Animals are pretty unique when it comes to medical care, and pet owners will do anything to improve their pets' quality of life. It isn't so uncommon for dogs to deal with some kind of pain, especially as they get older. This article will highlight important information regarding the drug Carprofen, which is a well-known pain reliever specifically created with dogs in mind.
What is Carprofen?
An FDA-approved solution for pain relief in dogs, Carprofen is an effective medication that’s from the non-steroid anti-inflammatory family of drugs. It can be prescribed by a veterinarian; it’s known to be relatively safe for most dogs. Although managing prescription drugs in animals is different than in humans, it’s still important to understand how the drug works, its dosage, and any potential side effects.
Carprofen for dogs helps to manage general pain and inflammation. In many cases for dogs, various pains and types of inflammation can stem from a wide variety of other health conditions. It’s also important to note that Carprofen is the active ingredient, but the drug can be found under several different brand names, such as Rovera, Vetprofen, and more.
Unfortunately, you won’t find Carprofen for dogs without a vet prescription. It may sound like a hassle, but the only way you can get the drug is by going through a vet. This is also the best course of action, as each animal should be evaluated before taking Carprofen.
If your dog is experiencing any kind of pain or inflammation, Carprofen can act as a first line of defense. The drug works by inhibiting COX enzymes, and there are two different types involved.
COX-1: Focuses on the production of protective GI tract liner, blood clotting, and kidney perfusion.
COX-2: Correlates with inflammation, pain, and fever symptoms.
When Carprofen is administered, the drug works to block the effects related to COX-2. In many ways, the effects of this drug are very similar to over-the-counter pain relievers given to humans. Considering the primary effects of Carprofen focus on pain and inflammation, the drug finds viability in many different animal healthcare scenarios.
Due to its primary function, Carprofen tends to be the drug of choice for dogs who just came out of surgery or are suffering from pain and inflammation. Since there are many diseases that can cause this type of discomfort, Carprofen is seen as a common choice for pain reliever medication for dogs.
One example of a use case for Carprofen is with dogs that are dealing with various types of arthritis. More specifically, osteoarthritis pain, which can feel rather debilitating over time. The drug can also be utilized for different types of surgeries, whether they’re soft-tissue or orthopedic surgeries.
To ensure your dog has the best experience possible with Carprofen, it’s crucial to follow administration instructions without fail. You're bound to encounter general administration instructions, but some dogs may need to take smaller or larger doses depending on their health condition.
Carprofen dosage for dogs
There’s a range of recommended doses for Carprofen as it heavily relies on the weight and sometimes age of the dog. If you were to take a look at a Carprofen dosage chart, it’s pretty straightforward how the drug should be administered. From an all-encompassing viewpoint, Carprofen dosage includes 25mg, 75mg, and 100mg tablets.
You can look at the baseline directions for Carprofen to see what the dosage might be for your dog. It’s advised that you administer 2mg of Carprofen for every pound of body weight. This also means you’ll want to closely monitor your dog's weight, so you can properly adjust the Carprofen dose for dogs by weight.
It’s possible to split the dose in half, as some dogs may not need a full dose to feel the desired effects. In the table below, you can get a better look at how dosages change based on the weight of the dog.
The list continues in this pattern, making standard dosing requirements pretty easy to manage. This remains true as long as you continue to monitor their weight and adjust the medication dose if needed. Another aspect that makes it easy to administer is that it can be given with or without food. However, animals that are prone to an upset stomach would likely handle administration better if it was accompanied by food.
Although it’s okay to accidentally miss a dose here or there, you want to make sure to never double the dose. It’s always better to miss a dose and then continue your schedule as normal. If your dog happens to experience an overdose, there are a few medical symptoms that might occur.
Some health concerns related to overdose include:
- Appetite loss
- Blood stools
In a worst-case scenario, death could potentially occur if a dog is given too much of the medication. Aside from an overdose, there are still quite a few side effects related to Carprofen, and they should all be considered before administering the drug to your pet.
Carprofen side effects
The occurrence of side effects isn’t a guarantee, but they should always be considered so there are no surprises moving forward. As with any medication, Carprofen for dogs side effects can range from mild to much more severe in rare circumstances. The variety of side effects that stem from the drug can be broken down into different categories, as some focus on different areas of the animal’s body.
First, you can take a look at how Carprofen can affect the liver. Of course, side effects regarding the liver are considered to be extremely rare. If they happen to surface, their effects can be quite taxing on the animal's physical and mental well-being.
Liver-related side effects include:
- Loss of appetite
- And more
Considering how the Carprofen dosage is administered, there’s always the chance that your dog experiences gastrointestinal issues. These are seen as some of the most common Carprofen side effects, and they can be relatively easy to manage. Some of these side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis, and a few others. If handled early on, these side effects can be manageable, but they can also become more significant health concerns if left unchecked.
In other rare circumstances, your dog may experience side effects related to their skin. Overall, Carprofen has the ability to cause changes pertaining to the skin, fur, and nails of your dog. Aside from watching their weight, keeping an eye on their fur and skin is important to ensure they’re getting the right Carprofen dose for dogs.
Here are a few skin-related issues that can stem from the use of Carprofen:
- Hair loss
- Skin lesions
- Increased shedding
- And more
Doctors can offer many recommendations to help manage such symptoms, but it’s always best to catch onto it early. Whether mild or severe, your dog is bound to find any of these symptoms to be quite uncomfortable.
How often should the Carprofen dosage be administered?
In most cases, Carprofen should only be given to your dog once per day. The main component that could change from time to time is the daily dosage. Carprofen dosage for dogs can vary for a number of reasons, and it’s wise to consult with a veterinarian if you’re curious about changing their dose.
Is Carprofen available for only specific breeds of dogs?
Carprofen is available to essentially any breed of dog. The only caveat is the dosage, as this directly correlates to the weight of the dog. Other factors veterinarians will consider is the age of the dog, as side effects could increase in elderly years. Overall, Carprofen is safe to use for any breed of dog and for most age groups.
Can dogs with pre-existing medical conditions take Carprofen?
This will need to be reviewed based on each case, as some pre-existing medical conditions can clash with Carprofen. Veterinarians may not prescribe the medication to dogs who have existing health complications with their liver or kidney. However, it's always important to check with your doctor rather than make assumptions. Carprofen may be a general pain reliever, but the current state of your dog's health should be considered before administration.
Is the drug administered orally or through injections?
Carprofen for dogs is easily taken orally in tablet form. Considering it can be challenging to administer medication to animals, pairing the drug with food can make the process a little easier. The tablets are also a reasonable size that can be ingested by nearly any size dog.
What’s the recommended dosage for Carprofen?
There isn’t a single recommended dose when it comes to Carprofen, as it primarily relies on the weight and age of the animal. Common doses are 25mg, 75mg, and 100mg, but the dosage can be very customized to meet the needs of every dog. Of course, a veterinarian will be able to offer precise guidance on the correct Carprofen dosage for your dog.
Remember, it's crucial to seek professional veterinary advice before administering any medication to your dog. Your veterinarian will consider your dog's specific health condition, age, and weight to determine the appropriate dosage and ensure the safety and effectiveness of Carprofen for pain relief and inflammation management.