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Analgesics (Pain Relief)

Part of a veterinarian's duty is to relieve animal pain. Proper choice of medication is crucial as we want to relieve the pain without making the patient groggy and without side effects. Here are some medications used in pain relief.


Amantadine
 Amantadine was first used as an antiviral medication against influenza, but its main use now is as a type of pain reliever.
Aspirin
 Aspirin inhibits an enzyme called cyclo-oxygenase that is involved in the production of inflammatory chemicals called prostaglandins. Arachidonic acid, a fatty acid that is essential in the diet of cats and dogs, makes up cell membranes. When the inflammatory cascade is active, cells begin to convert their arachidonic acid into prostaglandins. Aspirin puts a stop to this.
Buprenorphine (Buprenex)
 Buprenorphine is considered approximately 30 times stronger than morphine because morphine is more active at the mu receptor, so morphine is a much a stronger pain reliever. Buprenorphine is best used for mild to moderate pain.
Butorphanol Tartrate (Stadol, Torbutrol, Torbugesic, Dolores, Butorphic, Dolo)rex
 Because butorphanol antagonizes the mu receptor, it will fight against opiates that are mu agonists: morphine, oxymorphone, meperidine, etc. If butorphanol is used with any other drugs that have sedating properties, these sedating properties will be more blatant.
Carprofen (Rimadyl)
 Carprofen is a member of the class of drugs known as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), the same class as such common over-the-counter remedies as Advil (ibuprofen), Orudis (ketoprofen), and aspirin. The chief use for such drugs in the dog has been pain relief, usually joint pain or post-surgical pain relief.
Deracoxib (Deramaxx)
 Deracoxib is a member of the class of drugs known as NSAIDs, the same class as such common over-the-counter remedies as Advil (ibuprofen), Orudis (ketoprofen), and aspirin. The chief use for such drugs in the dog has been pain relief, usually joint pain or post-surgical pain relief.
Dexamethasone (Azium, Voren)
 Dexamethasone is a member of the glucocorticoid class of hormones. This means they are steroids but, unlike the anabolic steroids that we hear about in sports, these are catabolic steroids. Instead of building the body up, they are designed to break down stored resources (fats, sugars and proteins) so that they may be used as fuels in times of stress.
Etodolac (EtoGesic, Lodine)
 Etodolac is a member of the class of drugs known as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and is used for pain relief.
Fentanyl (Duragesic Patch)
 The primary use of the fentanyl patch is to provide a continuous delivery of pain reliever to a patient with on-going pain. These patches are especially useful after a surgical procedure but are also helpful in the management of cancer pain, or after injury.
Gabapentin (Neurontin)
 Originally this medication was used for treating partial seizures in humans but it was found to be useful in treating neuropathic pain (the burning and tingling sensations that come from damaged nerves.)
Grapiprant (Galliprant)
 Grapiprant interferes with a specific prostaglandin receptor called the EP4 receptor that is involved in generating pain and inflammation.
Ibuprofen Toxicity in Dogs and Cats
 Ibuprofen is felt to be too toxic for safe use in pets at any dose but if a pet is lucky, exposure will not have reached the toxic dose but it may not take much given that the typical non-prescription pill contains 200 mg.
Meloxicam (Metacam)
 Meloxicam is generally given to control arthritis pain in dogs though it can be given for many other painful conditions. It is often used an analgesic in conjunction with surgery.
Methocarbamol (Robaxin-V)
 Methocarbamol is a muscle relaxant that exerts its effect by acting on the central nervous system (the nerves that control the muscles) rather than on the muscles themselves.
Pain Drugs for Dogs and Being an Informed Owner
 A decade ago, few drugs were available to treat pets in pain at home. Pups were spayed or neutered at the animal hospital, stitched up, and sent home without pain medication. And dogs with painful arthritis limped along without drugs that were safe and effective for long-term use.
Pain Reliever Facts for Dogs and Cats
 It is important that you are aware of potential side effects when administering drugs to your pets.
Piroxicam
 The most common target of this medication is transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder, although it is also used against mammary adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and transmissible venereal tumors.
Prednisolone/Prednisone
 Prednisone and prednisolone are members of the glucocorticoid class of hormones. They break down stored resources (fats, sugars and proteins) so that they may be used as fuels in times of stress. We do not use the glucocorticoids for their influences on glucose and protein metabolism; we use them because they are the most broad anti-inflammatory medications that we have.
Previcox not for use in Horses
 The drug has different forms approved for horses and dogs.
Robenacoxib (Onsior)
 Robenacoxib is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) of the coxib class for use in cats and dogs in the United States.
Tramadol
 Tramadol can be used for pain relief in both dogs and cats. (Most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are dangerous for feline use, so this provides a nice choice for cats with chronic pain issues.)

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