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Dog Medication Side Effects You Need to be Aware of

Helpful or harmful? Some dog medications can have serious side effects! While medications are necessary from time to time, dog owners need to make an informed choice when it comes to giving certain dog medications. Let’s take a look at the possible dog medication side effects so that you can make an informed decision.

Dog Medication Side Effects You Need to be Aware of


Prednisone, Prednisolone, and Dexamethazone: These are corticosteroid steroid hormones that are given to dogs. These steroids mimic the effects of natural cortisol, produced by the adrenal glands. They are generally prescribed by a vet in cases such as:

  • Itchy dogs: Prednisone and Dexamethasone may be used to treat excessive itching in dogs.
  • Asthma and Allergy: These meds are said to alleviate the symptoms.
  • Controlling rejections: During or after organ transplants or other dog surgery, Prednisone and Dexamethasone may be prescribed.
  • Dog Arthritis: Prednisone is a popular medicine used for the treatment of pain associated with dog arthritis.

The side effects of the above dog medicine may include abnormal thirst and urination levels in the dog, increased blood sugar, a compromised immune system which may possibly lead to increased infections and kidney disorders.

Prolonged use of the above meds may have more deleterious side effects such as ulcers, pain and inflammation in the pancreas, diabetes, mood swings, degeneration of the muscles and thinning of the skin. Used continually for more than a week it may result in the permanently impaired functioning of the adrenal glands.

Pain Killers

Aspirin: Aspirin can cause gastrointestinal upsets and ulcers with continual use, the same as in humans. It can cause renal failure if overdosed. Other, less serious side effects can include diarrhea, tiredness, depression, appetite loss, and vomiting. Dosage depends on the size of the dog but 1 aspirin tablet per 32 pounds of dog body weight, twice a day can safely be given, although not for extended periods of time.

Ibuprofen: Sometimes given to dogs (ONLY UNDER VET SUPERVISION, as it can be toxic to dogs), is a human pain medicine. Side effects can cause renal failure, blood in the stool, dehydration, stomach pain, vomiting, weakness and/or renal failure.

NSAID Meds for Dog Arthritis

A popular NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) prescription medicine for the treatment of dog arthritis is Rymadil. Other NSAID dog meds include Metacam and EtoGesic.

NSAIDs can cause stomach irritation as well as kidney and/or liver problems. Always keep the vet informed of any kidney or liver problems the dog may have or may have had in the past.

Antihistamine Remedies for Dogs

Chlorpheniramine, Clemastine, and Hydroxyzine are antihistamines for dogs that come in tablet form. Used to treat dogs with allergies, food products or fleas, side effects include drowsiness, tiredness, lethargy or diarrhea.

Hydroxyzine may cause nausea or seizures in dogs.

If any illness, allergy or skin condition manifests itself, the dog should be taken to a qualified veterinarian for a full evaluation before ANY medication is administered.

Dog Diarrhea Causes and When is it an Emergency - Miss Molly Says

Friday 3rd of July 2020

[…] digestive system and therefore, should be cause for concern, although it should also be noted that certain medications, like pepto bismol, can cause black stools for a day or […]

Rebecca Lunsfor

Saturday 24th of November 2018

This was helpful. Thanks!

rochelle haynes

Monday 19th of November 2018

Thanks for the info

Angela Saver

Sunday 18th of November 2018

Thanks again for the great information so we can give the best care to our fur babies!

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