stomach.
However, your vet will only give you a go signal only if the pain roots from short-term conditions such as injuries.
Do NOT give your pet aspirin if you want something for long-term use. The reason behind is the potential side effects your dog might suffer from. This may include potential bleeding – which could put your lovely pooch in danger.
3. Are NSAIDs safe for dogs
Good question, but you shouldn’t be surprised by the answer. Just like virtually all medication even for humans, NSAIDs also have some side effects. The worst things you can expect are digestive, liver, or kidney problems.
4. How to tell my dog is suffering from side effects
It’s pretty simple. Your dog is most-likely having a bad reaction to an NSAID you gave him if he’s showing any of the signs below. If you spot these symptoms, the best thing you can do is to immediately stop giving him the drug and call your vet right away.
- Noticeable loss of appetite; eating less than normal
- If he’s not acting like normal; behavioral changes
- Physical changes like scabs and skin redness
- Vomiting; diarrhea; producing a tarry stool
- Possible weight loss; see how to get a dog to gain weight here
You’ve probably heard this term before. Vets give Tramadol to dogs who suffer from constant discomfort, especially those who are aging. Tramadol is a painkiller that functions ‘partly’ like a typical opioid medication.
Side effects of Tramadol
You should watch out for dizziness, vomiting, and an upset stomach. Side effects are the reason why you should talk to your vet.
This has a similar purpose both for humans and dogs – treating pain caused by damaged nerves. Your vet will sometimes give this along with other medication.
Side effects of Gabapentin
This one doesn’t have any serious effect you can be concerned about but it can make your dog sleepy for a few days. It will go away eventually.
This is a medication that takes away the “feeling” of pain by blocking certain neural transmitters. Amantadine is given to dogs with cancer, disk disease, and arthritis.
Supplements as an alternative treatment
Popular alternative treatments are chondroitin and glucosamine which are a form of supplements. There’s really not much of an evidence that they can directly help with pain relief. However, research has found results about how these supplements aid the cartilage by repairing itself. Further, these alternative treatments can also help the swelling go down. As a result, you can rely on them to lubricate and protect your pooch’s cartilage.
A common joint supplement that can also be used by humans, glucosamine can promote a faster cartilage repair. Glucosamine may not directly get rid of the pain, but it’s effective in alleviating its symptoms. This can also be bought over-the-counter making it convenient for you to access.
2. Where can I buy these supplements?
It’s not hard to find them. You can purchase them directly from your vet, a pet supply store, or at your local grocery. Just remember they are ideal specifically for joint ailments, arthritis, and related conditions.
Motion sickness in traveling
Dramamine for dogs
An antiemetic and antihistamine drug, Dramamine is that familiar med that eases motion sickness. You can give this to your dog – with approval from your vet – whenever your furball suffers from motion sickness symptoms. Sometimes pain can be caused by traveling and you can make it easier for your dog with the help of Dramamine.
You can’t always rely on medicines. Sometimes all your dog needs is a natural touch. They won’t guarantee a complete pain treatment but they sure can give positive results. Here are some popular natural remedies you can give your dog. Not only can they potentially heal your dog, but they can also give a sense of remedy beyond conventional veterinary care.
This one’s ideal for dogs who have recently gone through a surgery or trauma. Acupuncture can relieve your dog of muscle and joint pain. Further, this can also treat the symptoms of cancer and diabetes. Important note: you must always seek the service of a licensed and trained acupuncturist.
Not only can your dog benefit, but you can also enjoy this. Inhaling a good scent from an aromatherapy session can effectively reduce stress which, in turn, can encourage healing and ultimately relieving you and your dog from any pain.
Who wouldn’t want a nice, soothing massage? Massaging your dog can relieve him from stress and relax his muscles. Additionally, a good massage can stimulate his nerves and improve blood flow. As a result, you can expect the massage to encourage healing.
You can opt for this option though because you don’t need an expert massage therapist to massage your dog. You can do it on your own, right at the comforts of your home! This book introduces a proven massage program which you can follow.
Medications you should NOT give to your dog
It’s surprising actually but not all people know a simple fact: that you can’t always give your dog the same medication that, we, humans take.
Here are some over-the-counter pain medications that are not safe for your dogs. Hence, you should never give them to your pooch.
- Naproxen (found in Aleve)
- Acetaminophen (found in many decongestants and Tylenol)
- Ibuprofen (found in Nuprin, Motrin, Advil)
The importance of veterinary care
When it comes to animal medical care, no online information can completely replace veterinary care. While we can assure everything in this page is written with proper education and thorough research, we still highly advise that you should ALWAYS talk to your vet BEFORE giving any types of medication. And this goes for supplements too.
Your vet can give you a treatment plan and you can ask a written copy for it. This should include proper instructions on how to give your pet the said medicine. Moreover, your vet can give a demonstration too.
Now that you have a list of medication for your pet prescribed by your vet, you won’t have to panic anymore when you find your pet in pain in the middle of the night without any access to the vet.
No matter what kind of pain your dog is going through, there is always a medication that can make him feel better. You can start by giving a veterinarian-prescribed pain medication and a dose of joint supplements.
Then you can try for natural remedies such as a soothing massage for your dog. Like hitting two birds with a single stone, you can also relax while deepening the bond between you and your pooch. Further, you can try a regular moderate exercise to maintain the good shape of your dog especially when he gets older.
So the next time you’ll ask yourself, what can I give my dog for pain, you wouldn’t be panicking anymore. Ultimately, consult your vet about pain management options catered for your specific dog.