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Galliprant and gabapentin are both prescription drugs for dogs. The former can help manage chronic pain and inflammation and the latter can be used to help treat seizures, pain, and help ease anxiety. Your vet will determine which drug is best for your dog, depending on your dog’s particular symptoms, as well as the right dosage for your dog.
- What Is Galliprant?
- What Is Gabapentin?
- Comparing Galliprant Vs. Gabapentin
- Which Medication Is Right For Your Dog?
- Final Notes
What Is Galliprant?
Galliprant is the brand name for grapiprant. It’s a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID that is usually prescribed to treat chronic pain associated with osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, and other joint conditions in dogs. NSAIDs are effective against chronic pain and flare-ups, while reducing strain on the kidneys, liver, and gastrointestinal system.⁴
Galliprant comes in the form of pork or liver-flavored tablets or capsules to make it more palatable for dogs. It’s also safe for dogs younger than even 1 year of age and can help to effectively relieve pain from joint-related issues.⁴ This medication must be prescribed by a qualified veterinarian, who will also be able to determine the correct dosage for your dog.
Galliprant can help manage pain and inflammation due to canine osteoarthritis and is safe for daily use. It’s only intended for dogs weighing more than 8 pounds, as the dosage required for smaller dogs cannot be accurately measured.¹ The chewable pill should be administered once per day and is flavored with pork or liver, so your dog will like the taste. Galliprant will help your dog feel well enough to do all their favorite things again, pain-free and without adverse effects to the liver, kidneys, or gastrointestinal system.
The most common side effects from Galliprant are:
- Diarrhea or soft, mucoid stools
- Reduced appetite
Usually, these side effects will resolve themselves over time, but in some cases they might become serious and require urgent veterinary care. Some dogs may also experience kidney or liver damage, but this is rare. Galliprant may also interact with other medications, like corticosteroids, other NSAIDs, and some antibiotics.⁵ It’s important to always tell your vet about other medications your dog is taking and consult your veterinarian if side effects are persistent or become worse.
Galliprant is available in tablets of 20 mg, 60 mg, and 100 mg.⁴ Your vet will be able to determine which dose is best for your dog. They will consider your dog’s breed, weight, and symptoms in order to prescribe the appropriate dose to help alleviate your dog’s symptoms.
Keep in mind that dogs under 8 lbs. should not be given Galliprant, as the dosing is not accurate for dogs of that size. Usually, vets recommend the lowest possible dose at first, and increase the dosage as needed.
What Is Gabapentin?
Gabapentin is categorized as an anticonvulsant medication, designed to help against seizures, but has also proven to be effective in relieving anxiety and chronic pain related to nerve damage, such as arthritis. Originally designed as a human drug, gabapentin is not FDA-approved for dogs, specifically, but it’s still often prescribed by vets, since animals generally respond well to it. This medication works by modifying neurotransmitter activity in the brain, which is responsible for communicating messages between the brain and the nerve cells.⁷ This helps prevent the nervous system from overreacting to certain stimuli in the environment.
The drug is also known by brand names like, Neurontin, Alconium, Equipax, Gantin, Gabarone, Nuerostil, and Progresse.⁷ Your vet will be able to determine which specific type of gabapentin medication is best suited to your pup’s specific needs.
Gabapentin is an effective, fast-acting medication to help treat anxiety, seizures, or chronic pain. Vets may prescribe gabapentin to address chronic pain as a result of nerve damage - like canine arthritis or cancer - to treat anxiety, or to help reduce epileptic seizures.
As a painkiller, gabapentin blocks neurons that are stimulated when the nervous system registers pain. This can be enormously helpful for dogs who are suffering from chronic joint pain, for example, as it will help your pooch feel more energetic and get back to doing the things they love.⁷
Seizures in dogs can happen for a number of reasons. Many anti-seizure drugs come with unpleasant side effects, even if they stop the seizures. That’s why vets will often prescribe gabapentin if your dog is suffering from seizures, as it has less negative side effects and can work as both a painkiller and an anti-seizure medication.
