What are Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)?

In recent years, the medical care of pain in pets has advanced rapidly. In veterinary medicine nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are approved analgesic medications designed to control pain and inflammation.

Long-Term and Short-Term Pain

Inflammation is the body’s response to irritation or injury and is characterized by redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. Since your dog or cat can’t tell you where or how much it hurts and usually hide their pain, it’s important to observe behavioural or physical changes that may indicate that they are in pain.

Joint pain is one of the most common sources of chronic pain in dogs and can be very uncomfortable, especially in older dogs. Veterinarians often prescribe NSAIDs as a type of painkiller for aging dogs with long-term pain, such as osteoarthritis (OA). This is a condition where cartilage (the protective material that cushions a joint) is damaged over time, causing the bones to rub against each other. This rubbing can permanently damage the joint and cause pain, inflammation, and lameness.

NSAIDs are also used to control short-term pain, such as injury in dogs.

Postoperative Predictable Pain

Some veterinary NSAIDs are also approved to manage pain after surgery in both dogs and cats.

How do NSAIDs Work?

NSAIDs affect substances called prostaglandins (hormone-like substances) that the body releases in response to irritation or injury. They work quickly to decrease prostaglandins that cause pain, and this allows pets to get back to activities and keep moving.

What are the Benefits of NSAIDs?

A main benefit of NSAIDs for dogs or cats is that it has been shown to provide safe and effective pain relief. Untreated pain may lead to other health issues, such as immune suppression, digestive troubles and insomnia. Once pain is relieved, pets are able to exercise and systems, such as their hearts, lungs, and digestion can return to normal functioning. When dogs with degenerating joints are able to exercise, muscle strength is maintained. This process helps hold their joints in better alignment, therefore, reducing pain and providing general well-being.

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