- Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS): Nsaids reduce pain and
inflammation by working on multiple pathways. Examples include Rimadyl,
Metacam, Prevocox and others. This class is similar to us taking Advil or
Aleve. Human medications are NOT to be used in dogs. Although the
canine ones are overall very safe, some dogs can have gastrointestinal or
liver problems with this class of drugs. Initially, I use normal dosing but
often I will try to reduce the dose or eliminate them all together as healing
progresses. If dogs need to be on them long term, doing periodic blood
testing is advised.
- Opiods: Opiods reduce pain in dogs by working on nerve pathways.
Examples include: fentanyl (injections/patches), morphine, buprenex,
tramadol. These are most commonly used close to the time of surgery, the
“perioperative period”. Many of these are controlled substances.
- Gabapentin: The true pathway to my knowledge is not figured out. We
know that it is a very safe medication and helps with modulation of pain
impulses. I have had dogs do outstanding on this medication where they
have lack luster responses on others. It seems to help with wind up pain as
- Amantidine: is a NADA receptor antagonist. It is used in very limited
applications for chronic “wind-up” pain as directed by your veterinarian. It
has a pretty narrow dosing range for safety, so follow instructions for
About the Author Dr. Wes Chapin in his words: I have been caring for dogs with lameness due to partial
or complete rupture of the ACL for over 10 years. I have seen clients decide not to pursue repair and I
have seen the various repairs done. I am not a boarded veterinary surgeon but a veterinarian who
enjoys caring for these dogs and seeing them back to health. This series of posts is to briefly pass on my
experience and opinions on the topic to dog owners needing more information.