A time may come when Rover's gait shifts gears and he seems to be always a step behind. Luckily, dog owners can be a step ahead by offering solutions to help their companions better cope with the effects of aging. Previcox has been crafted with arthritic dogs in mind in hopes of relieving their pain and the inflammation associated with sore joints. As with other drugs, it's very important to consider side effects and risks.
Also known as Firocoxib, Previcox is a fast-acting non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug meant to block chemical messengers known for causing pain, swelling and inflammation. Classified as a COX-2 inhibitor, Previcox specifically targets COX-2, an enzyme responsible for causing pain and inflammation, while sparing COX-1, an enzyme responsible for protecting the inner lining of the stomach. Previcox, therefore, offers the advantage of providing anti-inflammatory benefits while reducing the risks for stomach irritation, ulceration and bleeding often seen with traditional anti-inflammatory drugs inhibiting COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes.
Previcox is prescribed to dogs suffering from osteoarthritis, a chronic, painful condition affecting the bones and soft tissues of a dog's joints. The most commonly affected joints include the knee, elbow, wrist, hip and spine. As the condition advances, the joints become painful, inflamed and less flexible. Previcox helps provide relief and increases the mobility of these patients, but can also be prescribed to control the pain and inflammation dogs experience after undergoing soft-tissue and orthopedic surgery.
When giving Previcox, it's best to use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest period of time. Dogs owners should always follow the vet's directions carefully. The recommended dosage for osteoarthritis in dogs is 2.27 milligrams per pound given once a day as needed. The flavored chewable tablets can be given with or without food. In dogs undergoing surgery, the medication is given for three days as needed to reduce postoperative pain and inflammation; however, it's sometimes also given a couple of hours prior to surgery.
All dogs should routinely see their vets for checkups and testing when taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Dogs with a history of suffering from allergies to these types of drugs and dogs with kidney or liver problems should avoid this drug. Dogs weighing less than 12.5 pounds should also not take Previcox because this drug cannot be accurately dosed at that weight level. When taking Previcox, dogs should not take aspirin, corticosteroids or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have the potential for serious side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers, perforations and even kidney and liver problems. Dogs owners should stop giving the medication and immediately report to their vet should they notice loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, black and tarry stools, lethargy, changes in drinking and urination habits and changes in the appearance of the dog's skin. Death can occur in rare cases. Adverse side effects should be reported to the FDA.
Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.