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Dogs often suffer from joint pain from "wear and tear" of the joints as well as injuries while playing or from accidents. In some cases, these injuries may require surgery. Previcox for dogs is a prescription medication to help alleviate the discomfort, inflammation, and pain caused by arthritis, osteoarthritis, and post-surgical pain after orthopedic or soft-tissue surgery.1
Previcox for arthritis in dogs should only be used with a prescription from a licensed veterinarian. Be sure to ask questions about Previcox side effects and fully disclose any medications or health problems your pet may have. Keep reading to learn more about how Previcox is used in dogs and what side effects may occur.
- What is Previcox Used for in dogs?
- Previcox Side Effects
- Previcox Dosage & Administration
- Previcox Safety
- Final Notes
What is Previcox Used for in Dogs?
Previcox (firocoxib) is one of the coxib classes of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory veterinary drugs (NSAID) that treats pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis and post-surgical pain after orthopedic and soft-tissue surgery.
Osteoarthritis is caused by "wear and tear" on joints or injuries from repetitive recreational activities like agility or flyball. Risk factors include large breeds, including German Shepherds or Great Danes, obesity, older age, infections such as Lyme disease, and genetics. 2
Previcox also treats rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease that causes a dog's body to attack its joints. RA is less common in dogs but is more often seen in toy and small breed dogs like miniature poodles and Shetland Sheepdogs. Greyhounds are susceptible to rheumatoid arthritis, too.
Previcox relieves pain following soft-tissue surgeries. The most common of these surgeries are spays, removal of retained testicles, liver biopsies, and gallbladder removal. A life-threatening condition, often called bloat, can be cured with soft-tissue surgery called gastropexy, a procedure where a dog's stomach is sutured to the stomach wall to prevent the stomach from twisting. The most common breeds needing this surgery are Great Danes, German Shepherds, Standard Poodles, Basset Hounds, Irish Setters, and Weimaraners. 3
To treat arthritis and joint pain, Previcox prevents the production of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which causes discomfort and inflammation of the joints and pain after soft-tissue surgery. Previcox is not a narcotic pain reliever. Previcox also supports healing by permitting the release of COX-1 enzymes which help regulate kidney function, digestion/elimination, and platelet production.
Signs and symptoms of joint pain in dogs include:
- Joint stiffness
- Decrease of movement
- Reluctance to stand up, walk, or play
- Swelling of joints
- Difficulty when urinating or defecating
- Slow movement
- Pain, when touched
- Sluggishness and/or fatigue
Orthopedic surgery helps repair broken bones in dogs — including broken legs and hip or pelvic fractures. This surgery can fix joint and ligament conditions, including cruciate ligament repair, one of dogs' most common orthopedic surgeries. Other joint conditions requiring surgery are luxating patellas, hip and elbow dysplasia, and intervertebral disc disease (slipped discs and other spinal conditions).
Previcox is given by mouth in a chewable, barbeque-flavored tablet. Most dogs will readily take the pill from your hand, but it can also be placed in your dog's mouth or a piece of cheese or other soft treat. The Previcox for dogs dosage is calculated according to your dog's weight.
Previcox Side Effects
Previcox is FDA-approved for use in dogs, and most dogs can take Previcox with very few problems. Before any dog begins treatment with any NSAID, they should have a physical examination and appropriate laboratory testing to obtain baseline bloodwork.
But there are some side effects of Previcox for dogs, including:1
- Decrease or increase in appetite
- Unexpected weight loss
- Decreased or increased activity levels
- Diarrhea, bloody or black stools
- Change in behavior, such as aggression, seizures, or lack of coordination
- Itching, redness, or scabs
- Abdominal pain
Occasionally, there may be an allergic reaction or adverse event which could be severe and may be a sign of renal or liver damage:1
- Hives or facial swelling
- Jaundice of the gums, skin, or white of the eyes
- Increased water consumption
- Increased urination
- Extreme vomiting or diarrhea
- Uncharacteristic behavior changes
Call your veterinarian immediately if your dog experiences signs of jaundice or kidney damage.
