Carprofen is an analgesic anti-inflammatory medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Veterinary Use of Carprofen

Carprofen is used by veterinarians primarily for treating minor pain in dogs. It is commonly prescribed to alleviate pain and inflammation from conditions like chronic arthritis. In some cases, it is also used for the treatment of postoperative pain, especially in the case of soft tissue and orthopedic surgery.

Use of Carprofen in cats is very limited and still being studied.

Carprofen Precautions and Drug Interactions

Carprofen is very safe and effective for relieving pain and inflammation in dogs, but there are some precautions to consider prior to administering this medication. Carprofen should not be prescribed to a dog with hypersensitivity or allergies to this or other NSAIDs. It can also interact negatively with other drugs like aspirin, corticosteroids and cortisone-like drugs.

Possible Side Effects of Carprofen

Occasionally, Carprofen can cause mild side effects in some dogs. The most common potential side effects include stomach upset, diarrhea and ulcers. In severe cases, the dog may experience bleeding stomach ulcers, liver or urinary tract problems. Seizures and blood cell suppression are extremely rare.

Most veterinarians will recommend routine blood tests to monitor the effects of Carprofen on the dog and to minimize the risk of side effects from developing.

How Is Carprofen Supplied and Administered?

Carprofen is most commonly supplied and administered in oral caplet form. It is available as Rimadyl in chewable or caplet form and can be compounded in specific doses in capsule or suspension form. For surgical pain, the drug can be given via subcutaneous, intramuscular or intravenous injection.

Dosage and frequency is determined only by the treating veterinarian. Administration should follow the prescribed directions as closely as possible in order to achieve the best outcome. It should be given with food to avoid risk of gastrointestinal side effects.

Author: Giano Panzarella