Common Canine Arthritis Medication Side Effects

Once your dog is diagnosed with arthritis, and treatment begins, you'll probably be using a pain and/or anti-inflammatory canine arthritis medication prescribed by your vet. It is important that you understand what side effects these drugs can produce, and watch for symptoms.

NSAID Medications

This class of drugs is the most widely used treat pain for arthritic dogs. It includes drugs such as Rimadyl (Carprofen), Previcox (Firocoxib), Metacxam (Meloxicam and Mobic) Deramaxx (Deracoxib) and EtoGesic (Etodolac) All of these medications are deemed safe and effective by the FDA, and they all reduce pain and slow the progress of canine arthritis, but a variety of both mild and serious side effects are associated with nsaid drugs. They include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, changes in appetite and weight loss. Serious side effects such as liver and kidney damage and perforation or bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract are also possible.

Prolonged use of nsaids drugs for chronic conditions like canine arthritis will increase the likelihood of the most serious side effects.

Preliminary blood screening tests are a good idea before your dog starts prolonged treatment with nsaids drugs. These should be followed by periodic blood tests during the course of treatment. This monitoring can help prevent or avoid the most dangerous side effects.

If you notice unusual new problems or symptoms, stop administering the medication and contact your vet immediately.

Adequan and Palaprin6

Dogs can experience bleeding issues with Adequan because it can negatively impact the body's ability to clot the blood. Enlargement of the kidneys and liver have also been reported in testing of Adequan. Other known side effects include: vomiting, seizures, hives, pale gums, problems breathing and cold limbs.

Remember that Palaprin6 is aspirin, but it is buffered, and so the danger of gastrointestinal difficulty is reduced, but rare instances of ulceration and bleeding have been reported.

Be Watchful of Arthritis Medication Side Effects

Here a list of signs and symptoms you should be especially watchful for:

  • Decrease in appetite (any unusual changes in appetite)
  • Change in drinking habits (frequency or amount consumed)
  • Vomiting
  • Change in bowel movements (diarrhea, black, tarry or bloody stools)
  • Change in urination habits (frequency, color, or smell)
  • Change in behavior (such as decreased or increased activity level, lack of coordination or aggression)
  • Jaundice - Yellowing of gums, skin, or whites of the eyes
  • Change in skin (redness, scabs, or scratching)
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Seizures (convulsions)
  • Bleeding gums

Basic Safety

Exercise caution in using every medication for your dog, and contact your vet whenever you have doubts or questions about what to do. Never give your dog any medicine which was made or prescribed for cats or humans. Never give your dog any aspirin product in conjunction with any other nsaids medicine unless your vet specifically prescribes it.