A Guide to Deramaxx for Dogs

A Guide to Deramaxx for Dogs: Benefits, Dosage, and More!

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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From reducing short-term post-surgery pain to managing life-long osteoarthritis aches – NSAIDs in dogs have versatile applications. In this article, we will talk about Deramaxx for dogs.  

Deramaxx is a commonly prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, and when used in accordance with the vet’s instructions, it is both safe and efficient for dogs. Plus, the Deramaxx tablets are extremely easy to use due to the added beef flavor. 

If your veterinarian prescribed Deramaxx for your dog, keep reading. We will reveal everything you need to know about Deramaxx for dogs

Can I Give My Dog Deramaxx?

Yes, you can give your dog Deramaxx but only if the vet prescribed the medication. Deramaxx (also known as Deracoxib) is a non-narcotic and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that belongs to the coxib class. 

The mainstream use of Deracoxib is managing pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis dogs as well as managing the same symptoms in the post-surgery patient (usually after orthopedic surgery or dental procedures). 

Once again, Deramaxx requires a veterinarian prescription and is not safe for cats, people, or other household pets. 

What does Deramaxx do for Dogs?

What does Deramaxx do for Dogs

Deracoxib, the active ingredient in Deramaxx, manages pain, aches, fever, and inflammation in dogs by inhibiting the effects of the cyclooxygenase-2 enzymes. 

Namely, there are two types of cyclooxygenase enzymes – Cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). The COX-1 enzyme is necessary for normal body functions such as platelets aggregation, secretion of the gastric protective layer, and adequate renal perfusion. On the other hand, the COX-2 enzyme – supports pain, fever, and inflammation. 

When used in therapeutic doses, Deracoxib selectively blocks the COX-2 enzymes without affecting the COX-1 enzymes. Therefore, Deramaxx is a COX-2 inhibitor class of medications.

Benefits and Uses of Deramaxx for Dogs

benefits and uses of deramaxx for dogs

Get it on Chewy

From what is already mentioned, it is safe to assume that Deramaxx is used for medical problems associated with pain, inflammation, and swelling. But let’s go through the details of the specific Deramaxx therapy indications below. 

Deramaxx for Canine Osteoarthritis. Arthritis in dogs is a common condition, especially among older individuals. A dog with arthritic joints will manifest soreness, reluctance to move (jump, climb stairs), stiffness, and behavior changes due to pain. Deramaxx is not an arthritis cure, but it is FDA approved for managing pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis, thus improving mobility. 

Deramaxx for Orthopedic Surgery in Dogs. Deracoxib is an important part of the postoperative orthopedic pain management plan. For maximum results, most protocols suggest starting the medication before the surgical procedure. Although generally used for orthopedic surgeries, studies show that Deramaxx provides pain relief for dogs undergoing soft tissue surgeries too. 

Deramaxx for Dog Dental Procedures. The control of postoperative pain management is becoming a standard part of surgical patient care. Studies show that “significantly improves analgesia after dental surgery.”

Potential Side Effects and Risks of Deramaxx for Dogs

Like all medications, Deracoxib can trigger side effects and allergic reactions in certain dogs. Such reactions vary among individual dogs. Before we discuss these adverse effects, let’s list the dogs and conditions in which Deramaxx tablets must not be used at all. 

Namely, the use of Deramaxx is prohibited in:

  • Dogs hypersensitive to Deracoxib (allergic reactions will manifest with hives, facial swelling, itchy skin, and in more severe cases – impaired breathing)
  • Dogs receiving medications with established Deracoxibdrug interactions 
  • Dogs with hypersensitivity to sulfonamides
  • Dogs with cardiovascular problems, kidney disease, or liver condition 
  • Dogs with gastrointestinal ulceration 
  • Dogs with severe dehydration and anorexia 
  • Dogs weighing less than 4 lbs (1.8 kg)
  • Puppies younger than four months of age 
  • Breeding, pregnant, and nursing females

The Deramaxx tablets can be used in dogs that are not mentioned on this list. However, that does not mean that they will not cause certain side effects. 

Since the side effects of Deracoxib are common and severe, the veterinarian will perform a full physical examination and take the dog’s thorough history before writing a prescription. Then, the veterinarian will schedule regular checkups for monitoring and early side effect detection. 

