Appropriate pet medications can help pets live healthier, happier lives, or get relief from debilitating pain. Whenever your pet takes a medication, as a responsible pet guardian you should have an understanding of the effect the medication is expected to have on your pet as well as the potential side effects. Once you are aware of possible harmful side-effects associated with a medication, you will know the signs and symptoms you should look out for in your pet.
NSAIDS used for pain and levothyroxine (Soloxine) used for hypothyroidism in dogs are some of the most popular medications used in pets today. Both medications are very effective and for most pets are very safe, but there are still important side effects to watch out for with these medications.
NSAIDS such as Novox, Rimadyl, etodolac, and piroxicam are normally used for arthritis pain in dogs. They decrease the pain hormones that cause pain and inflammation in your pet. The most common side effect with this medication is bleeding. Bleeding presents as bloody, black or tarry stools, or blood in vomit. Other common side effects are dizziness, dry mouth, constipation, diarrhea, and fatigue. For these common side effects you should contact your veterinarian. Serious side effects are rarer but include an allergic reaction which can present as your pet having difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips, tongue, or face, muscle cramps, open mouth sores, fluid retention, or seizures. If you suspect any of these serious side effects stop giving your pet the medication and seek emergency attention immediately.
Levothyroxine is the most common medication used for hypothyroidism in dogs. Hypothyroidism is when your pet’s thyroid gland isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone. Levothyroxine replaces the hormone and allows your dog to live a normal life. Common side effects include cough, loss of appetite, dizziness, drowsiness, sleep problems, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting. Continue treatment with this medication and contact your veterinarian for further instructions should any of these occur. Stop the medication and get emergency assistance is you notice an allergic reaction as stated above.
Both NSAIDS and levothyroxine are very effective and safe medications. The side effects listed above do not occur in most pets but as a pet guardian you should always be aware of what to look for. With this knowledge you can be sure that your pet will get the safest and most effective treatment possible.