Everything You Need to Know About Anti-inflammatories for Dogs
If you've got a dog that's suffering from an inflammatory condition, there's a good chance you're considering using anti-inflammatory drugs to help get them through their day. While these drugs are useful for all sorts of ailments, there are some important things to consider before you give your dog any anti-inflammatory.
Inflammation is an immune system response to an irritant or pathogen in our body. When we get hurt, our bodies release chemicals called cytokines that cause blood vessels to dilate and become leaky, allowing white blood cells and fluid to enter the area of injury so that they can fight off infection. These cytokines also cause receptors on nearby cells to become activated, so they can respond more quickly when needed. This causes swelling, redness, and heat around the site of injury and pain in response to touch or pressure.
Inflammation is part of the healing process characterized by redness, warmth, and swelling. Inflammation can be acute or chronic, depending on how long it lasts. Acute inflammation usually resolves in less than two weeks, while chronic inflammation may last for weeks or months and may lead to the development of scar tissue. This is what makes your dog limp after he steps on a thorn or trips over a rock. Allergies and arthritis can also cause inflammation.
What Causes Inflammation in Dogs?
Several things can cause inflammation:
Injuries from a fall, stepping on something sharp, or bruising due to an accident can cause dogs inflammation. Allergies are usually caused by food sensitivities or environmental allergens such as pollen and dust mites. They can also be triggered by insect bites or stings, certain medications, and even foods that contain preservatives like BHA/BHT.
The most common signs of allergies include:
- Chewing on their skin.
- Scratching at their ears and paws.
- Sneezing or nasal discharge.
- Ear infections.
- Hair loss (alopecia).
What Is an Anti-inflammatory for Dogs?
Anti-inflammatories are drugs that help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Anti-inflammatory drugs work by blocking the effects of chemicals called prostaglandins, which the body produces in response to injury or disease. Prostaglandins cause pain, redness, swelling, and heat (inflammation).
Dogs are just as sensitive to pain and inflammation as humans. They feel the same kind of pain in their joints that you do in yours. So, if your dog has arthritis or another joint problem, anti-inflammatory medication can help relieve his symptoms.
What Helps With Inflammation in Dogs?
The first step in treating inflammation depends on its cause. Suppose your dog has been stung by an insect or bitten by another animal. In that case, it's important to clean the wound thoroughly with warm water and soap before applying an antibiotic ointment or petroleum jelly to reduce pain and swelling while keeping out dirt germs that could further infect the area.
Suppose your dog has been injured or is experiencing chronic inflammation due to an underlying condition. Your vet may prescribe a steroid medication such as prednisone or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
What Anti-inflammatory Can I Give My Dog?
There are many types of medications that can be used as anti-inflammatories for dogs. These medications all work similarly but have slightly different dosing requirements depending on your dog's size and weight. Always consult with your vet before giving any medication to your dog so they can determine what dosage is best for their needs.
Can I Buy Anti-inflammatory Over-The-Counter for My Dog?
You can buy various anti-inflammatory supplements over the counter. Green-Lipped Mussel and Sea cucumber are two excellent choices. [link to VSF?]
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What Are the Side Effects of Anti-inflammatory for Dogs?
When you're dealing with a dog in pain, the last thing you want to do is cause more harm. But when it comes to anti-inflammatories, there are some side effects to be aware of.
Natural supplements are genreally safe and effective. The main side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs in dogs include:
Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and vomiting. These symptoms are common when taking NSAIDs.
Kidney Damage - NSAIDs can damage your dog's kidneys if taken at high doses over an extended period. Check with your veterinarian if you see any signs of kidney disease (such as increased water consumption, decreased appetite, or weight loss).
Liver Damage - Some NSAIDs can cause liver damage in dogs, including aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium (Aleve). Liver failure can occur at very high doses over an extended period. If you notice yellowing eyes, skin loss, and vomiting or diarrhea (especially dark stools), visit your veterinarian immediately because these may indicate that your dog has developed liver failure due to using NSAIDs improperly over time!
We know that sometimes it can be hard to tell if something is wrong with your pet—especially if they're older or not as active as they used to be—but always seek professional advice if you're unsure about anything!
Disclaimer: Pet Wellness Direct does not intend to provide veterinary advice. We help pet owners to better understand their pets; however, all content on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice, care, diagnosis, or treatment. If you suspect that your pet needs medical assistance, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.