Canine Pain and NSAIDs

Canine Pain and NSAIDs


Controlling your dogs pain is essential to his overall well-being. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are a class of drugs commonly used to control pain and inflammation in dogs. NSAIDs help many dogs lead more comfortable lives.

What are NSAIDs?

NSAIDs help to control signs of arthritis, including inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain. Inflammation-the body’s response to irritation or injury-is characterized by redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. NSAIDs work by blocking the production of prostaglandins, chemicals produced by the body that cause inflammation. Some NSAIDs may also be used to control the pain and inflammation following surgery.

Your veterinarian may prescribe an NSAID to treat the pain of osteoarthritis in your dog or to control pain following a surgical procedure.

Veterinary NSAIDs approved for use in dogs:

ETOGESIC (etodolac) RIMADYL (carprofen) METACAM (meloxicam) DERAMAXX (deracoxib) PREVICOX (firocoxib) ZUBRIN (tepoxalin) NOVOX (carprofen)

In the United States, there are no veterinary NSAIDs approved for oral use in cats.

What should you discuss with your veterinarian?  NSAIDs offer pain relief and improved quality of life to many dogs. However, before giving an NSAID, or any drug, you should first talk to your veterinarian.

You should discuss:

-what the NSAID is being prescribed for -how much to give -how long to give it -possible side effects -what to avoid while your dog is taking an NSAID -what tests are needed before giving an NSAID to your dog -how often should your dog be re-examined -your dogs previous medical history and any previous drug reactions -all medications and products your dog currently receives

What should you know before giving your dog an NSAID? -Never give aspirin or corticosteroids along with an NSAID to your dog. -NSAIDs should be approached cautiously in dogs with kidney, liver, heart and intestinal problems. -Never give your dog an NSAID unless directed by your veterinarian.

Don’t assume an NSAID for one dog is safe to give to another dog. Always consult your veterinarian before using any medication in your pet.

Only give the NSAID as prescribed by your veterinarian. Do not increase the dose, the frequency, or the length of time you use the drug unless first discussing this with your veterinarian.

What side effects should you watch for?

Most NSAID-side effects are mild, but some can be serious, including death in rare situations. Common side effects seen with the use of NSAIDs in dogs may affect the kidneys, liver, and gastrointestinal tract and may include:

-Not eating or eating less -Lethargy, depression, changes in behavior -Vomiting -Diarrhea, black tarry-colored stool -Yellowing of gums, skin, or the whites of the eyes -Change in drinking -Changes in skin (scabs, redness, or scratching) -What to do?

If you suspect a possible side effect to an NSAID, STOP giving the drug to your dog and call your veterinarian immediately!

When Giving Your Best Friend an NSAID, Remember these Signs:

-Behavior Changes -Eating Less -Skin Redness, Scabs -Tarry Stool/Diarrhea/Vomiting

STOP the Drug and Call Your Veterinarian!

Currently Approved Labels for Companion Animal NSAIDs

This page contains a partial collection of the labeling that has been submitted to the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA CVM) by veterinary product sponsors. The labeling includes product information for veterinary professionals (Package Inserts – PI) and for animal owners (Client Information Sheets – CIS). Information in the labeling includes the indications for use, dosage form, route of administration, and the recommended dosage.

Please be advised several hyper-links leave the domain and connect to external sponsor Websites. These links provide access to labeling that could not be posted on a .gov domain due to technical difficulties. However, while the information was accurate at the time of posting and was consistent with the intended purpose of the FDA CVM Web site, FDA CVM cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by these external links or any other externally linked site. In addition, providing links to a non-FDA Web site does not constitute an endorsement by FDA or CVM or any of its employees of the sponsors of the site or the information or products presented on the site. Also, be aware that the privacy protection provided on the domain (see Privacy Statement and Other Information About FDA’s Website) may not be available at the external link.

If the product labeling you require is not electronically available, please submit a written Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Information on how to submit an FOIA request can be found in “A Handbook for Requesting Information and Records from FDA”. CVM can not accept FOI requests via E-mail.


DERAMAXX Chewable Tablets, NADA 141-203, Client Information Sheet (PDF – 55KB)1 2006 DERAMAXX Chewable Tablets, NADA 141-203, Package Insert (PDF – 105KB)2 January 2006


Equioxx® Oral Paste, NADA 141-253, Client Information Sheet (PDF – 258KB)3 February 2006

Equioxx® Oral Paste, NADA 141-253, Package Insert (PDF – 253KB)4 February 2006


EtoGesic® Tablets, NADA 141-108, Client Information Sheet (PDF – 120KB)5 March 2001

EtoGesic® Tablets, NADA 141-108, Package Insert (PDF – 45KB)6 2004


Metacam 0.5 mg/mL Oral Suspension, NADA 141-213, Client Information Sheet (PDF – 257KB)7 August 2006

Metacam 1.5 mg/mL Oral Suspension, NADA 141-213, Client Information Sheet (PDF – 3.5MB)9 January 2005

Metacam 0.5 mg/mL Solution for Injection, NADA 141-219, Package Insert (PDF – 47KB)11 October 2004


Novox Caplets, NADA 200-366, Package Insert (PDF – 59KB)13 September 2005


Previcox Chewable Tablets, NADA 141-230, Client Information Sheet (PDF – 130KB)14 2007

Previcox Chewable Tablets, NADA 141-230, Package Insert (PDF – 936KB)15 2007


RIMADYL® Caplets, NADA 141-053, Client Information Sheet (PDF – 489KB)16 January 2004

RIMADYL® Caplets, NADA 141-053, Package Insert (PDF – 53KB)17 January 2004

RIMADYL® Chewable Tablets, NADA 141-111, Client Information Sheet (PDF – 142KB)18 January 2004

RIMADYL® Chewable Tablets, NADA 141-111, Package Insert (PDF – 752KB)19 January 2004

RIMADYL® Sterile Injectable Solution, NADA 141-199, Package Insert (PDF – 80KB)20 September 2005


SURPASS, NADA 141-186, Client Information Sheet & Package Insert, 2004 (PDF – 399KB)21 2004

From the FDA website at