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Everything You Need to Know About Anti-inflammatories for Dogs

vet looking at dog with inflammatory condition A veterinarian diagnoses dog with inflammation

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 ibuprofen or any other 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:

  • Itching.
  • 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) such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

What Anti-inflammatory Can I Give My Dog?

There are many types of medications that can be used as anti-inflammatories for dogs, including ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve), and aspirin (baby aspirin). 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.

Aspirin is very effective at reducing inflammation and relieving pain in dogs. Still, it would be best to give it under your veterinarian's care because some breeds may be more sensitive to aspirin than others. Aspirin can also cause stomach ulcers if given in high doses over long periods. 

The usual dose is one tablet per 25 pounds of body weight every 12 hours or two tablets per 25 pounds every 24 hours for five days. Consult with your veterinarian before giving aspirin to your pet.

Can I Buy Anti-inflammatory Over-The-Counter for My Dog?

You can buy generic ibuprofen over-the-counter at most grocery stores or pharmacies without a prescription from your vet.

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.

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 such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

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!

How Much Ibuprofen Can I Give My Dog?

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that can be used to treat pain and inflammation in dogs. It's important to note that ibuprofen is not the same as aspirin; while they both work by reducing inflammation, they have different mechanisms of action and, therefore, different side effects.

When giving your dog ibuprofen, it's important to first check with your vet, who will let you know what dose is appropriate for your dog based on their age and weight. The recommended dosage may vary depending on whether you're using the chewable tablet or liquid form.

What Are the Side Effects of Giving My Dog Ibuprofen?

In general, ibuprofen is safe for dogs, but you should not give it in large doses or for extended periods. The ASPCA recommends giving no more than one-quarter of an adult human dose each day. Dogs may experience nausea and vomiting after being given ibuprofen for a long time (more than five days). It may upset their stomachs if they take too much at one time or if they take it on an empty stomach (more than 5 milligrams per kilogram).

It can cause bleeding if given to dogs who have recently had surgery or have bleeding disorders such as hemophilia or Von Willebrand's disease. If your dog has been prescribed ibuprofen by your vet and shows signs of nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, stop giving him the medication immediately and call your vet right away.

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!

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