With how much we love our dogs, it’s no surprise that we want to give them the best care possible. That includes taking care of their health with the right medications. The New York Times reports that canine influenza or dog flu cases have started popping up again this year. Last year there were 1,300 reported cases in Los Angeles, California.
The treatment for influenza among dogs follows the same basic principle as it does for humans. There is no anti-viral drug that directly cures it. The treatment is much more supportive in nature. The vets try to keep the immune system of the infected dog as strong as possible by preventing any secondary complications and suppressing the symptoms so that the dog can cure itself in time.
In this article, we will discuss some medications that dogs need for the most common health problems they face. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of your dog’s health needs and won’t have to go through a frantic search for pet meds in California if what happened last year happens again.
Heartworm prevention medicine is a monthly pill that prevents the heartworm parasite from developing. Heartworm disease is a serious condition that can be fatal if left unchecked. These parasites usually reside in the dog’s heart or blood vessels and cause damage to different organs. Heartworm medication kills their larvae before they hatch and becomes a problem.
Heartworm medications are safe and effective for dogs as long as you follow the instructions on how often your dog should take them.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a class of medications that can be used to relieve pain and inflammation. These types of drugs include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium, among others.
NSAIDs are used for a variety of reasons. They can be used to help a dog through post-surgical pain, osteoarthritis, and any other inflammation-related problems.
However, you should be aware of the side effects of NSAIDs. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine notes that common side effects may include a change in appetite and bowel movement, vomiting, and itchiness or redness in the skin.
Antibiotics are a type of medication that comes in the form of pills, injections, or ointments. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections and can be prescribed by your veterinarian or purchased over the counter without a prescription.
You should only use antibiotics for dogs if your vet has diagnosed them with an infection, such as kennel cough or pneumonia. Antibiotics may not be effective against non-infectious diseases like heartworms since they don’t target the underlying cause of the disease.
Veterinarians.org reports that amoxicillin, which is a broad-spectrum antibiotic used for dogs, is generally prescribed following the formula of 5 mg for every pound of body weight.
However, only the vet has the final say in this regard. The article also notes that overdosing on antibiotics is possible, and if any signs such as muscle spasms, agitation, confusion, or pain are spotted, you should contact your vet immediately.
Allergy medicine is any medication that’s used to treat a dog’s allergies. There are many different types of allergy medicines for dogs, but most of them work to reduce symptoms by suppressing the immune system or reducing inflammation in your pet’s body.
Allergy medications are a great option for treating your dog if they have seasonal allergies or chronic conditions like itchy skin or ear infections. However, you should consult with your veterinarian before giving any type of medication to your furry friend, even if it’s considered “natural” or “herbal-based.”
If you think your dog may have an allergic reaction, start by consulting with their doctor. The sooner you address these issues before they become chronic problems, the better off everyone will be in the long run.
Flea and Tick Prevention Medicine
Flea and tick prevention medicine is a type of medication that keeps fleas and ticks off your dog. It’s also known as “topical” or “spot-on” medication because it’s applied directly to the skin.
This medicine kills fleas on contact, so they won’t have time to lay eggs or bite your pet. It also prevents new fleas from biting your dog for up to 30 days after application in most cases.
Fleas and ticks can be very problematic for your dog. PetMD notes that these “ectoparasites” thrive in mild to moderate temperatures. Even during the warmer days of the winter months, they can get on your pet and reproduce. Therefore you need to look out for them when it is nice out.
As we’ve seen, there are a wide variety of different types of medications that you can use on your dog. Some are more common than others, and some have specific uses. It’s important that before you decide on which type of medicine is best for your pet, you understand what they do, how they work, and any potential side effects they may have so that your dog stays healthy throughout its lifetime.