Pain Management: Three Conventional Analgesic Options for Your Dog

12 October 2017
 Categories: , Blog


Proper pain management is essential for dogs with medical conditions such as arthritis and chronic back pain. Moreover, treatment is critical if your canine companion has sustained injury or gone through surgical procedures. Unfortunately, numerous owners do not know how to respond to incidents of pain in their pets. This lack of knowledge can translate into dangerous actions such as administration of human medicine. If you are uncertain about the conventional pain medications for dogs, consider this discussion on canine analgesics.


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are popular in dog pain treatment because they are effective for general aches and pains. Additionally, these medications have a low incidence of side effects. The composition of NSAIDs is valuable for treating both inflammation and pain. Some might also have anti-pyretic effects.

This category of medication is useful for treating chronic diseases like osteoarthritis. The compounds in the drug will inhibit pain sensation and reduce joint swelling. If the dog has injuries or has received minor surgery, this might also be a good choice. However, you should note that NSAIDs are only valuable for treating mild and moderate pain. 


While NSAIDs are invaluable for first-line pain management, they do not provide relief for severe aches in dogs. In simple terms, if the canine has advanced arthritis and inflammation in the joints, these drugs will not have a significant impact. If this is the case with your pet, your veterinarian will recommend steroidal alternatives for pain relief.

These drugs are similar to NSAIDs in their mode of action, but they are more potent in their inhibition of pain and management of inflammatory reactions. Canines can receive steroids as injections or orally. You should remember to manage the dosage of these drugs with care because there are significant side effects attached to high dosages and long-term use. 


Serious injuries and surgical treatment can take a toll on a dog's body, and the pain can be unbearable. Fortunately, veterinarians provide efficient pain management by administering opioids. This class of analgesics is used for severe pain which cannot be managed by the above-mentioned alternatives.

Opioids are beneficial because they work fast and allow the canine to recuperate in peace. There are different formats of the drug available in clinics, including systemic injections, local injections and topical patches. These drugs have adverse side effects like hypertension and respiratory problems. They must be administered with caution.

If you experience a vet emergency with your pet, be sure to consult your veterinarian before administering any analgesic for the safety of your dog.