Deramaxx: Side Effects & Precautions

By Chelsea Hunt-Rivera / November 6, 2018

If you have a headache, you can take an Ibuprofen from your local convenience store. When you have surgery, the doctor often prescribes a common pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medication to help with the recovery process. Treating pain and inflammation in dogs is a little trickier. Many of the over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs pet owners would take could actually be extremely dangerous for dogs.

For dogs suffering from post-operative pain or dogs that have a chronic condition that causes inflammation, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) provide relief.  Vets prescribe different NSAIDs depending on the condition and specific issue. Deramaxx is one of the more popular NSAIDs for long-term pain relief and post-surgical recovery. Deramaxx medication helps dogs recover after orthopedic surgery, dental surgery, and treats chronic conditions like osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia. However, there are many Deramaxx side effects and precautions pet owners need to be aware of before giving this medication to their dog.


What is Deramaxx for Dogs?

Dog Deramaxx is a common NSAID with the active ingredient Deracoxib. Deramaxx for dogs is a veterinarian prescribed medication used typically after surgery to treat pain and inflammation. It is also used for chronic conditions like osteoarthritis in dogs. You can also use it if your dog is sick and has a fever. Lastly, it is prescribed for everyday use to treat pain and help reduce inflammation to increase mobility. It is similar to over-the-counter Ibuprofen for humans. Unfortunately, it has many more side effects and precautions.

How Does Deramaxx for Dogs Work?

Deramaxx has been around since 2002. Deramaxx belongs to a category of medications known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). It contains Deracoxib which blocks to the COX-2 enzymes, chemicals that promote inflammation, fever, and pain. For the most part, the drug metabolizes in the liver. This means that dogs with liver problems should proceed with caution. Lastly, veterinarians are studying Deramaxx’s effectiveness for treating other diseases like bladder cancer in Scottish Terriers.

Deramaxx is often prescribed after dental or orthopedic surgery. It works best to treat inflammation in these areas which reduces pain. Dogs with chronic conditions like osteoarthritis can benefit from Deramaxx as it has pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. However, keep in mind that Deramaxx does not cure or treat the damage caused by a disease or a condition. It can, however, improve the quality of life.

Osteoarthritis causes deterioration of cartilage in the spinal cord, leading to pain and inflammation. It is more common in older dogs and is similar to hip dysplasia. Deramaxx can help reduce the swelling, which can allow these older dogs to move around with less pain and provide a higher quality of life!

deramaxx for dogs

Deramaxx Dosage

You can buy Deramaxx medication online through sites like the California Pet Pharmacy.  In order to get the correct dosing, you should talk to your veterinarian. As far as pricing goes, Deramaxx can vary. It is often cheaper online versus purchasing through your local vet. Also, keep in mind that dog prescriptions have a non-transferable license, so you must get a separate prescription for each pet.

Deramaxx comes in 12mg, 25mg, 75mg, and 100mg. Your pup’s dosage will depend on their condition and weight. Typically, a Deramaxx dosage is 0.45mg-0.91/mg per pound for the weight of the dog.  The severity and specific condition needing treatment can change the dosing amount.

While Deramaxx has the potential to help your dog, it’s not without its faults. Deramaxx includes many potential side effects and can be extremely dangerous if your dog has overdosed. Your vet should oversee the dosage and give your dog physical examinations to monitor the impact of the drug. It’s important to have a veterinarian involved as dogs can have different allergic reactions to Deramaxx. Additionally, it could make pre-existing conditions worse and even life-threatening.

Deramaxx for Dogs Precautions

Dogs who suffer from liver and kidney conditions should avoid Deramaxx without consulting their veterinarian first. Deramaxx primarily metabolizes in the liver, and then through the kidneys. Before using Deramaxx, your veterinarian should evaluate the health of your dog’s liver and kidney functions. Additional pre-screenings are important to ensure your dog is healthy enough to take Deramaxx. Once your dog is on Deramaxx, your veterinarian will monitor your pup by performing blood work and urinalysis.  This way, the vet can make sure the major organs are functioning correctly and not being overly stressed by Deramaxx.

As mentioned above, Deramaxx could be additional stress on the kidneys and liver. As a result, dogs with pre-existing conditions may become worse. That is why dogs that are sensitive or have adverse reactions to NSAIDs should not use Deramaxx. Researchers have not proven Deramaxx to be safe for pregnant or nursing dogs, so it is not recommended. Additionally, dogs under 4 pounds or 4 months old should not use Deramaxx. Lastly, dogs suffering from conditions such as cardiac disease, hyperproteinemia, renal disease, hepatic disorders, dehydration, and gastric ulcers are not good candidates for Deramaxx either. Deramaxx can interact with other drugs, so if your pet is on other medications talk with your veterinarian first.

deramaxx is not approved for pregnant dogs

Deramaxx Side Effects

Brace yourself. Deramaxx has quite a few side effects, which can be scary for dog owners. No one wants to see their dog in pain. It’s even worse if the medication meant to help them causes terrible side effects. The amount of potential side effects in Deramaxx has owners exploring alternative natural solutions to pain management. These natural remedies do not have any of the uncomfortable or even dangerous and life-threatening side effects.

