The 9 Most Prescribed Canine Medications

There are thousands of approved canine medications, designed to address a wide variety of diseases and symptoms for dogs of all breeds and ages. If your dog has been diagnosed with a medical condition, you may be wondering which medications are the most effective for your pet. In general, refer to a veterinarian for advice about your dog specifically.

Animals respond differently to the same medication, and a medicine that works for the dog down the street may cause harmful side effects if administered to your pet, even if they share the same condition. Read on to learn about some of the most commonly prescribed canine medications, according to disease.

Some of the most commonly prescribed canine medications are:

  • Rimadyl
  • Deramaxx
  • Novox
  • Previcox
  • Heartgard
  • Revolution
  • Advantage Multi
  • Lysodren
  • Anipryl

Common Arthritis Medications

Arthritis is one of the most common chronic diseases afflicting dogs today. Although the patient base is primarily older dogs, young dogs of medium and large breeds may experience arthritis symptoms as well. Generally, arthritis is treated, at least in part, with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (or NSAID.) These drugs act to diminish swelling and inflammation in your dog's joints while simultaneously decreasing his pain and discomfort. Some of the most common NSAIDs are Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Novox and Previcox.

Common Heartworm Medications

Heartworm is a potentially fatal disease that virtually every dog is exposed to. In general, heartworm medications are delivered preemptively to prevent pets from developing the disease. Speak with a vet for more information about when to begin a heartworm prevention program. Among the most common heartworm medications are Heartgard, Revolution and Advantage Multi. These medications differ in dosages and treatment regimens, and may carry different side effects for particular dogs.

Common Medications for Addison's Disease

Addison's disease is caused by a deficiency of corticosteroid hormones. These chemicals are secreted by the adrenal gland. Addison's disease is a difficult disease to diagnose, but it is a very serious medical condition. In most cases, Addison's disease can be treated or tempered with supplemental corticosteroid hormones. Due to the variety of other conditions affected by corticosteroids, a large number of prescriptions for these hormone supplements are made each year.

Common Medications for Cushing's Disease

Cushing's disease is highly similar to Addison's disease, but the two are brought about by opposite problems. Dogs suffering from Cushing's disease have overactive adrenal glands, which produce an excess of corticosteroid hormones. Although Cushing's disease is often treated with surgery, in some cases medication will suffice to purge the condition. In these situations, Lysodren and Anipryl are the most commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of Cushing's disease.

If your dog suffers from one of these frequently occuring canine medical concerns, speak with your veterinarian about whether one or more of these medication programs may be helpful in treating his condition. Remember that these medications are not interchangeable, and it is best to follow the prescription and dosage instructions of your vet and the medication manufacturer.