Narcotics- These kinds of pain relievers for dogs have been in use for many years, and each works different at relieving pain, and also each has their own propensity for addiction. Since animals can go through withdrawals like humans do, it is important to wean dogs off of medications for pain those are narcotics. Often, narcotics will be mixed with another type of pain reliever to enable it to work better than either one would by themselves.
Morphine is a narcotic that almost everyone has heard of before. For pets that require dog painkillers for severe pain, morphine is an excellent choice, although it has to be given quite often, and there is a strong chance of addiction. Morphine is also a sedative, and can cause many animals to become sick and vomit.
In countries other than the U.S., one popular pain reliever for dogs is pethidine, although it is not used much in the United States. Some studies suggest that it only give about one to two hours of pain relief in animals, but work better when used along with NSAIDS.
Hydrocodone and Codeine are often used when needing dog painkillers, and even though they aren’t as strong as morphine, they often work well when added with other medications like ibuprofen.
Butorphanol is another common drug for pain relief, but has very limited effectiveness for animals that suffer from pain that is chronic, since raising the dosage usually diminishes the effects of the medication instead of adding to its benefits.
A medication that has not been approved for use in dogs is Buprenorphine, although it is still used frequently. It lasts longer for pain than butorphanol, which is why it is gaining popularity.
Another often used dog painkiller is fentanyl, which usually comes in the form of a patch that is placed on the animal, and slowly dispenses medication through skin absorption. It takes about 12 hours for the medication to work, and care must be taken that the animal doesn’t ingest the patch, as this can cause the animal to go into a coma or can die since it is too much medication at one time. The patch is usually kept on for three days, and then removed and another patch is put on. Often dogs that use this form of pain reliever have to supplement it along with NSAIDS or a narcotic that is compatible.
The choices for dog painkillers are staggering, but when you know the type and amount of pain, your pet is suffering from. Your vet will be able to prescribe the right medication to stop his pain, and allow him to live a normal life.