Recognizing that your fur baby is in any kind of pain can be one of the worst feelings as a paw parent. You do everything in your power to ensure that your dog’s happiness and well-being are #1. You make sure your pup gets fed with only the best food and plenty of fetch and exercise. Your doggo gets regular check-ups at the vet and you’re sure to stay on top of any health or behavior changes that they may experience on a daily basis. So what happened? What changed? What can you do you relieve your best friend’s pain and discomfort?
Regardless of the source of your pup’s pain, a trip to the veterinarian will likely leave you with prescription medication. While we are not bashing the importance of conventional medication/drugs, there are a few things we want to inform you on before deciding on administering the new medication(s).
In today’s article, we’re discussing what you should know about pain medication, more specifically, Previcox. We’ll touch on the importance, benefits, and potential adverse side effects of the medication. Additionally, we hope to bring light to all-natural, effective alternatives that many pet owners are choosing to treat their doggo’s pain and inflammation issues.
Ready, set, woof!
Previcox is painkiller that vets often recommend for pups suffering from distressed and associated inflammation. It’s a nonsteroidal (& chewable) anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is prescribed for dogs who typically suffer from canine osteoarthritis.
The active ingredient of Previcox is firocoxib (generic name). The terms, Previcox and firocoxib, are commonly seen and used interchangeably. The brand name medication, Equioxx, also has firocoxib as its main active ingredient. However, Equioxx is specifically formulated to be used for osteoarthritis in horses. Because they all share the same active ingredient, it’s safe to assume that all the positive effects of the medication (and the negative effects), are shared by all animals taking Previcox or Equioxx.
It’s important for paw parents to be familiar with the various names vets may use for the same medication (tricky? maybe?). The more you know about a new drug/medication, the better prepared you will be to make a decision about your pup;s well-being and health.
Previcox for dogs is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). That being said, some NSAIDs work to relieve inflammation and alleviate pain. Vets typically prescribe NSAIDs to pets to control and treat joint pain as well as managing post-operational pain.
Scientifically, NSAIDs work by blocking the effects of specific enzymes (somewhat like a bodyguard protecting a VIP). Specifically, NSAIDs block Cox-1 and Cox-2 enzymes and reduce the production of prostaglandins. This reduces the levels of inflammation, pain, and fever.
Previcox is prescribed to reduce and manage pain and inflammation. The source your pup’s pain may vary from one source to the next. So let’s talk about what it’s prescribed for.
Your vet may prescribe Previcox to prevention inflammation, resulting from an operative procedure. Do note that it is important to make sure your pup isn’t being too active and mobile after surgery. Previcox may alleviate more than most of your dog’s pain and may make them feel like they can be their normal, active selves. However, it’s extremely important that your pup heals to their fullest to prevent further issues from developing. Heal up puppers!
Vets often prescribe Previcox to treat and manage the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis in dogs. Arthritis is a general term for irregular adjustments in the joints. There are different types of arthritis, yes, but osteoarthritis is the most common. This condition affects ⅕ doggos and is associated with age. Unfortunately, osteoarthritis is a progressive disease and isn’t the easiest to detect early on in your pup’s years. It can lead to your pup experiencing severe joint discomfort, affecting their best quality of life.
Your dog’s dose will be prescribed based on your dog’s body weight. The medication is prescribed in their a 57mg or 227mg chewable tablet.
When it comes to lessening and riddening pain in both humans and dogs, doctors and veterinarians often recommend the use of NSAIDs. Unfortunately, all NSAIDs come with a long list of potential side effects. For example, Carprofen is a common NSAID that vets prescribe to treat arthritis signs and symptoms in dogs. But, Carprofen may have even worse side effects than Previcox. NSAIDs are commonly associated with irreversible damage - internal bleeding, chronic stomach ulcers to name a few. NSAIDs need to be used with severe caution in patients with liver and kidney conditions. It’s super important to be aware of all risks of NSAIDs prior to giving any potentially harmful medication to your four-legged paw bestie.
So what else is there for my pup? There’s a holistic option? Luckily, we are living and breathing in a time where all-natural medicine is continuing to blossom and flourish! Even more so, all-natural medications are continuously proving to be effect alternatives over conventional medications.
Our favorite alternative is CBD oil for dogs - which can help reduce inflammatory responses and support joint and bone health (score!). Other alternatives that may help include glucosamine supplements, fish oils, omega-3s, acupuncture, and adequan injections.
As role as a responsible dog owner, it’s important to recognize when certain health conditions can be avoided. Of course, we aren’t able to completely avoid any and every potential issue out there, but we can do everything in our power to provide substantial help when and where we can! As pet owners, we can help with our pup’s joint support and effectively help slow down their joint degeneration.
Diet, food, meals, substance, nutrients, fuel. Regardless of what your call your pup’s diet, it’s still so important! It can truly make a significant difference in your dog’s life. We highly recommend consulting with your holistic vet in regards to diet recommendations or diet changes to support your dog’s joint and bone health. Many holistic vets recommend a species-appropriate raw food diet. This can ensure that your dog is receiving all of the nutrients they will need to live their best life (+optimal health). There are also diets that enrich their health therapeutically, like omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine.
Is your pup getting the right amount of exercise he/she needs to help joint health? If you doggo tends to be a sleep/lazy friend, they may be losing muscle and joint function without you even realizing it. Don’t feel like you need to take your pup on long walks multiple times a day - a daily walk will suffice to help maintain joint function and health.
Exercise helps more than joint and muscle health! Exercise can help ensure that your doggo is at a healthy weight for his/her size and stature. The extra pounds can put more stress and strain on your pup’s joints. Not only can this cause your pup to be more sedentary, but also worsen their arthritis and cause more damage.
Glucosamine is a compound that is naturally occurring in the body. It not only promotes the growth of cartilage and synovial fluids that protect the joints, but also helps with repair any damage that has already been done (YES!). Implementing a supplement like this into your dog’s diet can help improve mechanical joint function, repair joint damage, and slow the progression of joint disease. Win, win, and win!
Be aware of your pup’s “normal”. Dogs are infamous for hiding pain (+ hiding it too well). Paw parents must be aware of your dog’s typical behavior in order to recognize when something just isn’t right.
Is your pup usually active and playful, but is now sleeping more or chillin’ more often? Changes in energy levels may be a telltale sign of pain and a potential slew of health issues. If you notice your pup isn’t their usual self, it’s important you figure out why! Time is of the essence.
On of the most common signs of abnormal behavior is a pup getting up slowing from laying down. There may also be a difficulty running or going up and down stairs. Are they favoring a leg? Have a stiff walk? Shaky walk? There may be other behavioral changes with pain including pacing, whining/barking, loss of appetite, or frequent panting.
Doggos will typically bite or chew on the hurt areas of their body that is in pain. Dogs may lash out and or bite others who are attempting to touch their sensitive spot(s). If your doggo is typically sweet and lovey but is now biting or nipping at you when you come near, it’s likely that they’re in pain.
Inflammation often occurs when swelling starts. Whether it’s due to disease or inflammation, swelling is not ever “normal”.
If your dog’s in pain, they may often have bloodshot eyes or very dilated pupils. They may have sad, loopy-looking eyes too.
Nothing is fun about worrying about your dog’s health and well-being. Just like you, we want your pup to be back to normal and live their best life. Unfortunately, as your pup gets older, your pup’s joints do too. We encourage you to think twice about starting your pup on conventional medications like Previcox. Remember, there are many all-natural, holistic options out there that are proving to be effective and safe for your pup’s usage. What would it hurt to try and all-natural option first?