What Can You Give A Dog For Pain?
You may have a dog that whimpers and whines when he’s in obvious pain–OR–maybe you care for a dog that shows very little outward signs of pain & suffering, known as ‘signaling behavior’.
In either case, your furry canine companion is pleading with you to help find FAST RELIEF!
Pain Relief For Dogs
Dogs, by their evolutionary nature, tend to hide their pain as a survival mechanism to stay ahead of predators by concealing their vulnerability.
If you suspect your dog is having pain, look for signs of behavioral changes (irritability, aggression, sleeping more, decreased appetite); or you spot your dog having physical symptoms like limping, sensitivity to touch, not being able to rise or is reluctant to climb stairs or not playing as much–then you know you need to address it with analgesic medications or natural pain relief supplements.
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What Can You Give A Dog For Pain Relief Over-The-Counter?
When a dog acts sore, most pet parents will look for over-the-counter (OTC) pain meds for dogs for the convenience and comparable low cost to prescription medications.
So, what OTC meds can you give your dog for pain?
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Pain Meds For Dogs
Over-the-counter pain medications generally fall into two categories.
The first category is NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. Ibuprofen and naproxen are better known by the brand names Advil® and Aleve®, respectively.
The second is acetaminophen, often sold under the brand name Tylenol® and is often included as an ingredient in cold and flu medicine for humans.
Not all OTC pain relief for dogs is safe. Take, for example, aspirin. Many pet parents want to know if it is safe for dogs.
In the short term, aspirin is likely safe for most dogs, but aspirin is not recommended for long-term pain control in dogs because of the risk of stomach ulcers and bleeding disorders.
Before giving aspirin to your dog, talk with your veterinarian about what dose to give your dog for pain or consider other natural pain relief options such as CBD from hemp.
Other OTC pain medications, such as naproxen or ibuprofen, should NOT be given to dogs. Both have narrow margins of safety and can be very toxic in dogs.
Acetaminophen, or Tylenol, also poses serious risks to dogs and should not be given except under the strict guidance of a veterinarian.
Prescription Pain Relief For Dogs
The most common prescription pain medicines for dogs belong to a category of drugs called Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS).
One commonly prescribed NSAID is Carprofen. Carprofen is available under the brand name Rimadyl and in many generic formulations. Carprofen belongs to the same class of pain medicine for dogs as Ibuprofen, but ibuprofen has a narrow margin of safety in dogs. It can cause stomach ulcers and is therefore not recommended for use in canines.
In some cases, dogs do not do well with carprofen, so other NSAID pain meds for dogs can be substituted. These include Galliprant, Deramaxx, Previcox, and Meloxicam. If your dog is experiencing muscle spasms or nerve pain, then Gabapentin might be prescribed for pain control.
Beware that each of these painkiller drugs comes with their own inherent risks and adverse side effects–some potentially even lethal to your dog!
Risks Of NSAIDS To Consider
There are some risks you might want to think about, both if you’re considering giving a human NSAID to your dog or if your vet has prescribed a pain medication for your pup.
First, avoid giving your pooch something from your own medicine cabinet–And never give your dog Ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
As for acetaminophen (which reduces pain without reducing inflammation) not a lot is known about exactly why it works. But one thing is certain: it can cause damage to the liver and kidneys in dogs if ingested in toxic amounts.
In general, NSAIDs work to reduce pain-inducing inflammation by inhibiting an enzyme known as cyclooxygenase that is responsible for the production of inflammation-causing prostaglandins.
However, prostaglandins are necessary in certain amounts for maintaining some important body functions, including proper blood flow to the kidneys and normal blood clotting. If too much prostaglandin production is inhibited by the use of NSAIDS, the effects on your dog’s health could be devastating.
Although rare, allergic reactions are always a possibility too. Medications are tested before they can be approved so they shouldn’t have a high chance of causing a reaction. Still, some dogs can react badly to certain medications, so it’s always good to be on your guard (especially when starting a new medication).
Are There Alternatives To Medications?
If you are considering alternative means to manage your dog’s pain and avoid the potential risk of OTC or prescription medications, there are several natural ways to care for your dog’s condition.
Some conditions, such as arthritis, can improve when you change your dog’s diet. Supplementing food with omega-3 fatty acids helps to reduce inflammation in the joints and monitoring your dog’s weight can also help to reduce pressure on the joints.
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Supplements, such as Glucosamine and Chondroitin, are very popular alternative treatments. It’s not clear if they help, but some research has found that they may make swelling go down and help cartilage repair itself.
They also may help protect and lubricate existing cartilage & there is evidence that they might help to reduce swelling in joints and actually repair cartilage.
In addition, holistic remedies like Turmeric root (powerful against pro-inflammatory diseases), Boswellia and Green-Lipped Mussel (also an effective anti-inflammatory agent) are considered natural pain relief options to traditional veterinary pharmaceutical drugs.
Natural Pain Relief For Dogs
For mild to moderate pain in dogs, natural remedies such as CBD oil can offer a reprieve from the swollen, achy joints associated with canine ostearthritis, hip dysplasia or Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD).
Cannabidiol (CBD) and it’s cannabinoid counterpart, Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA), have anti-inflammatory, analgesic properties and promote homeostatic balance in the body.
CBD is a non-psychoactive component of the marijuana plant and does not make dogs “high” or sedated.
CBD Oil For Dogs With Pain
CBD is a proven effective solution for dogs with pain. In 2018, researchers at Cornell University tested CBD oil’s effectiveness for relieving arthritis pain in dogs. They found that 80% of the dogs taking the CBD oil showed “significant improvement in pain levels and quality of life”, without discernible side effects.
Further long-term studies with larger populations are needed to identify long-term effects of CBD rich industrial hemp treatment, however short term effects appear to be a positive treatment for dogs with arthritis pain.
Natural Pain Relief For Arthritis In Dogs
CBD is an increasingly popular natural remedy for dog’s with arthritis pain.
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While NSAIDS can have adverse effects on your dog’s GI Tract and kidney & liver function, CBD has no life-threatening side effects and does not damage these organs. CBD has a safety profile that NSAIDS or other joint medications can’t come close to.
Better still, CBD oil can be administered straight from a dropper or applied to your dog’s food. And CBD for pets is more economical & even comes in easy to deliver, wholesome CBD dog treats to help alleviate chronic pain syndromes in our favorite four-legged friends.
What Can You Give A Dog For Pain Relief?
Many of us think of our animals as our own children, seeing them in pain or behaving strangely makes our heart ache. But over the course of your dog’s life you will be given the opportunity to improve his Quality Of Life–today IS that moment!
Instead of going from prescription to prescription without success, be your dog’s hero and try natural CBD (+CBDA) and give your dog a voice for comfort and healing.
Even with over-the-counter and prescription medications you may not be able to relieve all of your dog’s pain, but by adding natural supplements like CBD he will appreciate that you never stopped trying to help him feel better and live the best life possible.
Your dog will appreciate the efforts you make to ensure they are comfortable and pain free.