Carprofen for Dog: Uses, Side Effects, Dosage & Precautions

Carprofen for Dog

Last Updated on August 31, 2023 by Fumipets

Carprofen for Dog: Uses, Side Effects, Dosage & Precautions


Carprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) commonly used in veterinary medicine to manage pain and inflammation in dogs. It belongs to the class of drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors, which work by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, chemicals responsible for pain and inflammation.

Carprofen is commonly prescribed by veterinarians to alleviate pain associated with conditions like osteoarthritis, post-surgical pain, and other musculoskeletal issues in dogs. It helps improve the dog’s quality of life by reducing pain and promoting mobility. However, like all medications, carprofen can have potential side effects, and it should only be used under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Carprofen for Dogs

Your doctor might recommend carprofen if your canine is in discomfort or has irritation. Although it is harmless for canines, this popular canine drug functions similarly to human medications like ibuprofen. (unlike ibuprofen and many other human drugs).

Throughout my tenure as a veterinary assistant, I have witnessed the successful use of carprofen in a variety of canines. Additionally, I’ve observed some canines encounter negative adverse effects. My own elderly canine is currently taking it to treat her rheumatism. It has made me realize that even though carprofen is frequently safe and helpful, it is crucial to carefully watch canines while they are taking this medication.

What Is Carprofen Used for in Dogs?

Dogs who experience discomfort or inflammation can take carprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID). The most typical use of this medication is to reduce discomfort and irritation brought on by diseases like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and arthritis. In order to lessen pain, irritation, and temperature following operation, an accident, or an illness, it may also be recommended.

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Cyclooxygenase is an enzyme that promotes inflammation-related pain. (COX). This enzyme comes in two different varieties: COX-1 and COX-2. Both contribute to inflammation and discomfort, but COX-2 is primarily present where there is edema. As a specific COX-2 inhibitor, carprofen preserves the body’s COX-1, which is mainly known to keep and safeguard the walls of the digestive system in dogs. Some NSAIDs block all COX, which increases the risk of hemorrhage, sores, and gastrointestinal distress. Carprofen and other COX-2 inhibiting NSAIDs are recommended over other kinds of NSAIDs for some canines because they can reduce pain and inflammation while having lower GI side effects. This is because COX-2 but not COX-1 inhibiting drugs have fewer adverse effects on the body.

What Are Potential Carprofen Side Effects in Dogs?

Carprofen is not an exception; it too can have side effects. Gastrointestinal distress is one of the most frequent adverse effects of NSAIDs in general. When administered to canines in the proper dose and with sustenance, carprofen is typically well accepted by them. But some canines might still go through the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • GI ulceration and bleeding
  • Black, tarry stools (digested blood in stool)
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Prolonged or unexplained bleeding
  • Central nervous system problems (uncommon)

Your doctor may advise blood tests to evaluate your dog’s health, especially liver and renal function, prior to beginning carprofen. This is due to the fact that carprofen, like the majority of NSAIDs, may have adverse effects on the liver and organs. After your canine has taken this medicine for a while, additional blood tests will be required to make sure the liver and renal numbers have not changed.

Although my canine has not experienced any overt side effects like sickness or diarrhea, follow-up lab testing revealed that one of her liver enzymes was marginally higher. My veterinarian has advised that we have her blood work checked again in a few weeks and that we also get some X-rays so she can see how her liver is doing. She might require an MRI if anything is odd. If they find that the carprofen is harming her liver, we might even have to discontinue the medicine. Be sure to heed your veterinarian’s tracking suggestions because this situation happens frequently to canines taking this medication.

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Carprofen Dosage for Dogs

A tablet form of the pet medication carprofen is administered orally once or twice per day. Chewable pills are an option, which makes administering medication simple for canine owners. To reduce the risk of gastric distress, carprofen should be administered with meals.

Dogs are usually given carprofen daily at a dose of about two mg per pound of body weight. This is frequently split into two daily dosages separated by about 12 hours. There are three different amounts of carprofen tablets: 25, 75, and 100 mg. Half of a 100 mg chewable pill is given to my 45-pound mixed-breed canine with each feeding (morning and night), and she consumes them like presents straight from her dish. If my doctor runs out of treats, I use pill pouches to entice my dog to take the pills.

Rimadyl, Vetprofen, and Novox are just a few of the trade names used to refer to carprofen. There are also several basic versions accessible. Or, your veterinarian’s clinic can give an intramuscular version.

Carprofen shouldn’t be administered along with cortisone or other NSAIDs. Dangerous adverse effects like GI hemorrhage and ulcers, liver damage, and renal damage will be more likely as a result. Carprofen can combine with a variety of other medicines, so be sure to inform your doctor about all the pharmaceuticals and dietary nutrients you give your canine.

Can Dogs Overdose on Carprofen?

Carprofen abuse in canines is undoubtedly a possibility, and the consequences can be severe. 10 mg per pound or higher doses frequently start by causing extreme vomiting, cramping, and diarrhea. Carprofen overdose can cause paralysis, trembling, convulsions, GI rupture, and renal failure if left unchecked.

The most typical form of excess occurs when a canine consumes the entire container of digestible carprofen. If your veterinarian is closed, go to an animal emergency center instead. This kind of severe excess necessitates an urgent visit to the doctor. Bring the remaining tablet container and any other details you have about the drug’s potency and dosage.

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Contact your veterinarian or an animal poison control agency like ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435 or Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 if your canine unintentionally takes one or two additional pills. If the excess occurred lately, you might be told to cause regurgitation. Some canines will still require additional care at a veterinarian clinic.

Keep carprofen and all other medicines out of your dog’s grasp to avoid unintentional excess. Ensure that everyone in your household is aware of the dosage requirements and timetable if they will be participating in meals or medicine times.

Q&A about Carprofen for Dogs:


1. What is carprofen used for in dogs?

Carprofen is used in dogs to manage pain and inflammation associated with conditions such as osteoarthritis, post-operative pain, and musculoskeletal injuries.

2. How does carprofen work?

Carprofen works by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, which are responsible for pain and inflammation in the body. By reducing these chemicals, carprofen helps alleviate pain and discomfort in dogs.

3. Is carprofen safe for all dogs?

Carprofen should be used under the guidance of a veterinarian. While it’s generally safe, some dogs may be more sensitive to its effects or may have pre-existing health conditions that could interact with the medication. Proper dosage and monitoring are essential.

4. What are the potential side effects of carprofen?

Common side effects of carprofen may include gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. In some cases, more severe side effects like liver or kidney issues can occur. It’s crucial to monitor your dog for any adverse reactions and inform your veterinarian if you notice anything unusual.

5. How is carprofen administered to dogs?

Carprofen is available in various forms, including chewable tablets, caplets, and injectable formulations. The dosage and administration method depend on the dog’s weight, condition, and the veterinarian’s recommendation. It’s essential to follow the prescribed dosage and administration instructions carefully.



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