Robenacoxib is also approved for cats to control pain and inflammation after spaying, neutering, and orthopedic surgery. The drug should be used once daily for no more than three days and is available as either a tablet given by mouth or an injection given under the cat’s skin.
Table 1: Some FDA-Approved Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs for Dogs
NSAIDs account for a large number of animal drug side effects reported to FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. If you consider the two most common groups of pets that receive NSAIDs, you can see why there are so many reported side effects:
You have to be even more careful with cats. Compared to other species, cats have a reduced ability to break down NSAIDs.
FDA has approved several nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for dogs to control pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis; and to control pain and inflammation after soft tissue and orthopedic surgery. [Orthopedic pertains to bones and muscles; soft tissue is everything else. Repairing a dog’s torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in her knee is an orthopedic surgery; removing a ball from a dog’s stomach is a soft tissue surgery.]
NSAIDs should be used cautiously in animals that may already have kidney disease or other conditions that cause reduced blood flow to the kidneys, like dehydration and shock. If an NSAID is used around the time of surgery, intravenous (IV) fluids are generally recommended before, during, and after anesthesia to maintain blood flow to the kidneys, hopefully reducing potential kidney complications.
Every oral NSAID approved for dogs and cats has an accompanying Client Information Sheet for veterinarians to give owners the first time the prescription is filled and each time it’s refilled. This sheet summarizes important safety information about the drug and serves as an easy reference for you at home.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduce the inflammation that accompanies arthritis.
NSAIDs work by preventing an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX) from making hormone-like chemicals called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are one of the body’s biggest contributors to inflammation.
Ibuprofen and naproxen are available in both OTC and prescription versions. OTC versions come in about half the strength of the prescription versions. At these lower doses, NSAIDs provide only pain relief. The anti-inflammatory benefits of NSAIDs are achieved at the higher doses found in prescription medicines.
The pain-relieving effects of NSAIDs begin quickly — within a few hours. However, swelling and warmth in joints may take longer to get better; it can take up to two weeks before you see full benefits.
Your body makes two different kinds of cyclooxygenase: COX-1 helps protect your stomach lining and COX-2 plays a role in inflammation. Most NSAIDs are nonspecific, meaning they interfere with both COX-1 and COX-2. While this helps relieve pain and inflammation, it also leaves your stomach vulnerable to ulcers and bleeding.
A specific type of NSAID, called a selective COX-2 inhibitor, blocks the COX-2 enzyme more than the COX-1 enzyme. The only selective COX-2 NSAID currently available in the United States is the prescription drug celecoxib (Celebrex).
The different NSAIDs work similarly, but some people respond better to one than another. If you’re just starting on NSAIDs, your doctor will likely have you try an over-the-counter (OTC) option. If you don’t get good relief, your doctor can switch you to another one.