Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs for Dogs

Pet prescriptionsNon-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are frequently used in dogs to manage pain and inflammation in dogs. They are used to treat arthritis and inflammation, and they are also used after surgery or injury. You may be familiar with the names of the commonly used drugs Rimadyl, Metacam, Previcox, and Etogesic. If your dog has an acute or chronic condition that results in him being in pain, NSAIDs may be prescribed by your vet to help him feel more comfortable.

Key Things to Ask Before Giving Your Dog NSAIDs

Before using any drug on your dog (including NSAIDs), make sure you understand:

  1. What the drug is being used for.
  2. The dose rate for your dog – how much to give and how often.
  3. How to give the drug – for example, with or without food.
  4. How long to keep treating your dog – determine if the drug is for short term treatment or if it can be safely be used for the long term.
  5. How often your dog needs to be checked by your vet.
  6. Whether there are any interactions between the drug and your dog’s other treatments.
  7. What the side effects might be from taking the drugs.

You can obtain all this information from your vet, who is the only one who can prescribe these drugs for your dog.

Potential Side Effects – What to Look Out For

While NSAIDs are helpful drugs that will ease your dog’s suffering, they can also cause several unpleasant side effects if you are not careful. A major side effect of NSAIDs is irritation to the upper gastrointestinal tract leading to ulceration and bleeding. Signs of this are:

  • Lack of appetite.
  • Depression and lethargy.
  • Vomiting, especially if the vomit looks like coffee grounds. Coffee ground vomit is produced when there is blood that has been digested by stomach acid.
  • Black sticky feces – again the result of blood in the stomach being digested as it moves down the gastrointestinal tract.

NSAIDs may also affect your dog’s liver and kidneys. You’ll notice increased thirst, vomiting, depression, and sometimes yellowing of the gums or whites of the eyes. If you see any of these signs, then stop giving him the drugs and take him to see your vet immediately.

You can minimize the risk of side effects by:

  • Not using NSAIDs unless prescribed for your dog by your vet. This includes giving a NSAID prescribed for one dog to your other dog, or even giving your dog a NSAID that you take yourself.
  • Following directions closely – use the exact dose at the exact frequency.
  • Not using any other medications at same time without checking with your vet first.

Don’t let these side effects scare you from using NSAIDs when your vet prescribes them. These are very useful drugs that are helpful in treating illness and injury in dogs. If used properly, they are safe and effective, and you and your dog have nothing to worry about.


Susan Wright DMV is a vet, a dog expert and freelance writer. Susan shares articles on health conditions that pertain to both people and pets.

Vaccinating Your Dog

Dog vaccinations
It is important to keep your dog or puppy’s vaccinations up to date at all times. This will protect your pet against serious illness and fatal diseases. A vaccination essentially imitates the virus or bacteria that it is protecting against; this then prepares your dog’s body to successfully fight off that same virus and bacteria should it strike.

When To Vaccinate

I would recommend that you contact your vet for advice on the types of vaccinations your dog needs and how often they need them. Although generally speaking puppies should be vaccinated at about eight weeks, or as soon as you get your new pet home. This is because for the first few weeks of their lives their mother’s milk will protect them from infection. Puppies are usually given their vaccinations along with a series of other injections to help their immune system.

Once your dog has been vaccinated they will require regular booster vaccinations. All good veterinary practices will provide you with a record of all the vaccinations and boosters that your dog has received. They will also inform you of when your pet is due back for their next booster, mine contacts me by text message but yours may call or mail you.

Diseases Vaccinated Against

The following are some of the main diseases which your dog can be vaccinated against:

Canine Parvovirus – This is a very contagious viral disease which is potentially fatal. It can be spread by ingesting infected faeces. Some dogs will show no signs or symptoms but symptoms may include fever, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis – This contagious viral disease is seen throughout the world. It can cause liver and kidney damage but rarely results in death. It is spread through ingesting infected saliva, urine or faeces. Symptoms can include fever, going off their dog food, thirst, depression, coughing and a tender abdomen.

Canine Distemper – This is a viral disease and is highly contagious as it is an airborne infection and affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems. The first stage of this disease is a fever including sneezing and coughing. Other symptoms which can develop include vomiting, diarrhea, depression and loss of appetite.

Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis – This will be more commonly known to dog owners as Kennel cough. This is a highly contagious respiratory disease which causes inflammation of the trachea and bronchi. It is generally a mild disease and not fatal but can be dangerous to puppies and pregnant bitches. It can be caused by a variety of infections including bordetella bronchiseptica and parainfluenza virus. It essentially, as the name suggests, is passed on from one dog to another in a kennel type situation. The most common symptom is a dry hacking cough but may be accompanied by watery nasal discharge and retching.

Vaccinations save on veterinary bills in the long run not to mention protect your dog’s health and well-being. Protect your pet, and your pocket, by getting them vaccinated regularly. Always consult a vet or pet care professional if your pet seems unwell and avoid diagnosing any illness yourself


My name is David and I am definitely a pet person. I have always had cats and dogs and would not be without them. I also get to work with different animals as part of the team at Equipet Stores.

Help Animal Shelters this Christmas

id-10091648Is there a rescue shelter for animals somewhere near where you live? There are very well-known shelters in some cities, but there are thousands of others that you may never have heard of. Where there are animals that have been abandoned or neglected, or need re-homing for some other reason, there will be shelter nearby that will try its best to care for those animals.

But the rising cost of veterinary bills and the increase in the number of animals being abandoned as people struggle to afford them mean that shelters are struggling to cope. Animal charities such as the RSPCA rely on public donations and volunteers to care for the animals in their shelters, some of whom need a lot of care and veterinary treatment to get them to the point where they can be successfully re-homed.

There are some ways in which you can help your local shelter. You could make a donation of money or food, bedding, blankets or collars. You could volunteer to work with the animals or in some other way to support the shelter or charity. Or you could become a fundraiser and organize an event in your local community to raise money and awareness of the sort of help that other people could give to the shelter.

At this time of year, people do respond well to pleas for help from those who need it in the cold months. It’s an expensive time of year, but you may find that people feel more sentimental and thankful for all that they have – and be more willing to give something to those in need. Organize a Christmas fair at your local village hall or community center with fun games for all the family. Either sell tickets for entry to the hall, or charge a small amount per game (e.g. tombola; bottle hoopla; pin the tail on the reindeer etc.) and make it clear how much will be given to the shelter you want to support. If you have costs to meet, such as the cost of hiring the hall, then those will need to be paid out of the proceeds of your fair before giving any ‘profit’ to the shelter.

If you’re not sure about arranging a fundraiser, you could always consider sponsoring an animal, or contact your local shelter to ask how else you might be able to help. At this time of year, any help will be very much needed and very much appreciated by all.

Vet-Co helps by working with various animal rescue groups, like Best Friends Animal Society, to improve the health of rescue animals. We also have events, like our Pets Photos with Santa, to get donations for people and pets in need.

Featured images:
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    License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Other_Metaphors_and__g307-Donate_Button_p91648.html

This is a guest post by Claire Chat a new Londoner, travel passionate and animal lover. She blogs about Pets and Travelling in Europe. If you want Claire to write you specific content, you can find email her here or contact her on Twitter (@Claire_Chat).