Monday, December 14, 2009

NSAID Drugs and Natural Alternatives for Pets

Veterinary NSAIDs Approved for Use In Dogs:

ETOGESIC (etodolac)
RIMADYL (carprofen)
METACAM (meloxicam)
DERAMAXX (deracoxib)
PREVICOX (firocoxib)
ZUBRIN (tepoxalin)
NOVOX (carprofen)

What are NSAIDs?
NSAIDs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to control the symptoms of arthritis, including inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain. Inflammation is the bodys natural response to irritation or injury and is characterized by redness, heat, swelling, and pain. NSAIDs work by blocking the production of prostaglandins, chemicals produced by the body that cause inflammation. Some NSAIDs may also be used to control post-surgical pain.

NSAID Side Effects
Despite the FDA's stamp of approval a drug's risks may not be fully known until the drug is widely sold. Some NSAID side effects can be serious or life threatening. Common side effects seen with the use of NSAIDs in dogs may affect the kidneys, liver, and gastrointestinal tract and may include:

Not eating or eating less
Lethargy, depression, changes in behavior
Diarrhea, black tarry colored stool
Yellowing of gums, skin, or the whites of the eyes
Changes in drinking habits
Changes in skin (scabs, redness, or scratching)
Kidney/Liver failure

Adverse Events
Through November 2004, the FDA received almost 13,000 adverse-event reports about Rimadyl, far more than for any other dog pain reliever.

Pfizer's database includes almost 20,000 adverse-event reports. The FDA's data include those "possibly" or "probably" linked to the drug. Adverse events for all drugs are believed to be under-reported.

Deramaxx has been used by about 1 million dogs since its 2002 launch, owner Novartis says. The FDA's data include 2,813 adverse-event reports for Deramaxx, including 630 dogs who died or were put down.

If you suspect a possible side effect to a NSAID medication, STOP giving the drug to your dog and call your veterinarian immediately!

Natural Alternatives to NSAIDs
Why not look into natural options such as Cosequin, Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate, Green Lipped Sea Mussel Extract, Glycoflex, Cartiflex. Alert: dogs with diabetes should not take glucosamine, which is in Cosequin and many other holistic formulations. We have seen exceptional results using high grade human herbal products for dogs with osteoarthritis. To easily calculate dosages from human products for dog or cat use we recommend "Pet Remedy Charts" Herbs to the Rescue for Dogs or Herbs to the Rescue for Cats.

Turmeric / Curcumin
The rhizome (root) of turmeric ( Curcuma longa Linn.) a popular cooking spice, has long been used in traditional Asian medicine to relieve arthritic pain. Laboratory and animal research has demonstrated anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, enhances wound healing, prevents platelet aggregation, lipoxygenase inhibitor, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties of turmeric and its constituent curcumin. Potential interactions: Based on animal studies, turmeric's blood thinning properties may cause problems in patients taking blood thinning drugs (warfarin). Turmeric should be stopped prior to scheduled surgery. Turmeric may lower blood sugar and should be used with caution in animals being treated for diabetes or hypoglycemia. Powdered turmeric can be given in capsule form or mixed into food. To easily calculate dosages for natural remedies we recommend using "Pet Remedy Charts."