Anxiety is also a fairly common problem for dogs. While gabapentin is mostly prescribed for pain and seizure management, it can also help manage your dog’s anxiety. It tends to have a slight sedation effect, which can be helpful in calming your dog down if they’re overly anxious.⁸ Gabapentin can help with general anxiety or anxiety that arises in specific situations or from specific stimuli, like vet visits, car rides, thunderstorms, or fireworks. It’s important to note that this drug is usually used as an add-on in combination with other medications.⁸
Generally, dogs respond very well to gabapentin and experience minimal to no side effects. Typical side effects that may occur include drowsiness, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of coordination. These side effects are usually not serious, but may indicate that a dosage adjustment is needed.⁷ Speak to your vet if you notice that your dog gets very drowsy or uncoordinated when taking gabapentin. Fortunately, these side effects are temporary and should become less intense within 24 hours. Your dog may need some time to adjust once they start receiving the medication.⁸
Gabapentin should always be prescribed by a licensed veterinarian. They will determine the most appropriate dose for your dog. The general dosage of gabapentin is about 5 mg per kg of body weight, taken every 12 hours. Of course, there are always more specific factors to consider, such as your dog’s breed, individual weight, pre-existing conditions, etc.
Comparing Galliprant Vs. Gabapentin
As described in the chart above, Galliprant is an NSAID, like ibuprofen, while gabapentin is a GABA drug, which strategically disrupts neurons and neurotransmitters between nerve cells and the brain.
Galliprant is more effective as a painkiller, whereas gabapentin can help treat seizures, neurological disorders, and anxiety. Both come in tablet form (gabapentin is also available as capsules) that are meat-flavored to make it easier and more pleasant for dogs to ingest. A vet might prescribe either drug to help reduce pain.
Which Medication Is Right For Your Dog?
Both Galliprant and gabapentin can be effective in managing your dog’s pain, whether chronic or temporary. However, they function differently in the body and have different uses and side effects. Depending on the type of pain or other symptoms your dog is experiencing, one drug might be better suited than the other. If your dog is suffering from anxiety or seizures, then gabapentin is the better option, while Galliprant is particularly effective in treating arthritic pain.
Talk to your vet to weigh the pros and cons of each medication as it pertains to your dog’s health and needs. Your dog’s size, breed, overall health, and preexisting conditions will also be taken into account. These medications may not be suitable for dogs with kidney or liver disease, or who are pregnant or nursing. Only give your dog these medications with a prescription from a veterinarian.
These two medications can both help treat your dog’s pain, anxiety, or seizures. Each one has a different mechanism of action and one may be more effective in treating your dog’s symptoms than the other. If you need advice on which medication is right for your dog, check out Dutch today and speak to one of our licensed vets. They will be happy to provide professional advice on whether Galliprant or gabapentin will best help your dog feel happy and healthy again. With Dutch, you can speak to a qualified vet directly from the comfort of your own home.
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Caroline Coile, PhD. “Gabapentin for Dogs: Uses and Side Effects.” American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 31 Oct. 2022, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/gabapentin-for-dogs/.
Elizabeth, Author: Hannah, et al. “Galliprant vs Gabapentin for Dogs? 2023 © Bestie Paws Hospital.” Bestie Paws, 26 Feb. 2023, https://www.bestiepaws.com/dog-medicine/galliprant-vs-gabapentin-for-dogs/.
“Galliprant (RX).” Dutch, https://www.dutch.com/products/galliprant-rx.
Son, Katelyn. “A Guide to Galliprant for Dogs: Benefits, Dosage and More.” Veterinarians.org, 22 Feb. 2023, https://www.veterinarians.org/galliprant-for-dogs/.
“Gabapentin.” Dutch, https://www.dutch.com/pages/gabapentin-100mg.
Petroff, Dr. Megan. “What to Know about Gabapentin for Dogs.” Dutch, Dutch, 17 Mar. 2022, https://www.dutch.com/blogs/dogs/what-to-know-about-gabapentin-for-dogs.
Son, Katelyn. “Gabapentin for Dogs: How It Works, Dosage, and Side Effects.” Veterinarians.org, 22 Feb. 2023, https://www.veterinarians.org/gabapentin-for-dogs/.