Pain Medications for Dogs
Naproxen and ibuprofen (Motrin) are powerful analgesics, but both have a
high incidence of gastrointestinal side effects. This makes them unsuitable for
long-term administration. Ibuprofen, in particular, is not recommended for
Phenylbutazone (Butazolidin) is an analgesic that is widely used in horses.
In dogs it appears to have harmful effects on joint cartilage. Its other main
drawback is that it can cause bone marrow suppression, especially when given in
high doses for long periods. It is no longer recommended now that safer
analgesics are available.
Flunixin meglumine (Banamine) is a potent analgesic and anti-inflammatory
that is also useful in fighting the toxins produced by bacteria. This makes it
useful in treating septic shock. Gastrointestinal toxicity limits its use in
dogs for routine care. There are also other options available, and new pain
medications are being developed all the time.
When pain relievers are used for treating sprains and acute
injuries of muscles, tendons, and joints, the dog should be confined or
restricted from exercising. Pain relief may cause the dog to overuse the limb,
which can delay recovery.