Top 3 Commonly Prescribed Medications for Dogs

When it comes to our beloved furry friends, we want the absolute best. Unfortunately, sometimes health issues arise and leave pet owners wondering the best way to proceed. In this article, we will briefly cover commonly prescribed medications to treat three ailments: seizures, pain, and allergies. By knowing about these drugs and their associated side effects, dog owners can make sure they are making educated, appropriate decisions for Fido.

Phenobarbital for Dogs

Studies show that one in five dogs suffers from seizures. That’s a staggering number when you think about it. Therefore, up to 20% of pet parents will have to make a tough decision when it comes to how they plan to manage the frequency and severity of their dog’s seizures. One commonly prescribed anti-seizure medication is called Phenobarbital.

Phenobarbital Side Effects

When Phenobarbital may be effective at treating seizures in some dogs, it comes with a slew of potential adverse reactions that pet owners must be implicitly aware of. These side effects include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive hunger
  • Weight gain as well as severe weight loss
  • Increased urination
  • Behavioral changes including anxiety and depression
  • Ataxia (loss of coordination)
  • Lethargy or, conversely, hyperexcitability
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Jaundice
  • Changes in stool and/or urine
  • Anemia

It should be also be noted that a troubling fact about all anti-seizure medications for dogs is that once they are started, they can’t be stopped. Stopping Phenobarbital for dogs can have horrific consequences including life-threatening seizures and a severe worsening of their present condition. Furthermore, some dogs are resistant to conventional anti-seizure medications.

Therefore, the pet owner may be administering it as directed, yet the dog’s seizure to not improve, yet the medication cannot be stopped without the potential for irreversible damage. As you can see, choosing Phenobarbital must be a decision made only once you thoroughly understand the medication and what is at stake.

Apoquel for Dogs

Just like people, our four-legged friends can also suffer from allergies and allergic reactions. In order to help control and alleviate environmental allergies, many vets will prescribe the drug Apoquel.

Apoquel Side Effects

Like all conventional medications, Apoquel comes with a number of potential adverse reactions that pet owners should be aware of before administering the drug. Side effects of Apoquel include:

  • Vomiting (with or without blood)
  • Diarrhea (with or without the presence of blood)
  • Decreased appetite
  • Total appetite loss
  • Excessive lethargy
  • Increased lipase and cholesterol
  • Development of pneumonia
  • Additional severe infections (i.e UTIs, skin infections, and ear infections)
  • New cutaneous or subcutaneous lumps
  • Reduced leukocytes
  • Decreased globulins
  • Histiocytomas
  • Increased aggression and behavioral changes
  • Development of polydipsia

As you can see, many pet parents are wary of whether allergy control is worth the potential associated side effects.

Meloxicam for Dogs

We can all agree that life is far too short to live in pain. Therefore, many vets will prescribe a drug known as Meloxicam. Meloxicam for dogs is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that alleviates pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.

Meloxicam Side Effects

Unfortunately, Meloxicam is also associated with a slew of potential adverse reactions including:

  • Tarry black stools
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea (with or without blood present)
  • Vomiting (often with blood present)
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Increased thirst and therefore increased urination
  • Abdominal pain and tenderness
  • Swelling (caused by to fluid retention)
  • Weight gain (due to fluid retention)
  • Headaches
  • Ataxia (Loss of coordination/ dizziness)
  • Dry mouth
  • Skin irritation (such as redness, inflammation, and scabs)
  • Loss of kidney function and additional kidney issues
  • Appetite loss and associated weight loss
  • Exhaustion and overall body weakness
  • Jaundice (a yellowing of the dog’s eyes, gums, and skin)

Of course, no pet owner wants to see their beloved furry companion in pain. However, a quick glance at the side effects associated with Meloxicam will undoubtedly have anyone worried. Yes, you may be able to relieve joint pain, but will you possibly be creating another problem that will therefore require additional medication? You can see how one drug can quickly lead to the need for several others. It’s a troubling cycle.

An All Natural Alternative: CBD for Dogs

With the number of adverse reactions associated with the vast majority of conventional medication comes an undying desire for all natural alternatives. It’s no surprise that pet parents will do just about anything to relieve their fur babies of their ailments, yet many wonder at what cost. Is pain relief worth potentially irreversible damage to the vital organs? Is anti-convulsant medication worth a lifetime sentence of drug use along with a slew of horrific side effects? And allergies… is a sneeze-free Spring worth the possibility of a severe infection, or worse? Luckily, there’s another option.

CBD oil for dogs is changing the game in the way that we treat our pet’s health conditions. Remarkably, hemp-derived CBD is proving itself to be a safe and effective substitute for the three aforementioned commonly prescribed conventional medications.

Reducing Seizures with CBD

Over three decades worth of studies prove that CBD oil has the ability to decrease the severity and frequency of seizures in people and animals who suffer from epilepsy. Incredibly, CBD has also proven to work in cases where the person or dog was resistant to conventional anti-convulsant medication.

Managing Pain with CBD

CBD and its anti-inflammatory properties are also powerful tools in managing and alleviating pain. In fact, CBD is so effective that scientists are considering it to be a new drug class for the treatment of chronic pain.

Alleviating Allergies with CBD

Finally, by implementing CBD oil and specifically formulated CBD treats, pet owners can safely and effectively rid their four-legged friends of pesky environmental allergies and the associated side effects.

Our Final Thought
We are by no means negating the absolute need for conventional medications. Who knows where we would be without them. However, what we are saying is that it is imperative for pet owners to recognize that we have a choice in how we manage our pets’ ailments. By educating yourself on what a new drug might entail, we can be sure that we are making the best choice for our dog’s wellbeing.

Surrey604 Staff
Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.