For a simpler understanding, we will classify the possible side effects of Deramaxx into four different categories based on target organs. 

Gastrointestinal Side Effects of Deramaxx

The most common side effects of Deramaxx for dogs are related to the gastrointestinal tract. This is because all NSAIDs affect the production of the stomach’s protective lining, leaving it susceptible to gastrointestinal ulceration. Stomach ulcers are progressive, and in the worst-case scenario, an ulcer may evolve into a fatal perforation.  

If your dog is exhibiting some of the following digestive tract side effects, call the vet:

  • Changes in bowel movements (vomiting and/or diarrhea)
  • Abdominal pain and loss of appetite 
  • Hematemesis (presence of blood in the vomit)
  • Hematochezia (bloody stool – black and tarry stools) 
  • Elevated levels of pancreatic enzymes
  • Hypersalivation (excessive drooling)
  • Dehydration 
  • Unexplained weight gain

Hematologic Side Effects of Deramaxx

In some dogs, the use of Deramaxx chewable tablets may lead to hematological issues. Common hematological side effects of Deracoxib include:

  • Anemia (low numbers of red blood cells or iron)
  • Leukocytopenia (low numbers of white blood cells)
  • Leukocytosis (high white blood cell numbers)
  • Thrombocytopenia (decreased number of blood platelets)

These hematological side effects are not particularly common. However, if they develop and are not appropriately treated can become life-threatening. Therefore, the veterinarian will perform frequent blood analysis after prescribing Deramaxx. 

Liver Side Effects of Deramaxx

Prolonged Deramaxx use in dogs is also associated with some liver side effects. Common adverse effects include:

  • Elevated liverenzyme levels 
  • Fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites)
  • Low nitrogen levels in blood and urea
  • Jaundice (yellow gums)

Neurological Side Effects of Deramaxx

The neurological side effects of Deramaxx may vary among breeds, but the good news is they are relatively rare. However, in case such adverse reactions occur, it is critical to immediately call your trusted veterinarian. Possible neurological side effects include: 

  • Balance issues and deficient coordination
  • Lack of proprioception (paw-eye incoordination)
  • Shivering, tremors, and seizures 
  • Head tilting 
  • Involuntary eye movements 
  • Paresis of the back legs
  • Behavioral changes (aggression, apprehension)

Deramaxx Dosage for Dogs

Deramaxx Dosage for Dogs

The Deramaxx dosage depends on the dog’s body weight and the underlying condition. Veterinarians recommend starting with the lowest dose for your dog’s weight and condition to prevent side effects. 

When used for managing osteoarthritis pain, Deramaxx is used in doses of 0.45 to 0.91 mg per lbs (1 to 2 mg per kg) in the form of a single daily dose. 

On the other hand, for the control of postoperative pain, Deramaxx is prescribed in doses of 1.4 to 1.8 mg per lbs (3 to 4 mg per kg). When used in these doses, the administration must not last for more than seven days.  

The bioavailability of Deramaxx is better when used on a full belly which is why it is advisable to give your dog the tablets after meals. Also, ensure sure your dog has plenty of water at all times. 

If you miss a dose, either give it as soon as you remember or skip it completely and then continue with the scheduled dosing. Never double up the Deramaxx amount in an attempt to compensate for the missed dose. 

Finally, we must accent how critical it is to use the Deramaxx tablets in accordance with the vet’s instructions and dosing guidelines. This is because Deramaxx overdoses are possible and manifest with:

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Lethargy and depression
  • Urination changes

If your dog stole Deramaxx tablets or you accidentally gave an excess dosage, call your trusted veterinarian as soon as possible. A Deramaxx overdose can have fatal consequences. 

Deramaxx for Dogs Usage Guidelines

The Deramaxx chewable tablets are available in several potencies, including 12 mg, 25 mg, 75 mg, and 100 mg tablets (the 25 mg formulation is most popular as it is the equivalent of what a mid-sized dog needs). The tablets are conveniently scored, and the manufacturer recommends calculating the dosages in half-tablet increments.

With Deramaxx, it is advisable to administer the lowest effective dose. Before assuming the tablet is not working, keep in mind Deracoxib needs between 1 and 2 hours to achieve effects. 

In case of switching your dog from one non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to Deramaxx or the other way around, a washout time as drug compatibility issues are possible.   

