If your aging canine companion seems slow and stiff as he settles down for a snooze or when waking and rising in the morning, he may be showing signs of degenerative joint disease, or arthritis. This is one of the most common afflictions in older dogs, and it is always sad to watch your beloved pet slow down. Your veterinarian may recommend deracoxib to help ease the aches and pains of your dog’s creaky joints.
What is Deracoxib?
Deracoxib, available as the brand name Deramaxx, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to control postoperative pain and inflammation after orthopedic surgery as well as for relief from the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. The drug works by blocking your dog’s cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzymes from producing prostaglandins, the culprits that are causing your dog’s inflammation. Since all non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are processed through the liver and can reduce blood flow to the kidneys, your veterinarian will want to run periodic blood chemistry panels to monitor the levels of function in these vital organs.
Cautions and Side Effects
Your veterinarian will evaluate your dog’s present health and review his medical history. If blood panels show that your dog’s kidney or liver function is already compromised, he will not be a candidate for deracoxib. If your dog is on certain medications, including phenobarbital or ACE inhibitors, periodic blood work will be imperative to monitor and maintain therapeutic levels of these drugs in your dog’s bloodstream. If your dog has had a past reaction to a sulfa class antibiotic, he cannot take Deramaxx since deracoxib also falls in the sulfonamide class of drugs. Once he begins taking the prescribed dose of deracoxib, watch for potential side effects of vomiting, diarrhea, decrease in appetite, increases in water intake and urination. If any of these signs occur, notify your veterinarian immediately.