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NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug) Medication guide for Animals

This summary contains important information about NSAIDs (Including but not limited to: aspirin, carprofen (Rimadyl, Novox), deracoxib (Deramaxx), firocoxib (Previcox, Equioxx), meloxicam (Metacam), piroxicam (Feldene) or robenacoxib (Onsior). You should read this information before you start giving your pet an NSAID medication and review it each time the prescription is refilled. This sheet is provided only as a summary and does not take the place of instructions from your veterinarian. Talk to your veterinarian if you do not understand any of this information or if you want to know more about this medication.

What is an NSAID?

NSAIDs are medications that are used to control pain (soreness) and inflammation due to osteoarthritis or other painful or inflammatory conditions. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a painful condition caused by “wear and tear” of cartilage and other parts of the joints that may result in the following changes or signs in your pet: limping or lameness, decreased activity or exercise (reluctance to stand, climb stairs, jump or run, or difficulty in performing these activities), stiffness or decreased movement of joints.

Why is My Pet Taking an NSAID for Osteoarthritis?

While NSAIDs are not a cure for osteoarthritis, they can control the pain and inflammation of OA and improve your pet’s mobility.

  • Response varies from pet to pet but can be quite dramatic
  • In most animals, improvement can be seen in a matter of days
  • If an NSAID is discontinued or not given as directed, your pet’s pain and inflammation may come back

What Pets Should Not Take an NSAID?

  • Has had an allergic reaction to the medication, or an ingredient of the medication
  • Has had an allergic reaction (such as hives, facial swelling, or red or itchy skin) to aspirin or other NSAIDs
  • Is presently taking aspirin, other NSAIDs, or corticosteroids (for example cortisone, prednisone, dexamethasone, methylprednisolone, or triamcinolone) unless specifically directed by your veterinarian

How Often Do I give this Medication to My Pet?

Please refer to the prescription label for the dose and how often you should give this medication What to Discuss with Your Veterinarian before Giving an NSAID:

  • The signs of OA you have observed (for example limping, stiffness)
  • The importance of weight control and exercise in the management of OA • What tests might be done before an NSAID is prescribed.
  • How often your pet may need to be examined by your veterinarian
  • The risks and benefits of using an NSAID medication Tell Your Veterinarian if Your Pet has ever had the Following Medical Problems:
  • Experienced side effects from NSAIDs in the past
  • Digestive upset (vomiting and/or diarrhea)
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease Tell Your Veterinarian About:
  • Any other medical problems or allergies that your pet has now or has had
  • All medicines that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription Tell Your Veterinarian if Your Pet is:
  • Pregnant, nursing or if you plan to breed your pet

What are the Possible Side Effects That May Occur in My Pet During NSAID Therapy?

NSAIDs, like other drugs, may cause side effects. Serious but rare side effects have been reported in pets taking NSAIDs. Serious side effects can occur with or without warning and in rare situations result in death.  The most common NSAID‐related side effects generally involve the stomach, liver, or kidney. Look for the following side effects that can indicate your pet may be having a problem with this NSAID or may have another medical problem:

  • Decrease or increase in appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Change in bowel movement (such as diarrhea, or black, tarry or bloody stools)
  • Change in behavior (such as decreased or increased activity level, incoordination, seizure, or aggression)
  • Yellowing of gums, skin, or whites of the eyes (jaundice) • Change in drinking habits (frequency, amount consumed)
  • Change in urination habits (frequency, color, or smell)
  • Skin changes (redness, scabs, or scratching)

It is important to stop therapy and contact your veterinarian immediately if you think your pet has a medical problem or side effect from NSAID therapy. If you have additional questions about possible side effects, talk to your veterinarian.

Can NSAIDs be given with Other Medicines?

NSAIDs should not be given with other NSAIDs (for example, aspirin, carprofen, etodolac, deracoxib) or steroids (for example, cortisone, prednisone, dexamethasone, methylprednisolone, or triamcinolone). Tell your veterinarian about all of the medicines you have given your pet in the past, and any medicines that you are planning to give with this NSAID, including any supplements, herbal medications or over the counter medications.  Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet’s medicines can be given together.

What can I do if My Pet Eats More than the Prescribed Amount?

Contact your veterinarian or a local emergency veterinary center immediately if your pet eats more than the prescribed amount of any medication.  If you are not able to contact a veterinarian, call Animal Poison Control at 1‐888‐426‐4435.

Keep your pet’s NSAID medication and all medications out of reach of children. Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take your pet’s prescription.