Previcox: Know The Risks Beforehand

By Chelsea Hunt-Rivera / December 21, 2018

From the moment you meet your dog, whether they are a fresh puppy or a mature rescue dog, you are undoubtedly in love. The human-dog bond runs deep, earning dogs the iconic title “man’s best friend”. Naturally, we all want our dogs to live long, healthy, comfortable lives. Sadly, dogs, like humans, will likely encounter body aches and pains during their lives. From natural aging to unforeseen disease,  your dog may need pain medicine at some point or another. A trip to your local veterinarian may leave you with a prescription for Previcox. Before you go dishing out drugs to your precious pup, it is important to know the side effects and alternatives. In this article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about Previcox for dogs.

What is Previcox for Dogs?

The prescription-only drug Previcox (aka Firocoxib) is a canine pain medication. Primarily used for treating osteoarthritis pain, dog Previcox is also commonly used to treat post-operative pain. Furthermore, Previcox is considered an NSAID, or “non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug”. A popular feature of Previcox is that it can be taken with or without food. Moreover, Previcox comes in an easy to administer chewable tablets that dogs love.


Previcox Dosage

Like many canine medications, the dosage varies based on the weight of the dog. However, one caveat with Previcox is that it can only be given to dogs over twelve and a half pounds. There are two different dosage levels of dog Previcox: 57mg and 227mg.

Previcox 57mg

The lower dose of Previcox is intended for dogs 12.5-35 pounds. To reiterate, only dogs over 12.5 pounds should take Previcox. With the ever-growing popularity of so-called “purse” dogs, that immediately rules out several candidates. With this in mind, dogs between 12.5-18 pounds only need half a tablet a day. While dogs between 18-35 pounds can take a full 57mg tablet daily.

Previcox 227mg

When giving your dog any medicine, extreme care must be given regarding appropriate dosing. The higher dose of Previcox is nearly four times as concentrated as the low dose. Like Previcox 57 mg, Previcox 227mg is administered by weight. Dogs 36-71 pounds only take half a tablet. Only dogs weighing in at 72-120 pounds should take a full tablet of Previcox 227mg. For a full breakdown of dosage, consult the Previcox website.

Previcox Side Effects

First of all, the Previcox official website has a giant safety warning on every page. The warning alerts consumers that NSAIDs, like Previcox, are associated with “gastrointestinal, kidney or liver side effects”.  While this alert is rather vague, it is good that they are upfront about it. However, their warning only skims the surface. Other possible side-effects of Previcox include:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Bloody stool/vomit
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin, gums, or whites of eyes)
  • Sudden weight loss/gain
  • Irritated skin (scabs, redness, excessive itchiness)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Change in behavior (energy levels, coordination, aggression)
  • Seizures
  • Changes in frequency, smell, or color of urine
  • Allergic reaction
  • Lethargy


If you observe any one, or combination, of these side-effects, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Is Your Dog in Pain?

Before turning to Previcox willy-nilly, it is essential to know if your dog is, in fact, in pain. Despite what some cartoons may depict, your dog cannot verbally tell you when he is not feeling top-notch. However, there are several physical signs to look out for.

Sudden Changes in Normal Habits

As a devoted pet parent, you are conscious of your dog’s daily habits. Changes in sleeping, eating, or drinking habits may be a sign something isn’t quite right. Is your typically active dog sleeping more than usual? This may be your dog’s way of trying to heal itself. Furthermore, if they are in pain, sleeping is a lot more comfortable than playing fetch.

Additionally, loss of appetite can often point to bodily pain. For example, a sudden decline in eating dry food can sometimes indicate dental pain. Or perhaps your dog cannot physically handle the trip to the food bowl. Be sure to keep an eye on your dogs habits, so if and when a change arises you can know immediately if an issue is afoot.

Changes in Temperament

Like with habitual irregularities, changes in behavior could be a sign that your dog is not feeling like themselves. To demonstrate, playful dogs may suddenly become anti-social, passive, distant, or even hide from you. Moreover, friendly pups may abruptly demonstrate aggressive behavior. Dog’s that are in pain typically don’t like to be touched, as it may trigger the pain. Sometimes, this leads dogs to snap at you out of the blue.