Medications affect dogs differently, depending on their individual health conditions and metabolisms. A dog can have one of these symptoms or have quite a few. Deramaxx can affect dogs in many different ways, so we’ve categorized the various side effects based on the type of side effects.

Common Side Effects

The most common side effects of Deramaxx is the loss of appetite.  This can lead to weight loss if your dog is not interested in food and refuses to eat or drink. Deramaxx can cause upset stomachs, so dogs may not want to eat while taking the drug. It can also create behavioral modifications like depression and lethargy. A dog who once loved to play fetch or go for walks will not have the energy to get out of bed. Deramaxx can also make your dog feel sick with fever and weakness.

Gastrointestinal Side Effectsderamaxx causes diarrhea

Deramaxx can cause stomach upset when the drug doesn’t pass through properly and irritates the stomach lining. Signs of the stomach upset can be mild with vomiting, diarrhea, and overproduction of saliva, but can get dangerous. Deramaxx can cause bloody vomit in diarrhea (bright red or black tarry stool). It can also cause inflammation and stomach ulcer.  Dogs are at risk for gastrointestinal perforation, which is when a hole develops in the stomach, bowl, or intestines. Side effects such as elevated enzyme levels, protein, or globulin, are only detected through bloodwork. These hard to detect issues are problematic when taking Deramaxx.

Hematologic Side Effects

Regular blood work is essential for dogs taking Deramaxx, as the side effects can cause conditions in the blood that can become quite serious. Anemia, thrombocytopenia (low blood platelets), leukocytosis (too many white blood cells), and leukocytopenia (not enough white blood cells).

Hepatic Side Effects

Because Deramaxx primarily metabolizes in the liver, it can damage this vital organ. It can cause jaundice, elevated liver enzymes, ascites (build-up of fluid in the peritoneal cavity, and decreased blood urea nitrogen).

deramaxx causes head tilting in dogsNeurological Side Effects

Deramaxx can also have scary side effects that target a dog’s nervous system. Dogs may experience mobility issues like stumbling, falling, inability to use paws normally, involuntary eye movement, weakness of legs, trembling, and loss of balance. Potentially life-threatening conditions include collapse and seizures.

Behavioral Side Effects

Deramaxx can cause your dog to act unlike their usual selves. Dogs taking Deramaxx can become nervous, aggressive, hyperactive, and more apprehensive than normal.  If your dog is acting differently, your vet needs to be notified.  It’s important to determine if the behavioral differences are due to the medication.

increased thirst

Urological Side Effects

One of the main concerns of the effects of Deramaxx on the kidneys is a reduction in blood flow. Kidneys are essential as they filter out toxins and urination. Deramaxx side effects related to this organ include excessive thirst, frequent urination, inability to urinate, urinary tract infection, and even kidney failure. The urine will be imbalanced, contain blood, and there will be too much phosphate in your dog’s blood.

Dermatologic Side Effects

Dogs who are allergic or have negative side effects from Deramaxx can develop skin issues. Dogs may get itchy, have rashes, lesions, inflammation of the head, blisters, and painful sores on the skin.

Respiratory Side Effects

Deramaxx can cause breathing difficulties including coughing, panting, and bleeding of the nose.  These issues can become dangerous and require veterinarian treatment.

Cardiovascular Side Effects

Deramaxx may affect major organs of the body including the heart. Dogs may have rapid heart rates or slowed heart rates, heart murmurs, and damage to the heart with loss of proper functioning.

Sensory Side Effects

Deramaxx also can affect your dog’s eyes. Eye-related symptoms include glazed eyes, blindness, pupil dilation, pink eye, dry eye, and inflammation of the middle layer of the eye. It can also negatively affect balance. Needless to say, these side effects can be very uncomfortable for dogs.

Deramaxx Overdose: Know The Signs

It is possible to overdose your dog on Deramaxx, so proper dosing from your veterinarian is vital. A Deramaxx overdose can be fatal. A vet will pump your dog’s stomach, induce vomiting, or use activated charcoal.

Signs that your dog has overdosed on Deramaxx include:

  • vomiting (especially bloody vomit)
  • diarrhea (black-tarry stool)
  • exhaustion/lethargy
  • excessive thirst/urination
  • abdominal pain
  • seizures
  • renal changes
  • changes in urination.

If your dog shows any adverse side effects or signs of overdoses, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Natural Pain Meds for Dogs

The multitude of side effects that Deramaxx has can leave pet owners feeling anxious. Luckily, there is natural pain medication that serves as an effective alternative. You don’t have to choose between harsh side effects and pain relief for your pet. Natural remedies can be extremely effective and also safer than traditional drugs designed for dogs and other pets. Older dogs or dogs in poor health are at higher risk for side effects and potentially life-threatening adverse reactions. Natural pain remedies are a practical (and more cost-effective) alternative for pet owners looking to reduce pain and inflammation in their dog. In fact, these remedies are effective with little to no side effects.

