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Healing Their Hurt: What Can I Give My Dog for Pain?

We know he’s hurting, and the first thing we want to do is reach for the Tylenol.

However, his doggie systems are different from ours — the pulmonary system, the heart, the organs and such. What takes the edge off our pain will hurt or possibly kill him. 

You can’t give your dog anything that would benefit a human. While vets do give dogs aspirin for arthritis and other types of pain, it isn’t the kind of aspirin humans use. A human tablet of aspirin will cause seizures, comas, and then your dog will die.

Look for Clues

Healing Their Hurt: What Can I Give My Dog for Pain?

Put some extra blankets, towels, or pillows in his crate. Put his food and water as close to the open door as you can. The object is to make sure he doesn’t move too much until you can get him to the vet the next day. If you have to lift him to carry him outside to potty, then do so.

Because a dog can’t point a paw at the pain or tell us where it is, we must look for clues. Being off his food, whining, snapping and barking or growling if touched, and antisocial behavior are good indications your dog is in pain. Most dog owners can tell when their dog needs help when the animal lays its head on your chest or your lap, looking up at you with heart-breakingly sad faces and eyes.

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Medicine That Is Safe for Dogs

Because we can’t give our dogs anything that could benefit us, many companies have developed medications for pain that are safe for dogs to use. For example, NSAIDs (like ibuprofen or naproxen) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are now made in doggie strength and have names like carprofen, deracoxib, and meloxicam. 

If the dog’s pain is such that ordinary NSAIDs are doing him no good, then the vet might resort to prescribing steroids. These knock the inflammation out faster than NSAIDs. It’s rare for a vet do prescribe steroids, but it depends on the pain in the dog. 

Healing Their Hurt: What Can I Give My Dog for Pain?

Anti-depressants actually help relieve pain in dogs. Many times they are prescribed in addition to some natural remedies such as ginger. Grating ginger root over his food will help the immune system to stop making leukotrienes, which cause inflammation in the first place. 

Cayenne peppers contain capsaicin, which provides heat when rubbed into painful joints, thereby increasing circulation. 

Yucca root contains steroidal elements that relieve joint pain not just in dogs, but in humans, too. Ask your vet which herbs and spices will help the particular ailment in your dog, and together you could come up with just the right treatment for him. 

Ask the vet for a prescription after he examines your dog. Many vets can fill the prescription, but if not, then look to your local pharmacy. Kmart, Target, Rite Aid, and Walgreens will all fill a pet prescription. 

After you get the scrip filled, you might want to look into diet and exercise changes, physical therapy, and acupuncture. As the animal ages, his dietary needs change. As the stress on his joints lessens, so will the pain. 


Last update on 2020-03-31

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