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Our Dog Health Library - Anti-inflammatories for dogs

When your dog is in pain you naturally want to do the same for them as you would for anyone you love. You want to take away their pain, but how?


Your dogs suffering can come from many different conditions including arthritis, dysplasia and damaged ligaments that may cause noticeable pain in their legs and joints. Back or spinal pain is also common in dogs.

Anti-inflammatories are the prime treatment for musculo-skeletal pain in both humans and dogs.

Inflammation is nature’s response to damaged joints, ligaments and muscles.  An inflammatory response occurs in these as is a part of the healing process. Cells affected by injury release chemicals that cause surrounding blood vessels to dilate and release fluids causing swelling. These fluids contain specialised cells which carry out the healing.
The process is painful, due the expansion of tissues and  the presence of pain mediators.

Anti-Inflammatory medications are intended to dampen down the inflammatory cycle and to focus especially on one of the side effects – pain.  Depressing the inflammatory response completely is not desirable because it would inhibit or stop the healing process.

Anti-Inflammatories can be broadly divided into three categories for the layman: steroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID’s) and thirdly natural anti-inflammatories.
Steroids and NSAID’s are man made drugs generally only available for dogs on prescription. They are effective but often have side effects that make them unsuitable as long term treatments. For example steroids depress the general immune system and NSAID’s can affect the gastro-intestinal tract.

Natural anti-inflammatories are derived from animal or plant sources and usually require extraction of known active compounds. They can be highly effective and show similar anti-inflammatory power as NSAID’s. They have no long term damaging side effects

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