Altered Grooming Habits

Have you ever heard the phrase “lick your wounds”? Well, that is not just something people say when they lose an argument. In fact, licking of wounds is a natural canine response to pain. Specifically, licking of the paws is a soothing mechanism. While licking of a cut is a little more obvious, sometimes dogs will lick themselves if they are feeling pain internally as well. Pay attention to spots or patches on your dog’s skin that are red or irritated. Over-grooming in a concentrated area may mean your dog is hurting.

Conversely, lack of grooming may be a sign that your dog is experiencing joint pain. If your dog is scruffier or more matted than usual they may not physically be able to groom themselves as usual. Osteoarthritis (OA) restricts the regular range of motion. This makes normal physical activities, like grooming, far more difficult.

Trouble Getting Around

Arguably the most obvious physical sign of pain is limping. Your dog’s instinct may be to run and chase a ball you have thrown, but their body may have a different response. Stiffness, slow movements, and reluctance to jump or play are all signs your dog is in pain.

potassium bromide causes paralysis of rear legs


On the other hand, erratic pacing may be a sign your dog is experiencing discomfort. This may manifest itself as difficulty finding a comfortable seated position or even sleeping less.

A Cry for Help

While dogs can’t verbalize their aches and pains, they can vocalize it, in their own way. That is to say, excessive growling, crying, yelping, snarling, or howling may be an indicator that your dog isn’t feeling up to snuff.

It is important to note, this particular sign is more accurate in older, more established dogs. Puppies are typically a lot needier, and whine and howl just to get attention.

Altered Breathing

Naturally, panting is a normal and healthy response to canine exercise. However, excessive heavy panting when your dog is not undergoing physical activity is not a good sign. Furthermore, slow, shallow breathes may be a sign that your dog is experiencing pain when trying to breathe normally.

Trembling or Shaking

While you may associate trembling with the feeling of being cold, that is not always the case. In fact, dogs often shake or tremble when they are experiencing pain. Worse yet, trembling can be a sign of something much more serious. Such as pancreatitis, kidney disease, or poisoning.

We all know dogs cannot eat chocolate, among other things. Well, if your dog is trembling out of the blue they may have gotten their paws on something they shouldn’t have.

Altered Posture or Swelling

Almost every type of pain is a result of inflammation. Swelling of the legs, paws, or face is a symptom of inflammation or infection.

Additionally, you may witness your dog in a strange position when they are in pain. Dogs may present a rigid, or hunched, back. Canines do not like to feel out of control, and when they experience pain, they search for ways to try and calm said pain. This often results in unusual stretches or body positions.

Other RX Pain Killers for Dogs

Once you have confirmed your dog is in pain, it is time to seek relief. With Previcox’s long list of side-effects, you are likely hoping for another option. In terms of prescription-strength pain relief, you have several alternatives. However, do not expect them to be without side-effects. Worry not, we will provide several safer, natural alternatives later in this article. For now, let’s discuss some of your prescription canine pain relief choices.

Gabapentin for Dogs

Commonly used to treat nerve pain and seizures, Gabapentin is another prescription-strength pain reliever. Interestingly enough, it is thought that Gabapentin doesn’t actually relieve pain. Instead, Gabapentin acts as a nervous system suppressant. Gabapentin forms a roadblock of sorts that prevents calcium channels from reach the central nervous system. This effectively masks symptoms of seizures, pain, and anxiety.

Science aside, it is important to point out that Gabapentin does not actually treat unsavory symptoms. The drug merely dulls the symptoms. That is to say, Gabapentin is typically used in tandem with more effective drugs. As if one prescription medication wasn’t enough on the body!