Previcox Dosage & Administration
The Previcox for dog dosage is based on your dog's weight and health condition. Previcox is typically prescribed as needed, for post-surgical pain after soft-tissue or orthopedic surgery. Previcox may also be administered about two hours before surgery to help prevent severe pain as your dog wakes up from their anesthesia.1
Previcox should not be used in puppies under seven months old due to the risk of severe adverse events (including death). Because of the size and scoring of Previcox tablets, the dosage cannot be accurately scored for dogs weighing less than 12.5 lb. (5.7 kg).
Used as directed, Previcox is safe for dogs over seven months old and dogs weighing over 12.5 pounds. It also should not be used in pregnant or nursing dogs or dogs scheduled for breeding.
A non-NSAID pain reliever should be utilized if additional pain relief is necessary after soft-tissue surgery.
How long can you give Previcox to dogs?
Dogs can usually safely receive Previcox for 3 days after orthopedic or soft-tissue surgery.
In dogs with osteoarthritis, Previcox may be administered daily on a long-term basis. Ask your veterinarian about the symptoms of possible liver and kidney damage. Don't discontinue the medication suddenly— call your veterinarian to discuss your dog's progress and ask them for help in adjusting the dose.
Is there an alternative to Previcox for dogs?
Other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can be used to treat surgical pain and osteoarthritis in dogs. Don't give your dog pain medication that's in your medicine cabinet, and don't give them acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Only give your dog NSAIDs specifically formulated for dogs, such as these.4
- Carprofen (Rimadyl)
- Deracoxib (Deramaxx)
- Grapiprant (Galliprant)
- Meloxicam (Metacam)
Joint supplements may also help your dog. While supplements won't prevent arthritis, senior dogs benefit from their use — reducing inflammation and pain, increasing mobility, and reducing cartilage breakdown. Glucosamine and chondroitin are commonly recommended for senior dogs for two reasons — 1) they reduce inflammation, and 2) they increase water retention in the cartilage of the joints.
Is Previcox the same as Rimadyl?
No, Previcox and Rimadyl are not. However, they are both NSAIDs. NSAIDs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that work to relieve pain and inflammation.
- Rimadyl is given once or twice daily to dogs with osteoarthritis to relieve pain and inflammation in the dogs' joints. It is very effective in reducing inflammation that causes pain. It is available in easy-to-use caplets or tasty chewables.
- Previcox is also an NSAID, but it works differently. It works at the source of the pain — it inhibits an enzyme called COX-2 (cyclooxygenase-2) that creates substances that cause joint pain and inflammation.
Previcox for dogs is an FDA-approved non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) that relieves pain within a few hours. It is non-narcotic and recommended for dogs undergoing soft-tissue or orthopedic surgery for the first few days afterward. Previcox also effectively reduces painful joints, stiffness, and swelling for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Previcox is administered once daily and comes in a flavorful, chewable tablet. The dose is calculated according to your dog's weight.
Previcox is safe and effective for most dogs. Common side effects include nausea and vomiting, tiredness and lethargy, and change in appetite. Be sure to call your veterinarian if your dog experiences signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives, seizures, or difficulty breathing.
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"Previcox Chewable Tablets Prescribing Information." Rev. 01-2010. https://www.drugs.com/pro/Previcox-chewable-tablets.html#:~:text=What%20is%20Previcox%3F,and%20orthopedic%20surgery%20in%20dogs
AKC Staff. "Osteoarthritis in Dogs — Signs and Treatment." May 2022. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/osteoarthritis-signs-treatment/
Spinner, Maureen. "Soft Tissue Surgery." https://cvm.msu.edu/hospital/services/soft-tissue-surgery#:~:text=These%20procedures%20are%20usually%20routine,airway%20surgery%20(for%20GOLPP).&text=Patients%20typically%20visit%20the%20Soft,Surgical%20oncology
Shaw, Gina. "Pain Medications for Dogs." January 2023. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/dog-pain-medications