Deracoxib can interact with many medications. Therefore, it is important to notify your vet about everything your dog is using, including dietary supplements and herbal remedies. Here are some common medications with known Deramaxx drug interactions. 

  • Other anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin and NSAIDs
  • Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (corticosteroids and prednisone)
  • Diuretics (furosemide)

As mentioned, Deramaxx overdoses are possible, which is why you need to be mindful about storage. Keep the tablets out of your dog’s reach in a dark and room temperature place. 

Alternatives to Deramaxx for Dogs

Deramaxx is excellent for managing painful conditions. However, as we already explained, in some dogs, it is likely to cause adverse reactions. In such cases, the vet will recommend a suitable alternative for alleviating your dog’s pain, inflammation, and swelling. 

Here are some other medications worth discussing when targeting osteoarthritis pain. 

Other NSAIDs for Dogs. There are various non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for dogs, such as Carprofen (Rimadyl), Firocoxib (Previcox), Meloxicam (Metacam), Onsior (Robenacoxib), and Lodine (Etodolac). You should talk to your vet about which makes the ideal fit for your dog. We should note that you should never give your dog a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug formulated for humans. 

Galliprant for Dogs. Galliprant (Grapiprant) is a non-cyclooxygenase (COX)-inhibiting type of NSAID specifically developed for dogs with osteoarthritis. It is considered to be a novel non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug meaning it comes with fewer and lesser side effects than traditional NSAIDs. The Galliprant tablets are scored for easy dosing and feature a dog-friendly pork liver flavor. 

Opioids for Dogs. Dogs that do not respond to standard pain medications are good candidates for opioids. The most commonly used oral opioid is Tramadol which works by binding with the opioid receptors in the brain, thus altering pain perception. Instead of prescribing Tramadol off-label, the vet may recommend a veterinary-approved opioid formula like butorphanol or buprenorphine. 

Gabapentin for Dogs. Gabapentin is a GABA analog, and it works by quieting the nervous system. Therefore, instead of being used alone, it is combined with other medications. When used in conjunction with NSAIDs and opioids, Gabapentin boosts their efficacy and allows using lower doses for achieving the same results. This medication is excellent for managing postoperative and osteoarthritis pain. 

If you do not like treating your dog’s pain with traditional medications or you are worried about the possible side effects, you should try a more natural solution. Here are some holistic options if your arthritic dog is showing signs of pain.  

CBD Oil for Dogs. CBD oil is the supplement of choice when looking for a natural pain reliever. The cannabinoids in CBD oil help with pain and inflammation while simultaneously boosting the immune system and supporting overall health. For osteoarthritis pain, we recommend the Honest Paws Mobility Collection of CBD products, and for the control of postoperative pain, the Relief Collection from the same brand.  

Honest Paws Mobility CBD Oil for Dogs
  • Full Spectrum CBD Oil 
  • Third-Party Tested 
  • Formulated to Relieve Joint Pain and Inflammation

Joint Supplements for Dogs. The pet market for joint supplements is rich and offers dozens of different products with one or more active ingredients. Efficient and commonly recommended joint supplements are chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine HCL, hyaluronic acid, MSM, and Green Lipped Mussels. These active ingredients support cartilage and joint health differently, which is why it is best to use them combined.  We recommend Honest Paws Green Lipped Mussel Joint Powder which contains high quality joint-friendly ingredients like Boswellia Serrata and  Powder, Glucosamine HCL, Hyaluronic Acid, and of course Green Lipped Mussels. 

Organic Turmeric for Dogs. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory features. You can use supplements formulated for dogs or simply add organic turmeric to your dog’s food. The recommended dose of turmeric for dogs is between 1/8 tsp – 1/4 tsp per 10 lbs of body weight. The CBD products from the mentioned Honest Paws Mobility Collection feature added organic turmeric. 

Our Final Thoughts on Deramaxx for Dogs

giving your dog deramaxx

While not a definitive cure, Deramaxx for dogs can provide relief for arthritic joints and improve mobility. It can also ensure a pain-free postoperative recovery. However, like all NSAIDs, Deracoxib is not a side-effects-free medication. 

Therefore, before prescribing your dog with Deracoxib, the veterinarian will carefully review the pros and the cons of the Deramaxx therapy. As you can see, the vet’s role in the use of NSAIDs is vital, and the info provided in this article is purely educational.