28 January 2016

What Can I Give My Dog For Pain Relief?

My old dog is limping and has arthritis and has problems getting up, is there anything I can buy in terms of over the counter drugs to help him on a home remedy basis myself to make him feel more comfortable? Will meds like Glucosamine and aspirin help ?

pain dog arthritis
What Can I Give My Dog For Pain Relief?

The short answer here is that your vet will be able to give you effective and safe prescription drugs which have been tried and tested and are licensed for use in the dog. These will hopefully get your dog mobile and pain free again and this approach would be very much more effective than using any sort of human over the counter remedies.
A good example of a suitable prescription drug for a dog with arthritis would be Metacam but there are others. If it is at all possible to use drugs of this nature would be my specific advice.

However if the above is just not possible for whatever reason then as far as human over the counter drugs go the best choice would probably be glucosamine and aspirin, these can be given together and one may potentiate the other. Lets cover how these two drugs are used in the dog ...

1. While somewhat debatable glucosamine can and frequently still is given to dogs for joint pain and arthritis both by owners and vets. Many vets will suggest the human formulation from health food shops as it is often cheaper than the veterinary versions and is identical for all practical purposes.

As far as dose rates go for glucosamine in the dog my personal advice to clients is that a typical dose rate would be :

For dogs 25 to 50 pounds (15 to 25 kg), Two capsules every 24 hours.

For dogs 50 to 100 pounds (25 to 50 kg), Three capsules every 24 hours.

{ Based on a 500 mg glucosamine formulation }

Products like glucosamine are actually on the borderline between being a drug and a food additive and are regarded as being extremely safe and unlikely to cause any side effects of any sort.

2. Aspirin is sometimes prescribed for dogs for pain relief and it's anti-inflammatory effects may be of use in treating arthritis, however in any case this drug is often your only reasonably safe option in terms of human over the counter NSAID pain killers because many of the others such as ibuprofen or paracetamol are not used much in the dog these days because of many reports of side effects and toxicity.

A typical dose rate for aspirin in the dog would be 5 mg per pound of your dog's body weight given twice daily. I only very rarely see side effects of aspirin in dogs but be aware that this is sometimes possible as it can sometimes be hard on a dog's stomach particularly when given long term, so if possible give it with a little food. While your dog is on aspirin you should be on the lookout for any adverse symptoms such as vomiting, inappetance and lethargy, if in doubt stop the aspirin at once and seek veterinary advice.

Avoid enteric coated aspirin in the dog because it is possible that your dog's digestive system may not be able to dissolve the coating and so the danger is that the tablet may just pass through your dog's alimentary system without being able to exert it's effect. Plain aspirin is best in the dog.