What is Anti-inflammatory Therapy?

Areas of a dog’s body may become inflamed for many different reasons. Inflammation generally manifests as swelling, pain and or stiffness. Treating inflammation will vary based on what has caused the problem, and if it is acute or chronic in nature. Inflammation that lasts under three weeks and does not reoccur is deemed acute, while recurring pain that lasts for weeks on end is classified as chronic.

Therapy for inflammation can be either natural or medication-based. Medications are more effective for short-term inflammation, while natural methods work well for chronic issues. A treatment plan should be made by a veterinarian after a full examination of the dog has been made.

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Anti-inflammatory Therapy Procedure in Dogs

To confirm that inflammation is causing the issues in the animal, an ultrasound or x-ray of the affected area is often needed. The veterinarian will then evaluate the dog using a complete physical examination. Blood work will be needed to assess the overall health of the dog. If an injury is present, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be prescribed for two to three weeks to relieve pain as the dog heals. 

In dogs with rhinitis and other inflammatory issues, extensive treatment using corticosteroids may be advised. For many chronic inflammation issues like arthritis, daily supplementation will likely be advised for the rest of the dog's life. Glucosamine and chondroitin have both been found effective in treating issues involving degenerating joints. They help boost the materials in the body that are needed to produce healthy joint function.

Efficacy of Anti-inflammatory Therapy in Dogs

The overall effectiveness of therapy depends on the type of treatment being used and the underlying issue in the dog. Corticosteroids suppress the immune system and should not be used for long periods of time. If they are, the dog will experience slow healing times, susceptibility to infections, and destruction of the joints. 

NSAIDs can also produce adverse effects if used for too long. Ulcers may form in the dog, and the liver and kidneys may become diseased. Supplementation with glucosamine or chondroitin have not been associated with any negative effects. This treatment may not heal the dog completely, but if often prevents further damage from developing.

Anti-inflammatory Therapy Recovery in Dogs

In cases of chronic inflammation, the dog should be fully evaluated four to eight weeks after a treatment regime has been put in place to see if it is effective or not. Ongoing blood tests will be needed if the dog is taking corticosteroids or NSAIDS for a lengthened period of time to check how the organs are functioning. Supplementation will have to continue throughout the dog's life. Any joint damage that has occurred is likely to be permanent. Anti-inflammatory therapy for injury management generally lasts two or three weeks, at which point the dog should be healed. If adverse symptoms such as vomiting, decreased appetite, diarrhea, bloody feces, or jaundice develop, stop administering medication immediately and take the dog back into the vet. 

Cost of Anti-inflammatory Therapy in Dogs

The overall cost of anti-inflammatory therapy will depend on how long treatment is needed and whether supplements or medication is chosen. NSAIDS cost, on average, $2 to $3 dollars a day depending on the size of the dog. Supplementation is usually less, coming in at $1 to $2 per day. It should be noted that the supplements will likely be used far longer than medications. Purchasing a trusted brand of supplements is key. High-quality glucosamine or chondroitin will be significantly more effective than low-grade ingredients.

Dog Anti-inflammatory Therapy Considerations

If only being used for a short amount of time, NSAIDs are generally safe to use. Extended periods of use can lead to permanent organ damage. Supplements alone can be just as effective in many cases and have no lasting negative effects on the body. More success is seen if inflammation is detected and treated early in its progression. Some dogs develop severe reactions to medications. Monitor the animal for these issues while administering corticosteroid or NSAID prescriptions.

Anti-inflammatory Therapy Prevention in Dogs

The best way to prevent lasting damage caused by inflammation is by treating it early. Do not ignore limping, swelling, or stiffness in your dog. Be aware of how your dog responds after periods of play or exercise. Take your dog to a veterinarian if any lingering pain seems to be occurring. Preventing injuries can lessen the need for both short and long term anti-inflammatory therapy. Arthritis often stems from scar tissue or damage from previous injuries. Keep your dog on a leash at all times when outdoors. To prevent rhinitis, vaccinate your dog regularly and prevent exposure to other dogs carrying viruses.