Top 3 Medications for Common Health Issues

by Chelsea Rivera

Our four-legged friends trust in us when it comes to making the right decisions for their overall happiness and wellbeing. Therefore, it is imperative that pet owners do all they can to understand the pros and cons of any prescribed medication prior to administering it. It can be a lot of pressure, knowing that it's up to you to do what's best for Fido, but this knowledge, as well as recognizing that you have alternative options, can make a world of difference for our furry companion. 

Pain Management: Carprofen for Dogs 
One of the most heart-wrenching realities for pet parents is recognizing that their dog is suffering. Dogs experience pain for a slew of reasons. From arthritis and associated joint pain to post-surgical distress, there are a number of reasons why your veterinarian may prescribe Carprofen for dogs. 

Carprofen is a non-narcotic NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) that veterinarians often prescribe to manage arthritic pain as well as post-surgical distress. 

While Carprofen may help manage pain in many dogs, some dogs may experience severe adverse reactions. Sadly, there are so many potential side effects of Carprofen that they are able to be placed into subcategories, including: 
• Gastrointestinal side effects
• Immunologic side effects
• Dermatologic side effects
• Urinary side effects
• Behavioral side effects
• Neurological side effects
• Hematologic side effects
• Hepatic side effects

The side effects can range from mild vomiting to severe liver failure. It is imperative that dog owners discuss these potential adverse reactions with the veterinarian prior to administering the medication. 

Allergy Relief: Apoquel for Dogs
Unfortunately for our dogs, allergies can be a real issue and cause a significant amount of discomfort. Constant itching. Skin irritation. Nonstop sneezing. Allergies are no fun for anyone. For dogs suffering from environmental allergies, many vets prescribe a drug called Apoquel. 
Like all conventional drugs, Apoquel has a slew of side effects that pet parents must understand before agreeing to administer the drug. Furthermore, due to Apoquel's immune-suppressing properties, the severity of the following adverse reactions can be even more severe than the typical medication. 

Potential side effects of Apoquel include: 
• Vomiting 
• Diarrhea
• Presence of blood in vomit
• Presence of blood in diarrhea
• Loss of appetite
• Lethargy
• Development of severe infections 
• Increased number of UTIs
• Development of skin infections and ear infections
• New cutaneous lumps and subcutaneous lumps
• Reduced leukocytes and globulins
• Increased lipase 
• Higher cholesterol levels
• Development of polydipsia
• Higher risk of pneumonia 
• Increased aggression and behavioral issues

It's troubling to consider that while your dog may suffer less from environmental allergies, they have the potential of experiencing any of the aforementioned side effects of the medication that is meant to help them.

Anti-Seizure Medication: Phenobarbital for Dogs 
Finally, studies show that one in five dogs suffers from seizures. That means that upwards of 20% of all pet parents will have to face the harsh realities that are often associated with conventional anti-seizure medications. One of the most commonly prescribed anti-convulsant drugs is called Phenobarbital. 

Veterinarians often prescribe Phenobarbital to treat epilepsy and other seizure disorders. However, as you may have guessed, Phenobarbital also has a number of worrisome side effects that pet owners should be aware of. 

Side effects of Phenobarbital include: 
• Increased thirst and hunger
• Severe weight loss
• Weight gain
• Changes in urine and/or stool
• Behavioral changes (such as depression and anxiety) 
• Ataxia (loss of coordination)
• Lethargy
• Hyperexcitability 
• Jaundice 
• Vomiting 

Furthermore, it is important for dog owners to understand that once Phenobarbital is started, it cannot be stopped. If the medication is suddenly stopped, severe, life-threatening seizure activity can occur. 

Finally, studies have found that some dogs are resistant to anti-seizure medication. Therefore, pet owners may be inadvertently subjecting to Fido to the aforementioned side effects and yet, their dog's seizure disorder does not improve. It's a pretty scary reality when you think about it. 
An All-Natural Alternative

After recognizing the horrific, often irreversible potential adverse reactions associated with conventional medications, it's no wonder why so many pet parents are actively searching for alternative ways to treat their dog's health conditions. Luckily, all-natural alternatives do exist and may be more accessible than you think. 

CBD Oil for Dogs
One of the leading advancements in holistic health and wellness is none other than CBD oil. Derived from the hemp plant, the incredible herb is changing the way that dog owners treat, manage, and prevent their pet's ailments. 

Pain Management 
In terms of managing pain, CBD oil has proven to be so effective that experts are considering it to be a new drug class for the treatment of chronic pain. 

Allergy Relief 
CBD is also incredibly effective at alleviating and preventing allergies in dogs. Many dogs show signs of allergies in different ways than people. For instance, skin issues and cracked paw pads are two telltale signs of allergies in dogs that many may overlook unless they understand the symptoms. CBD's natural anti-inflammatory properties work to relieve allergies before they have a chance to really affect Fido's day to day life. 

CBD for Seizure Disorders
Finally, one of the most recently talked about uses of CBD is for lessening the severity and frequency of seizures in those suffering from epilepsy. Remarkably, CBD proves to be not only safe, but incredibly effective. In fact, CBD has shown to work in cases where conventional medications couldn't. 

The Bottom Line? 
You have a choice. The greatest gift that we can give our fur babies is a full understanding of how to best treat them. It can truly make all the difference in the world.

About Chelsea Rivera
Chelsea Rivera is a pet wellness blogger based in Los Angeles, CA. She is the Head of Content at Honest Paws, a company that offers dog owners a wide variety of CBD oil and CBD pet treats! Regardless of your pet's ailment or size, Honest Paws offers a CBD-based remedy. Besides working for Honest Paws, Chelsea spends her days getting bossed around by her 5 lb. Maltipoo, Baby Rose, and trying to catch up on emails. Follow Honest Paws on Facebook or Instagram @honestpawscbd.

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