Dogs and cats feel pain just as we do. Analgesics are drugs that reduce pain. Broadly speaking pain killers are divided into narcotic or non-narcotic varieties. Narcotics include morphine, pethidine, buprenorphine and codeine. These are controlled drugs and their use is restricted in varying degrees by government regulation. We use them but when we do we keep an accurate register of their use.
Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs - Nsaids
The greatest advance in pain control in recent years was the development of a variety of highly successful and generally safe non-steroid anti-inflammatories, usually called NSAIDs. Controlled studies show these drugs to be better than narcotic pain killers alone for control of post surgical pain and chronic bone and joint discomfort. If your pet has surgery with us we will dispense a non-steroid pain killer for you to continue giving at home. Although these new NSAIDs are tolerated better than older NSAIDs and produce fewer gastrointestinal side effects, as with any drugs they should be used only under close veterinary supervision.
Aspirin – Use It Sensibly
Aspirin can be effective for controlling muscle and joint pain in dogs, although it is not licenced for use in dogs. It is however damaging to the lining of the stomach, and may cause vomiting and eventually gastric or duodenal ulcers. If using aspirin use a buffered form, pulverize it and mix it in a full meal. Give it with misoprostal (Cytotec). This reduces aspirin's toxic effect on the stomach.
Neither Tagamet nor Zantac protect the stomach from the toxic effects of aspirin as misoprostal does. NEVER GIVE ASPIRIN TO CATS UNLESS IT IS UNDER OUR INSTRUCTIONS. ASPIRIN CAN BE LETHAL TO CATS. PARACETEMOL IS EVEN MORE LETHAL.