CBD for Dogscbd dog treats

CBD oil is becoming increasingly popular as a holistic and natural approach to pain management, inflammation, and anxiety in dogs, cats, and other animals. Also used in humans, CBD oil can treat many different conditions and the best part is CBD is widely effective without having any side effects. CBD oil designed for dogs has no THC, so your pet is never at risk of becoming high. This is because it is derived from the hemp plant and has natural pain relieving and anti-anxiety properties. CBD oil is used for inflammation and pain in dogs. It is particularly great for long-term use for chronic conditions like arthritis and other degenerative illnesses. CBD oil without THC is not intoxicating, so it has no real side effects. It is safe to use with dogs that have kidney and liver issues that would make Deramaxx potentially fatal.

You can give your dog CBD as an oil, a treat, capsule or topically. Honest Paws is one of the best dog CBD companies on the market. They offer a wide variety of CBD oils and infused products that are affordable and highly effective. All CBD is not created equal. Honest Paws uses a high-quality CBD that is more potent for dogs. They offer treats, oils, as well as a CBD-infused coconut oil or creamy peanut butter for particularly choosey pets.

Turmeric for Dogs

Turmeric is an ancient remedy from the Middle East used to fight inflammation and treat anything from bruising to toothaches. Turmeric is safe for dogs. You can add it to their food or treats. Picky pets can even take turmeric in capsule form (just make sure it’s designed for dogs). Dogs with sensitive stomachs should ease into taking turmeric by first trying small doses until they get used to it.

Turmeric contains Curcumin, an anti-inflammatory agent that may even fight cancer. It is excellent for dogs with arthritis and other chronic joint issues. Reducing inflammation will help minimize the pain associated with these types of conditions. The best way to give your dog turmeric is by making a paste commonly referred to as “golden paste.”  This concoction combines turmeric with water, freshly ground pepper, and either coconut or olive oil. The black pepper helps the turmeric absorb better.


Comfrey is an herbal remedy to relieve inflammation and pain in dogs topically. It is commonly used in a salve form and applied to areas that are in pain. Comfrey is harmful to the liver when taken orally, only use Comfrey to treat areas your dog can not lick. The application on open wounds also leads to ingestion.

Comfrey also treats joint pain and sprains in dogs. You can apply comfrey as an ointment or salve, directly on the area that is in pain. Not to mention, Comfrey is an excellent alternative to taking a daily dose of a medication to relieve pain from arthritis and other mobility issues. You should try Comfrey first, rubbing it into the painful areas daily to see if it provides relief.


Licorice is a useful anti-inflammatory herb that is all-natural and works quickly in dogs. The root contains a chemical called glycyrrhizin which stimulates the adrenal glands while also reducing inflammation. It relieves pain, itching, and inflammation and is great for helping reduce pain from inflammatory diseases. Use licorice topically or orally to treat pain in dogs. Ask your vet about incorporating licorice into your dog’s wellness routine to help treat their pain and inflammation.

Many dogs love the taste of licorice and are super happy to have their “daily treat.” If using topically, don’t be surprised if your dog licks off the ointment because they enjoy the taste so much.

Deramaxx for Dogs: A Final Thought

Deramaxx is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.  It has been on the market for about 17 years. The side effects are well documented and studied. Deramaxx causes a wide range of severe side effects in dogs and as a result, is a risky choice for older dogs who need chronic pain and inflammation treatment. It may be necessary for short-term post-operative recovery to treat the pain from a dental procedure or other bone-related surgery.

Using Deramaxx for long-term pain relief can be dangerous for dogs who are older and have other health issues. Older dogs are often the ones afflicted with inflammatory diseases. These geriatric dogs have secondary health issues. They are not able to handle additional stress on their main organs. Deramaxx can relieve their pain but at a high cost.

When using Deramaxx, it’s super important to make sure you give the correct dosage from the veterinarian. Overdoses are potentially lethal and cause major organs to fail. Deramaxx also requires veterinarian supervision.  Frequent checkups are beneficial as many of the side effects aren’t visible. Unfortunately, by the time the symptoms begin to show, it is too late.

Happily, there are natural remedies for long-term pain relief in dogs. Explore natural remedies before turning to Deramaxx as an everyday solution. CBD oil is incredibly effective in reducing pain and inflammation naturally in dogs. What’s more, it does not have any of the side effects seen in Deramaxx. Canine CBD from a company like Honest Paws offers high-quality, potent CBD.  Honest Paws CBD is available in a variety of forms for easy administration.

About the author

Chelsea Hunt-Rivera

Chelsea Rivera is a Dedicated Pet Parent who loves to create amazing content for pet owners and is helping change pet wellness as the Head of Content for