Here's How to Save Money on the Best Pain Meds for Dogs
Acute or chronic pain in dogs requires attention. Pain can mean deeper medical issues, for one thing. And, of course, relieving your pet’s suffering with strong pain relief for dogs just seems like the right thing to do.
However, when that pain relief is extremely expensive, that puts you and your pet in a tough position.
Wondering what you can give your dog for pain without breaking the bank? Here’s what you need to know.
Pain Relief for Dogs: What to Look For, and What You Can Do
Let’s start with the basics.
Dogs, like humans, can experience pain. When your dog is hurting, that’s just as real and as serious as when you develop shooting pains in your wrist, or when you have a migraine.
Unfortunately, when your dog is suffering, it can be difficult to tell what’s going on or what you should do about it. First things first: What’s happening when your dog is experiencing pain?
Common Causes of Pain in Dogs
There are several common causes of pain in dogs.
- Arthritis, a condition that results in joint pain and stiffness
- Specific injuries, such as falls, fractures, strains, or sprains
- Surgical procedures, and the recovery from these or similar interventions
- Dental problems, such as periodontal disease or abscesses
- Cancer, especially those that affect joints or bones
- Other health conditions, such as pancreatitis, liver disease, or kidney disease
This may sound like a scary list (and it is!), but pain in dogs doesn’t always mean that your dog has a severe underlying condition. They may just be having a toothache or headache.
The problem is, of course, that no matter how strong your connection with your canine best friend may be, your dog has no specific way of telling you what’s going on.
How Can I Tell if My Dog’s In Pain?
Some common symptoms or indications to look out for to determine whether your dog might be in pain include:
- Changes in their behavior, such as withdrawing from social interactions, hiding from you, becoming less active, or even exhibiting uncharacteristic aggression or irritability
- Unexpected whining, yelping, growling
- Licking specific parts of their body more often than usual, or even biting or chewing those locations to indicate that they’re experiencing pain or irritation
- Sudden changes in your dog’s gait or posture–for example, if they adopt a hunched posture, have a limp, or don’t appear to want to move
- Changes in your dog’s sleeping or eating patterns
Remember, you know your dog best. If you believe that they’re showing signs of being in chronic discomfort, you should act! It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Early Detection is Crucial for Canine Pain Management
The earlier you can determine that your dog is suffering, the better.
If you can intervene early on, you can do more than just relieve your dog from pain that they don’t have to experience—you may catch something serious while it’s still treatable.
Even if nothing scary is happening and your dog’s mostly healthy, giving your dog the best pain meds as soon as you recognize symptoms can improve your dog’s mobility, reduce the chances of secondary symptoms, and enhance your dog’s quality of life.
Have you noticed any of the symptoms above? Are you noticing that your dog’s acting strangely? Does your gut tell you that something’s off?
Talk to your veterinarian. They’ll assess your dog’s condition, determine what may be causing them pain, and help you understand your treatment options.
The Best Pain Meds for Dogs: A Helpful Overview
If you’ve realized that your dog needs help and you’re en route to the vet, it can be helpful to know what your general options are. Being ready to discuss the following with your veterinarian may enhance your peace of mind.
Types of Pain Relief for Dogs
The main categories of pain meds for dogs include the following:
NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. You’re likely familiar with these in human form as Advil or Tylenol. For dogs, NSAIDs like carprofen, deracoxib, and meloxicam can help reduce pain and inflammation—particularly if your dog is dealing with post-surgical discomfort or chronic conditions like arthritis.
Opioids. If your dog is experiencing more severe pain, such as pain associated with advanced cancer or major surgery, your vet may prescribe your dog opioid medications. Examples may include tramadol and fentanyl.
These are powerful medications, and you’ll likely only be able to get them in specific places. They work by altering the way your dog’s brain perceives pain and can be very effective–but can also come with side effects, like gastrointestinal issues or sedation.
Other medications. If NSAIDs do not work for your dog and you or your veterinarian do not wish to pursue opioids, you have other options, including amantadine or gabapentin. Talk to your veterinarian about your observations and your concerns, and they will be able to help you figure out a solution that works well for you and your dog.
What Can I Give My Dog for Pain: OTC Options
If you’re just noticing for the first time that your dog is exhibiting signs of discomfort and you aren’t aware of a clear reason for it (e.g., you’re not en route home from an operation), you may think that OTC options can help.
They might, but it’s important to know how to use them, when it’s time to call a vet, and when it’s time to escalate to something more effective.
Your first rule of thumb is simple: Consult your vet before you give your dog any OTC meds, even ones that seem innocuous.
A simple phone call or website interaction might be all you need. You want to make sure that you’re not accidentally giving your dog too much of the drug, or the wrong drug entirely. Even something like aspirin, which can be used in dogs, is only safe if you give it in very precise doses.
Also, some human pain medications—like ibuprofen and acetaminophen—can be highly toxic to dogs. Even if you’re doing something that feels appropriate and safe, just make sure you talk to your vet, first.
