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Pain Medication – What Pet Owners Need to Know

Pain medication

 Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) are often prescribed by veterinarians for the treatment of pain, fever and inflammation. They are incremental in improving the quality of pet care for cats and dogs, as they allow for pet owners to treat their animals with pain relief at home, which was not possible to do safely until recently. For cats and dogs that are recovering from a serious injury or dealing with ongoing highly painful conditions/diseases such as arthritis, NSAIDs are essential to ensure they stay as healthy and happy as possible.

While NSAIDs are safe and highly effective, they are still prone to side effects like all medications. When animals are prescribed with NSAIDs, it is important that pet owners understand the correct doses that should be administered and what complications may arise.

Common side effects of NSAIDs are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Dark-coloured faeces
  • Increased/decreased water consumption and urination
  • Lethargy
  • Itchiness
  • Seizures

These side effects are more common when medications are given in large doses or long term, but they can also occur even within the first few days of treatment. If pet owners ever notice any of the above side effects when treating their pet’s with NSAIDs, they should cease administering any further doses and contact a 24 hour veterinary clinic immediately, as it could be an animal emergency.

When pets are given NSAIDs it is important for pet owners to note the following:

  • Never increase the dosage or frequency of doses, unless instructed to by your vet
  • Never dose your pet in combination with over-the-counter medications (such as herbal supplements), unless you have consulted with your veterinarian that it is safe to do so
  • Never administer other animals with the NSAIDs without first consulting with your vet, even if you believe they have the same condition

Animal Accident & Emergency have two 24 hour pet emergency centres in Melbourne, which are ideally located in Essendon and Point Cook – both with easy freeway access and ample parking. Our animal hospitals are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (including public holidays), and offer all the latest equipment and state of the art technology, as well as a 24 hour intensive care unit. Our dedicated team of emergency vets and nurses provide the highest standards of emergency vet care, critical care medicine and surgery, and are experienced in treating every vet emergency from right across Melbourne, Geelong and Ballarat. So when you bring your pet to Animal Accident & Emergency you can rest assured that they will receive the best and most advanced vet care available.

If you believe your pet may be having an adverse reaction to pain medications, or for any veterinarian emergency, please phone one of our 24 hour animal emergency centres:

Essendon Fields (03) 9379 0700

Point Cook (03) 8368 7400

Always Open, We Always Care


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