If your dog is suffering from arthritis, you want to ease his aches and help get him moving. Your veterinarian may recommend either Rimadyl or Deramaxx for your pet. Both are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also used to relieve postoperative pain. Both are available only by prescription. Neither drug should be given to cats.
Rimadyl and Deramaxx
Rimadyl is a trade name for carprofen, while Deramaxx is the trade name for deracoxib. Both are cyclo-oxygenase 2, or Cox-2 selective NSAIDs, meaning they do not affect cyclo-oxygenase 1, an enzyme that helps maintain normal body functions. Cox-2 is inflammation producing. These drugs can tell the difference between both enzymes and act on them accordingly. The difference is a medication that doesn't cause the scope of intestinal side effects found in anti-inflammatories that can't differentiate between the two.
Side Effects and Contraindications
Most of the side effects and contraindications for these drugs are similar. Serious, even life-threatening side effects are rare, but do occur. These include stomach ulcers, renal failure and clotting disorders.
More common and less severe side effects include vomiting and diarrhea, appetite loss, increased drinking and urination, tarry stools, jaundice. restlessness and differences in behavior. Call your veterinarian if your dog experiences any side effects while on either of these drugs.
Do not give either drug to pregnant or nursing dogs, or puppies younger than 6 weeks. Animals with blood disorders, kidney or liver disease should not receive these drugs. If your dog is prescribed either Rimadyl or Deramaxx, do not give him any other types of NSAIDs or corticosteroids.
Since the medications have so much in common, both positive and negative, the choice for you and your vet may come down to dosages. With any medication, it's always wise to use the lowest effective dose to achieve the desired result. For Rimadyl, the recommended daily dose is 2 milligrams per pound of the dog's body weight. The amount can be given once a day or split into two equal doses and given twice daily. The daily dose of Deramaxx is considerably less, at 0.45 to 0.91 milligrams per pound of the animal's body weight daily. Deramaxx is given just once a day, preferably with food.