Strong Pain Relief for Dogs: When Is Prescription Pain Relief Necessary?
Sometimes, it’s clear that a little aspirin isn’t going to cut it.
Sometimes, you know your dog is going to need more help. If your dog is battling a chronic condition or needs support recuperating after an operation, they may need a stronger prescription medication.
In these cases, medications such as the following may be worth knowing about.
Popular Prescription Pain Meds for Dogs—And How to Save Big
Three of the best pain meds for dogs include:
Rimadyl (carprofen) is an NSAID. It’s safe for dogs, and widely used to help dogs find relief from chronic conditions like arthritis, or even to provide support after surgery.
Rimadyl works by reducing your dog’s production of prostaglandins, which are the specific substances that contribute to inflammation and pain.
Your dog’s dose of Rimadyl will depend. It will be based on the reason they need pain relief and their weight. Typically, once you receive your Rimadyl, you’ll give it to your dog either once or twice daily with food. Your veterinarian will tell you how long you should continue giving your dog this medication.
While Rimadyl is considered safe, it can induce GI issues (such as vomiting or diarrhea). Your vet may want to monitor your dog more closely while they are on this medication.
You can buy Rimadyl through NorthWestPharmacy.com for a little over $1.00 per pill.
Metacam Oral Suspension
Metacam Oral Suspension is another NSAID that, similarly, reduces inflammation and pain for dogs. It’s especially good when used for pain management related to osteoarthritis in dogs.
Like Rimadyl, Metacam Oral Suspension’s dosage information depends on your dog’s needs and weight. Your veterinarian can help you determine the appropriate dosage and treatment length.
The main difference between Rimadyl and Metacam Oral Suspension is the way you’ll use it to treat your dog: Where Rimadyl is a tablet that you’ll need to trick your dog into eating, Metacam Oral Suspension is a liquid. That can make it significantly easier to administer, especially if you need to manage precise dosing adjustments for smaller dogs.
You can buy Metacam Oral Suspension through NorthWestPharmacy.com for about $1.10 per mL.
Previcox (firocoxib) is an NSAID that has a very specific target—the COX-2 enzyme—that it works to regulate. It can be a more selective medication than others, which makes it a good option if your dog has issues with severe side effects while on other NSAID medications.
Your veterinarian will help you determine the appropriate dosing strategy for your dog. Typically, you’ll administer Previcox once per day. Previcox is a chewable tablet; most dogs eat it without too much trouble.
You can buy Previcox through NorthWestPharmacy.com for about $1.50 per pill.
Buyer’s Guide: Saving on Prescription Pain Meds for Dogs
Now that you know which pain meds for dogs your veterinarian may recommend, it’s time to get even more practical.
How are you going to pay for your pet’s medications?
By purchasing your Rimadyl, Previcox, or Metacam Oral Suspension through an internet Canadian pharmacy and international drugstore, you’re already saving a significant amount of money. International and reputable Canadian online pharmacies are often able to offer medication far more affordably than brick-and-mortar American pharmacies can.
And, since online pharmacies like NorthWestPharmacy.com are certified by third-party pharmacy associations like CIPA, you can feel confident that you’re getting your pet the best medication possible even while you save some money.
But that isn’t necessarily the only way to save big on the best pain meds for dogs. In addition to buying your medication through Canada drugs and pharmacy vendors, you can consider:
Asking your vet about generic alternatives to the medication they recommend for your dog.
Shopping around at different pharmacies in your area to see if you can find cheaper options at different places.
(Doing this is much easier if you’re shopping online—particularly if you’re working with a pharmacy website that lists its prices out in easy-to-find ways!)
Checking to see whether the manufacturer of the pet pain medication you need is offering any rebates or discount programs. These can be difficult to apply for, but, if you are eligible for an existing program, it can make a difference.
Your veterinarian will have a good idea of what programs may be running and can help you take advantage of those opportunities.
Regardless of your strategy, when your dog needs pain relief medication, you need it promptly—and you need to be able to afford it (preferably without having to jump through hundreds of hoops to find a workable price).
That’s where online pharmacies like NorthWestPharmacy.com can help.
Need the Best Pain Meds for Dogs? Start Your Search Here
Dog owners know that one of the worst things imaginable is watching their pets suffer from acute or chronic pain…and feeling helpless to do much about it.
With prices for human and pet medication skyrocketing in America, it can feel like people with pets don’t have much of a choice. Fortunately, by purchasing pet medications from reputable online and international Canadian pharmacy websites, American pet owners can save considerable money on the best pain meds for dogs.
Once you’ve spoken with your veterinarian and have a valid, updated prescription for your pet’s pain medication, you can find and buy what you need through NorthWestPharmacy.com in just a few simple steps.
Interested in learning more about how we can help? Give our friendly customer service team a call at 1.866.539.5330, or browse through our neatly-organized, informational pet products pages to see what we can offer you. We’re happy to help you support your pet’s best health!