Seeing your Labrador in pain can be heartbreaking. We do our best to keep them safe but things just happen and finding safe pain relievers for dogs is the best way you can help him.
Lucky for us humans, we can choose among several over-the-counter medications that can help us feel better. But it is another story for dogs. Dogs cannot tell us when they are in pain so it is up to us owners to identify the signs. So, giving pain reliever for dogs depends on your ability to identify pain symptoms in pets and getting the right pain relief medication.
Signs Your Labrador is in Pain
If your Labrador is in pain, he may show the following signs.
- Loss of appetite: Dogs suffering from pain and discomfort may refuse to eat. They seem like focused on pain, not food.
- Lethargy: When a dog is feeling pain, he may choose to sleep longer trying to ease it. He may not make movements for fear of pain.
- Whining: If your dog starts to whine, it could be because he feels pain in his body. Stinging pain may force him to make sounds to seek your attention.
- Sudden aggressiveness: Dogs who are in pain tend to feel vulnerable and threatened. As a defense mechanism, they may become aggressive.
Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers for Dogs
Remember, the list of pain reliever for dogs we will give you is only an overview of safe over-the-counter drugs for dogs. The tips we give you should not be a substitute for the veterinarian’s advice and prescription.
Aspirin is one of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This medication decreases irritations and swelling in dogs. Some vets do not agree with giving dogs Aspirin as it can also cause serious side effects if consumed by a dog for a long time. However, some veterinarians believe that it is fine to give your dog aspirin for short-term relief from pain.
Consult your veterinarian first before deciding to give your Labrador this drug. Coated baby aspirin is safer your Labrador’s stomach. In dogs, recommended dosage for this drug is 5 mg/lb given orally twice per day. This drug must be mixed with food.
Tylenol is an acetaminophen and not one among NSAIDs. It does not do anything in reducing inflammation. This drug is used to treat pain in specific circumstances. Tylenol must only be used according to the instructions of a veterinarian. If given at a wrong dosage, it could cause kidney, liver, and tissue damage in dogs.
Prescription Pain Relievers for Dogs
There may be over-the-counter pain relievers for dogs you can get anytime, but it is always best to consult with your veterinarian before giving your Labrador one. Each dog has a unique situation and you must inform the veterinarian if your Labrador has recent health issues or allergies. Keeping a health history record will be very useful as well.
After checking and evaluating your Labrador’s health, your veterinarian might prescribe any of the following pain medications.
These drugs are FDA-approved for dogs. This means that these drugs have been found to be safe and effective in dogs when used according to the instructions on the label. Compared to over-the-counter medications, these drugs are safer and more effective but they are only available with a prescription.
Reducing Complications of Pain Relievers for Dogs
Whether the medicine is over-the-counter or prescribed, drugs may still cause side effects, especially if they are not given properly. To help reduce the risk of complications, please take note of the following:
- Give your veterinarian an overview of your Labrador’s complete medical history including the medicines and supplements he is taking.
- If your veterinarian advises having your dog’s laboratory tests done, consider complying. By doing laboratory tests, the veterinarian will be able to determine if the drugs he is going to prescribe is safe for your Labrador.
- Follow the dosage and schedule your veterinarian gave.
- Unless recommended by the vet, do not give your Labrador NSAIDS with any other over-the-counter drugs.
- Make sure your Labrador drinks plenty of clean water each day to lessen the risk of side effects.
Remember to call your veterinarian immediately if your Labrador shows undesirable side effects, such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and lethargy.