Dear Daisy Dog
My dog has intervertebral disc disease and needs an anti-inflammatory. For the first few weeks, my veterinarian prescribed an affordable medication, but now the vet wants my dog to take an expensive anti-inflammatory. Is there something more affordable I can give him?
When a dog develops intervertebral disc disease, most veterinarians initiate therapy using a steroid anti-inflammatory, such as prednisone or prednisolone. These drugs are powerful and inexpensive, but they’re generally not used long-term because of side effects.
If the dog needs medication after the steroid is discontinued, veterinarians often prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as Deramaxx, Metacam, Previcox or Rimadyl.
These medications not only reduce inflammation, but they relieve pain and can be given for years. Unfortunately, most are pricier than steroids.
However, some NSAIDs are available as less-expensive generics. Rimadyl’s generic name is carprofen. Metacam is available generically as meloxicam, but the dosage is appropriate only for very large dogs.
Piroxicam, a human NSAID, is sometimes prescribed for large dogs, although it’s much harder on our stomachs than the veterinary NSAIDs.
My advice is to talk with your veterinarian. I’m sure you can work together to find a product that will be effective and safe for your dog, and reasonably gentle on your pocketbook.