When it comes to pain management, nothing else works quite the way nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) do. While this class of medications are excellent at what they do and are prescribed for post-surgical care as well as for pain management of other conditions such as osteoarthritis, they aren’t a cure-all pain reliever, and they can come with some downsides if you’re not careful.
What exactly are NSAIDs?
NSAIDs are a type of medication that reduces pain by decreasing inflammation. According to the FDA, NSAIDs work by blocking cyclooxygenase (COX), which causes prostaglandins to be produced when cells in the body are damaged. By blocking these substances, NSAIDs reduce the amount of them within the body, which in turn reduces the pain and inflammation at the site of cell damage.
How do they differ from other painkillers?
Numerous pain medications are available for dogs and cats these days, offering a wide variety of options for all different types of injuries and pets. The main difference between NSAIDs and other pain medications is the inclusion of inflammation reduction.
Can you give your pet over-the-counter NSAIDs for humans?
Some common brands of NSAIDs that can be found in many homes include Bayer (aspirin), Aleve (naproxen sodium), Advil and Motrin (ibuprofen). When you see your dog or cat in pain, it’s tempting to reach into your medicine cabinet and give them what you have available to try to help relieve their pain. The best course of action, however, is to give your veterinarian a call. You should never give a medication meant for humans to your pet without the explicit direction of your veterinarian.
If your veterinarian or veterinary surgeon prescribes NSAIDs to help manage your pet’s pain, be very mindful to give the medication according to the instructions. We mentioned that NSAIDs reduce prostaglandins in the body, which is how they reduce pain and inflammation. Unfortunately, prostaglandins also have important benefits that the body needs. According to the FDA, this substance also protects the lining of the stomach and intestines, maintains blood flow to the kidneys, and supports platelet function. This is why many NSAID prescriptions are limited to a short course. As always, communicate any concerns to your care team.
Trust Maryland Veterinary Surgical Services With Your Companion’s Health
Your companion’s health is important, and the team at MVSS is ready to provide the best care possible for your furry family. We are dedicated to combining comprehensive exams and assessments with informative and honest discussions of your companion’s care. Once we have worked with you to decide on the best course of action for your dog, our professionals will use their surgical expertise to work towards the goal of giving your companion an active and pain-free life. We are proud to serve loyal companions in Catonsville and Baltimore. To learn more about our services, give us a call at 410-788-4088 or visit us online. For more information and tips for pet health, follow us on Facebook and Pinterest.