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Carprofen dosage for dogs
How to treat a dog with carprofen
Dosage in the dog.
It is a common practice to administer carprofen to dogs by oral gavage. However, dosage by oral gavage must be based upon the weight of the dog.
Carprofen is administered as a powder mixed with a suitable vehicle. The most commonly used vehicle is a commercial formulation of water-soluble sugar solution, although saline is also used. The vehicle is prepared by diluting the drug powder with a vehicle and then administering the mixture to the dog. A wide range of concentrations of carprofen is available in the market. There is no single recommended concentration for carprofen for dogs. The manufacturer’s information is the starting point in the determination of the recommended dose for any given dog. The dog’s size, body weight, age, sex, general condition, the nature and duration of the clinical signs, the route of administration, and other factors such as food and environmental allergies, etc., must be considered.
Carprofen is indicated as an analgesic to control pain, especially following procedures. However, carprofen may be indicated for short-term treatment of minor to moderate pain, for example in the perioperative period (i.e. surgery) for a period of 1 to 2 hours.
Anecdotally, dogs treated with oral carprofen for up to 30 days are reported to have an excellent therapeutic response to pain. However, the evidence for any significant benefit of carprofen treatment for the prevention of postoperative pain and pain caused by physical trauma is limited and not strong. A recent randomized controlled clinical trial of dogs showed no beneficial effect for carprofen premedication on postoperative pain, either immediately after surgery or 3 days later.
There is a risk that the presence of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NS D) in a dog’s blood may increase the risk of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. Dogs treated with carprofen are at increased risk of GI bleeding when compared with dogs treated with other NS Ds or none. Although the risk of GI bleeding is low in dogs with a normal preoperative PCV, it increases in dogs with a low preoperative PCV. A preoperative PCV of 20% or less is the threshold for increasing the risk of GI bleeding and requires attention.
The risk of GI bleeding is especially high if carprofen is given immediately before surgery, or if a dog has previously received a drug (e.g. phenylbutazone or flunixin meglumine) that lowers the blood PCV.
An NS D is a potent inhibitor of platelet aggregation and, if used in the preoperative period, should be administered the day before surgery.
A dog that has had a major abdominal surgery and was treated with carprofen the day before surgery is at greater risk of GI bleeding than one treated with carprofen the day before or one that had a minor abdominal surgery and was not treated.
The dose of carprofen in the dog depends on its weight, the route of administration, and the concentration of carprofen in the vehicle. For most dogs weighing between 4 and 20 kg, the recommended dose of carprofen for oral gavage is 4 mg/kg once or twice daily. For dogs weighing less than 4 kg, a dose of 1.2 mg/kg is recommended.
For most dogs the drug may be administered at any time of day, except for the following times:
1) A dog is to receive a short-term dose of carprofen for a period of 1 to 2 hours immediately before a minor or major surgical procedure, for example before castration, castration, ovariohysterectomy (OHE), castration, ovariectomy, or caesarean section, or to prevent signs of pain, such as guarding or licking the surgical site. The dose is repeated once daily for up to 4 days, or until the dog returns to normal activity.
2) A dog is to receive a short-term dose of carprofen, to prevent pain or reduce pain, if the dog is to undergo castration, OHE, or a major abdominal surgery for a period of 4 to 6 hours, or if the dog is to undergo an exploratory laparotomy, for example to diagnose a suspected appendicitis or peritonitis. The dose is repeated once daily for up to 4 days, or until the dog returns to normal activity.
4) A dog is to receive a short-term dose of carprofen to prevent pain associated with a minor, or a major, abdominal surgical procedure. The dose is repeated once daily for up to 3 days, or until the dog returns to normal activity.
5) A dog is to receive a short-term dose of carprofen to prevent pain associated with a minor, or a major, abdominal surgical procedure. The dose is repeated once daily for up to 3 days, or until the dog returns to normal activity.
For some dogs, an overdose of carprofen may occur and result in toxic effects. Overdoses of carprofen may occur in dogs who are hypersensitive to the drug, for example dogs with a previous history of adverse drug reactions to other NS Ds.
Overdose can also occur in dogs receiving the carprofen for an extended period, usually because they receive an excessive dose. Dose escalation in dogs that are given carprofen once daily for up to 7 days is not unusual and this may lead to an overdose.
Clinical effects and clinical toxicity
Dogs are often reluctant to take carprofen, even when the drug is given by oral gavage. The reason is the unpleasant taste of carprofen and the associated unpleasant taste of its vehicle. In addition, carprofen is a white crystalline powder and, when mixed with a liquid vehicle, produces a suspension which has an unpleasant, bitter taste and is often too viscous to be well-liked.
Dogs are generally reluctant to take carprofen when mixed with the vehicle and may therefore only be