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Dr. Brian
Dr. Brian, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  34 years in private practice, 2008 WA State Vet of the Year
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Can someone please explain exactly why (it is OK to get down

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Can someone please explain exactly why (it is OK to get down to the nitty gritty pharmacological, chemical structure, etc. details) I should not give my dog ibuprofen instead of the outrageously expensive Carprofen for a joint problem? I know enough about chemistry that I was able to obtain information from the NIH sebsite regarding both medications and, other than getting help figuring out the dosage (which appears to be about 1mg/pound), I cannot see the difference. Please help. Thanks. Bonnie XXX-XXX-XXXX [email protected]
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Brian replied 7 years ago.
<p>Hi,</p><p> </p><p>The reason ibuprofen is not recommended in dogs has several components. First, and foremost is that the difference between an effective dose, and a toxic dose is very small. Given on an ongoing basis, even doses smaller than the toxic one time toxic dose can become toxic as the drug levels build in the body. As a result, if the dosing is not precise to the weight of the animal, if other drugs compete with the binding, or if the animal develops enough organ damage to reduce the elimination of the drug from the body, then the risk is that an unforseen rise in the levels of the drug in the body will occur. The resulting risk of stomach ulcers, liver or kidney disease leading to possible death becomes too great. Were this a person that could tell immediately if there was stomach distress or was not feeling well, we would have more immediate intervention if there is beginning toxicity. In pets, we either rely on bloodwork every 6 months, or owner observation, neither of which is sensitive enough to pick up problems before significant damage has occurred. Second, there are not approved dosages for this drug, so legally we are hung out for malpractice claims if we were to recommend them. Finally, we can't recommend a drug that is significantly more dangerous when there are effective and safer alternatives cleared for animal use readily available just because a human product is cheaper.   </p><p>Here are links on ibuprofen for further reading.</p><p><a href=""></a></p><p><a href=""></a></p><p> </p>
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I am just a little frustrated with pet medicine as I was provided Vetprofen as the generic for Carprofen only to find out they are absolutely identical medicines - I feel like I am being misled in order to pay a higher cost (both are very expensive) for a drug that is over 95% identical to ibuprofen. I was giving my dog Nutri-Vet K-9 aspirin (OTC - 300mg/once per day as per the dosage instruction on bottle for her size) inbetween the Metacam (which did not seam to be working) and Vetprofen but it did not seem to be enough so I finally took her to the vet last week only to find out from the vet that the aspirin dosage was not nearly enough and he does not recommend aspirin. Doesn't Carprofen and Vetprofen build up in the body the same as ibuprofen would and is/why the toxicity window greater for these drugs? I have read on the NIH site that Carprofen used to be prescribed for humans not that long ago but ibuprofen came on the market marketed as a better/safer drug. What made it so much better? Can't seem to find any information that Carprofen was made any better/safer and of everything I have reviewed the side effects for both pet and human NSAID's have identical side effects. I have not yet reviewed the links you provided and will do so but I would like to see documentation written by a MD instead of a Vet so if you have any resources for that (if not already in one of your links) I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks again for your help.
Expert:  Dr. Brian replied 7 years ago.
<p>Carprofen is generally considered safe in up to 10 times recommended dosage. It was pulled from the human market 10+ years ago for marketing reasons as they wanted to market it as a once daily product for humans and the FDA said it was a twice daily product which removed it from the niche they were targeting. The safety studies in dogs led to it being marketed for dogs due to the safety studies. I doubt at this point there is documentation written by an MD, though I did run into DDS articles noting it was effective in pain control after tooth extraction and superior to aspirin in pain control, since it was a marketing issue and not a safety issue in people. The following articles were found by searching "carprofen safety ibuprofen " and many others exist. Best I can do for you, but the botXXXXX XXXXXne is at doses that do not provide pain relief, the ASPCA has documented ibuprofen toxicity- it is just not safe enough for us to recommend.</p><p> </p><p><a href=""></a></p><p> </p><p><a href=""></a></p><p></p>
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