Pain Relief for Dogs After Surgery

Drugs for pain relief for dogs after surgery are prescribed in most cases. Surgery in dogs will cause pain and discomfort and the dog may also need to be sedated, so that he will be able to recover and get over the trauma caused by the surgery and possibly by the disease that dictated the need for surgery. The pain medication may be administered orally or intravenously, depending on the condition of your dog.

Pain Relief Post Surgery

Dogs will need to get pain medication post surgery, regardless of the complexity of the procedure. However, if the procedure is less complex (i.e. the removal or warts), the dog may require only over the counter medication.

In more severe cases, prescription medication will be needed.

Most commonly, dogs will get the following pain meds post surgery:

  • Non steroidal anti inflammatories
  • Steroids
  • Analgesics

The condition of the dog will be analyzed and the vet will be able to recommend the most suitable types of pain relievers.

If the dog undergoes an outpatient surgery, you will have to monitor his evolution, watching out for symptoms such as whining and lethargy, which could indicate that he is in pain and may need a stronger drug.

Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs

The non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAID) will act in 2 ways:

  • Reduce pain
  • Reduce inflammation, which is common after surgery

The most frequently used NSAIDs in dogs include carprofen, which will act immediately. Aspirin may also be recommended, but the pet will have to be monitored for side effects and possible symptoms of poisoning.

The pain medication treatment will be recommended for up to 2 weeks, sometimes more, if the surgery is more complicated.

NSAIDs formulated for use in humans shouldn’t be used in dogs. Avoid Tylenol or Advil, as these can easily lead to liver damage in your pet.

Steroids for Dog Pain Relief

Steroids may also be prescribed to reduce pain post surgery and may be recommended especially if the dog has had some sort of transplant. The steroids will suppress the immune system and will help in the recovery procedure, allowing the system to accept the transplanted organ.

However, given the many side effects (i.e. kidney disease, adrenal insufficiency), this type of treatment is not commonly recommended.

Analgesic Medication for Dogs

Analgesics can be used in dogs after a surgery and can control pain in the same manner as the NSAIDs. However, these meds will not reduce inflammation. The vet may often prescribe both a type of non steroidal anti inflammatory drug and an analgesic.

Tramadol can be used in canines immediately after the surgery, this drug having an immediate effect. The drug may be needed in a high dosage during the first hours post surgery and the dose can be decreased gradually, as the dog recovers.

Fentanyl is also used, but only if the pain is unbearable. The dog will get patches, which will periodically release a solution in the dog’s blood stream, controlling pain.