What YOU Should Know About Your Pet's Pain Relief Medications

What are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs?

Non-steroidal anti-Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are indicated for and usually prescribed for relieving pain, reducing inflammation/swelling and controlling fever. They are also sometimes prescribed for the management of long-term, chronic conditions like osteoarthritis. Examples of NSAIDs prescribed at Cahill Animal Hospital are Carprieve, Metacam and Trocoxil. Always consult your veterinarian to check which NSAID is right for your pet.

Possible (but uncommon) side effects with the use of NSAIDs include, but are not limited to:


Drug Safety

When your pet is on NSAIDs, ensure that:


  1. Veterinary advice is sought before you start your pet on NSAIDs or any other drugs, vitamins or herbal remedies. Other drugs and even all-natural products may interfere with how NSAIDs are metabolised by the body and may lead to serious reactions.
  2. NSAIDs are to be given with or shortly-after a meal.
  3. The dosage and frequency on the prescription label is strictly adhered to. Do not change the dosage or frequency without first consulting your veterinarian.
  4. Only one person in the household is in-charge of administering the NSAIDs to prevent accidental double-dosing.
  5. The NSAIDs are stored in an area that children and pets cannot access it – remember that pets can chew through blister packs and prescription bottles!


***Never ever give your dog's NSAIDs to your cat, or your cat's NSAIDs to your dog***


Stop giving NSAIDs if you notice your pet showing signs of:

If any of these signs are seen, stop dosing immediately and please phone us at 06 3588675 to arrange for your pet to be checked over by a veterinarian.


What Should You Do BEFORE Your Pet Starts on NSAIDs?

Tell your veterinarian about your pet's symptoms and current medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, herbal supplements and flea control products. Giving NSAIDs in combination with some other medications/supplements could seriously harm your pet.

All pets should receive a thorough physical examination, as well as appropriate blood/urine testing where deemed necessary by your vet, before the initiation of NSAID therapy. Ask your veterinarian about the testing protocols that are best for your pet. Also discuss with your veterinarian about the benefits, risks and side effects of NSAIDs and any other medication dispensed. An informed pet owner is the best defence against serious side effects from NSAIDs.


Monitoring Your Pet

At Cahill Animal Hospital, we consider it very important that your pet is monitored regularly while on NSAIDs. This is to ensure that the medication is still effective, and more importantly, that it is causing no harm.

Your veterinarian may recommend screening for liver and kidney disease before starting treatment. Thereafter, your vet may need to re-examine your pet frequently to assess the effectiveness of treatment. Once the vet is satisfied with your pet’s progress, check-ups may become less frequent.

Depending on the overall health status of your pet, your veterinarian may also recommend 6-monthly or a yearly liver/kidney function check for animals on long-term NSAIDs. The liver/kidney function check helps ensure that these organs are remaining healthy and coping well with the medication.


Dispensing Advice



The above information is provided for educational purposes only and not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional veterinary medical advice, diagnosis or treatment; and should not be relied on solely as veterinary advice. For more information or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us on 063588675.


Parts of this article have been adapted from the American Animal Hospital Association and Federal Drug Administration information handouts on NSAIDs.


Published by Cahill Animal Hospital on 21 April 2016


The team at Cahill Animal Hospital is here to provide you and your pet with the best possible medical, surgical and supportive care. Our motto "We care as much as you do" is a very important part of our day to day work. We are committed to providing you and your pet with the best options for care.

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