The 5 Most Commonly Prescribed Meds for Dogs

There are many meds for dogs, and chances are you will be prescribed one or more by your veterinarian in your dog's lifetime. This article lists the most commonly prescribed medications for dogs, what they treat, and the symptoms and side effects that may occur during usage.

1. Diphenhydramine

This medication is used to treat common allergies and reduce itching and irritation to the skin. It is also used to treat snake and insect bites, and reactions to vaccinations. Diphenhydramine is also an ingredient in Benadryl, which is used to treat allergies in both dogs and humans. Side effects include drowsiness and a lessened appetite. The side effects of Diphenhydramine are minimal and may reduce with multiple treatments.

2. Amoxicillin

Amoxicillin is a form of penicillin. It is an antibiotic that is used to treat bacterial infections. It is commonly used to treat bite wounds, infections in the mouth, bladder and respiratory system. The main side effect of Amoxicillin is nausea, which can be helped by giving your dog the medicine with a meal.

3. Rimadyl

Rimadyl is used as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory medication. It is also commonly used in dogs with arthritis. It is related to the human medications Advil and Aleve, but only Rimadyl has been proven safe for use in dogs. Aspirin can also be used to treat inflammation and pain, but it has been found that Rimadyl is more effective and can be used for long-term treatments. Common side effects of Rimadyl include loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. More severe symptoms are rare and may include stomach ulcers and renal problems. If you see any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.

4. Acepromazine

This medication is most commonly used before surgeries to act as an anesthetic or tranquilizer. It is also used to treat skin irritation, vomiting and muscle spasms. It contains several anti-nausea elements that make it ideal for pets who are prone to motion sickness when traveling. Aceprozamine causes severe drowsiness that lasts a minimum of 6 to 8 hours. Some dog breeds are more sensitive than others, so it is important to consult your veterinarian with your concerns and questions before administering this medication.

5. Deramaxx

Deramaxx is similar to Rimadyl in that it is related to the human medications Aleve and Advil. Deramaxx is more commonly used to treat canine arthritis. While Deramaxx has been proven to be safe in dogs and more effective than aspirin, there are several severe side effects. Severe stomach ulcers can occur with long-term use, which can be extremely painful and even life-threatening. Dogs who are on Deramaxx may have a reduced ability to form blood clots. There is also the possibility of restricted blood flow to the kidneys, which could result in renal failure. It is important to note that while severe, these side effects are rare. More common side effects are nausea and vomiting, which can be reduced if given with food.