Gabapentin Side Effects

As always, consult your vet before starting any new medication. Especially if your dog has a pre-existing disease. Like many other prescription medications, Gabapentin side-effects can be worse and/or amplified when pre-existing conditions are present. Dog’s with Kidney issues should stay away from Gabapentin because the drug is processed through the kidneys. Additional adverse reactions include:

  • Upset stomach (vomiting and diarrhea)
  • Bulging Eyes
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Excessive tiredness or lethargy
  • Wobbliness
  • Depression

depression in dogs with pyometra

Furthermore, Gabapentin was originally formulated for human use. Therefore, if you decide to give Gabapentin a try, it is essential you get a brand specifically made with dogs in mind. Many human formulations of Gabapentin contain the artificial sweetener, xylitol. If you were not already aware, xylitol is not only poisonous to dogs, but it can be lethal. To learn more about xylitol and dogs, consult our SimpleWag definitive guide on the topic.

Galliprant for Dogs

Like Previcox, Galliprant is primarily used to treat joint pain associated with canine Osteoarthritis (OA). The likeness to Previcox continues, as Galliprant is also a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, aka “NSAID”.

Galliprant for Dogs Side Effects

As previously mentioned, Galliprant is an NSAID. This is important to note because NSAID’s have been found to have a number of long-term side effects in canine use. Over time, NSAID’s tend to cause destructive side-effects in the gastrointestinal tract, liver, and/or the kidneys. Considering Galliprant can only treat pain and not cure it, long-term use is common for the drug to be effective. More side effects of Galliprant include:

  • Lethargy
  • Bloody or watery feces
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Holes in the stomach lining/intestines
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney failure

Clearly, prescription pain relief comes at a cost. So what other options do you have? Well, we are pleased to present you with a natural, homeopathic approach to pain relief.

Holistic Pain Remedies for Dogs

Fortunately, we live in a time where a holistic approach to pet wellness is more popular than ever. While homeopathic health is new to pet wellness, humans have used this methodology for centuries. In fact, ancient Chinese medicine dates back over 2,000 years. The main difference? Now, we have research scientifically proving that homeopathy works.  Better yet, there are a number of natural ways to treat pain in your ailing puppy pal.


If you are a fan of eating food that has a bit of a kick, you have probably heard of cayenne. Derived from the chili pepper, cayenne (aka capsicum) naturally blocks pain and increases circulation. The increased circulation is especially helpful for lubricating connective tissue and easing joint pain. Better yet, cayenne is a useful tool in first-aid treatment. Cayenne is considered a “styptic”, which means it can stop bleeding. This feature is effective for treatment of cuts, mouth lacerations, scrapes, and even bug bites.

Interestingly enough,  you can also use certain cayenne pepper mixes to deter dogs from chewing furniture and such. However, moderation is essential to the safe and effective use of cayenne for dogs. For internal use, simply sprinkle a pinch of powdered cayenne into your dog’s food. There are cayenne gel capsules on the market for human use, but you should never give your dog’s medicine intended for humans without vet approval.

cayenne pepper

Homemade Cayenne Liniment

Topical application of cayenne actually triggers the bodies natural anti-inflammatory response. You can purchase some of the creams on the market, or better yet, make your own linament at home. In a glass jar simply combine:

  • 2 cups organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon powdered cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried comfrey leaf/root
  • 4 tablespoons dried rosemary

Seal the jar and keep it at room temperature for a week or more. Shake the jar daily to maximize the concentration of the mixture. After at least seven days, strain the liquid from the jar. Directly massage the fluid onto affected areas for natural joint and pain relief. Furthermore, you can soak a cloth in the mixture and wrap the affected area. Be sure to hold the cloth tightly, the longer the better. Either way, be sure to avoid contact with eyes.


A long-standing power-player in the homeopathic world, turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory. A cousin of the ginger root, turmeric is a delicious spice and a powerful healing agent. Studies show that turmeric not only heals current ailments but prevents new health issues from arising.  While turmeric is a champion of arthritis pain relief, the health benefits don’t stop there. Turmeric has a vast array of benefits, such as:

  • Treating and preventing cancer
  • Anti-inflammatory (calms a wide array of pain, such as arthritis pain)
  • Managing seizures and epilepsy
  • Calming allergies
  • Eradicating free radicals (a natural anti-oxidant)
  • Controlling a healthy weight
  • Eliminating fleas and ticks
  • Preventing cataracts
  • Treating and preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Elevating mood and treating depression

Turmeric is also high in fiber and vitamins, which helps regulate gastrointestinal health. A common method of canine turmeric administration is by making “golden paste”. The popular holistic pet wellness company Honest Paws provides a recipe for golden paste, as well as a thorough guide about turmeric for dogs.


