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Dog Medication [2021]

As a responsible pet parent, you need to provide the best care for your beloved dog. This includes regular deworming and flea treatment to more serious medical conditions where specific veterinary advice is required.
For any medication and especially prescription drugs you absolutely must discuss them with your vet. While our resident vet Maureen does a fantastic job providing information and guidance, you need to discuss treatment with your vet as each dog is different.
Having said that, once you know what treatment course your vet has prescribed, the team at DogStruggles can offer more research for those wanting more as well as the best place to purchase the medication.

Dog Medications

Frequently Use Dog Medications

The following descriptions are a very basic list of the common medications prescribed to dogs. This is not a comprehensive list but we touch on a few major things.
  • Antibiotics Used in the same way for humans, these medications are designed to destroy bacterial infections. Common antibiotics include penicillin, trimethoprim-sulfa, cephalexin, and enrofloxacin.
  • Anti-Inflammatories (Non-Steroidal)- Used to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain this would include medications such as carprofen, deracoxib, firocoxib, and meloxicam.
  • Antiparasitics – Common treatment for intestinal worms, heartworms, fleas, ticks, and intestinal protozoans.
  • Steroids For reducing allergic reactions, suppressing the immune system, and offering anti-inflammatory properties these drugs include prednisone, prednisolone, and dexamethasone.
  • Pain Relief (Opioids)- Oxycodone, hydromorphone, butorphanol, meperidine, and fentanyl- these meds are derived from morphine and offer excellent pain relief. These need to be prescribed by a vet and controlled as they can be addictive.
  • Sedatives – For dogs with anxiety issues that can lead to behavioral problems. Sedatives are also used to prepare dogs for anesthesia. Drugs include diazepam, xylazine, acepromazine, and midazolam.

Interactions with other Medications

The other important reason to first discuss treatment options with a vet is the interaction between two or more drugs. Meaning, if you start your dog on a specific medication it may interact with another one they already take. This can make one of the drugs completely ineffective or it can have the opposite effective which can also be dangerous.

It is a good idea to make a diary or note down what drugs your dog is taking, what dose, and what time of day. That way if they have an adverse reaction you can backtrack and find the culprit.

Common Side effects

Like all medications, they carry a risk. If the body reacts to the medication negatively or positively there can be some side effects as a result. In some instances, you need to weigh up the advantages of taking the medication with the potential side effects. For example, your dog may get an upset stomach due to antibiotics but it has a serious infection that requires antibiotics otherwise it will get worse.

The best way to reduce the risk of side effects is to follow the directions exactly – as per the information leaflet or the vets’ instructions.

Long Term Treatment

Some illnesses will require your dog to be on medication for a long time and sometimes even the entirety of its life. If this is the case you will need to regularly check in with the vet to ensure there is no toxicity or other harmful effects on your dog.

Testing can include blood tests, urine tests, or swobs done by the vet. The most common long term medication requiring testing is heartworm – dogs need to be tested for this as the treatment course is very different from the preventative course.

Keeping your Dog Safe & Healthy

At the end of the day, we all want the same thing – healthy and happy pets. To do so we need to be vigilant with their care plan and ensure we follow the guidelines. Understanding the medical issue is important too. We have endeavored to share the best information and guidelines out there for the following:

Bottom Line

Taking care of your dog is important, especially when they are ill. Following your vets, the advice is of utmost importance to ensure the correct treatment in the fastest way possible. We have put together informative guides for those looking for more research, along with the best place to purchase medication.

Dr Sarah Robinson attended veterinary school at Oklahoma State University receiving a D.V.M. in 2008. Sarah’s longtime interest is to help people to better communicate with their pet companions, and in doing so, to help them to strengthen their relationships with their dogs and cats. Sarah has published numerous articles on canine feeding in pet related magazines, veterinary journals and leading natural health web sites.

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