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Pain Medications for Dogs

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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 dogs.

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.

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WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

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