While wildly different in appearance and taste, licorice is actually a member of the pea family.  Like turmeric, licorice is a powerful, natural anti-inflammatory. Better yet, many herbalists believe that when compounded with other herbs, licorice increases the effectiveness of the other ingredients. The primary element of licorice is a compound called glycyrrhizin. Interestingly enough, glycyrrhizin naturally has a similar chemical structure to manufactured corticosteroids. These corticosteroids are used in prescription-level anti-inflammatories. Licorice has the benefits of natural glycyrrhizin, without the side-effects of manufactured corticosteroids.

Licorice Dosage

It is important to clarify we are talking about the root licorice and not the candy. Black licorice candy made for humans is, as you may suspect, not exactly good for dogs.

There are a number of concentrated licorice root oils you can easily supplement your dog’s food. Roughly 12-20 drops per twenty pounds of your dog’s weight should do. Experts advise that you do not use the licorice treatment for more than two weeks at a time.

As always, before implementing any new supplement into your dog’s diet, be sure to consult your veterinarian first.

CBD Oil for Dogs

With its ever-growing popularity, you have likely heard of CBD oil. With proven health benefits for humans, canines, and felines, CBD oil is rapidly sweeping the nation of holistic wellness. Derived from the versatile hemp plant, CBD oil is used to treat and prevent a number of ailments. Benefits of CBD for dogs include:

  • Calming anxiety (say hello to easy trips to the V.E.T.)
  • Reducing seizures and epilepsy
  • Easing side-effects of cancer treatments
  • Relieving pain with natural anti-inflammatory properties (from nerve-pain to joint pain)
  • Easing seasonal allergies
  • Fighting and preventing cancer
  • Regulating gastrointestinal health
  • Promoting overall homeostasis in the body

cbd oil for dogs

Better yet, CBD oil is known to have little to no side-effects in canines. At most, some pet parents report seeing mild tiredness in dogs after taking CBD oil. However, that can quickly be remedied by reducing the dosage administered.

Debunking the Hemp Plant

The precision reader may have noticed “hemp” in the previous section and had a few hazy teenage flashbacks. Don’t worry, we are in no way suggesting you get your dog “high”. While hemp is a member of the cannabis genus, hemp does not possess the psychoactive effect of its well-known cousin marijuana. In fact, hemp is legal in all 50 states and is used to make over 50,000 commercial products. You can find coffee, milk, clothing, shoes, and many other products made with hemp.

Where to get CBD Oil for Dogs

Now that we have cleared up any lingering hemp stigma, let’s get back to the many pros of CBD oil. You can treat your dog’s arthritis pain, while effectively preventing cancer growth. Amazing! By now, you are probably frantic to get your hands on some CBD oil for your ailing canine companion.

It is vital to understand that not all CBD oils are created equally. With consumer demand growing every day, companies seem to be popping up overnight. Sadly, this often means companies are racing to get the product out without taking the proper steps to ensure quality. You should only purchase CBD oil that is non-GMO, lab-tested, organic, and formulated specifically with canines in mind. We prefer Honest Paws because all of their products meet these standards. Better yet, Honest Paws provides an impressive array of CBD-infused dog products such as treats, soft-chews, coconut oil, and even peanut butter!

Previcox for Dogs: The Bottom Line

Here at SimpleWag, a holistic approach to pet wellness is paramount. With each article we release, we learn more and more about the unsavory side-effects of prescription canine drugs. To make matters worse, research is continuing to surface proving that prescription medications are causing more and more problems when used long-term. Previcox is no exception to this prescription drug “rule”. Fortunately, we live in an era where homeopathic medicine is more effective than ever. We all want our dogs to live long, healthy, pain-free lives. If your dog is suffering from aches and pains, talk to your holistic vet today about an ideal natural approach to treatment.


About the author

Chelsea Hunt-Rivera

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