Recognizing that your beloved four-legged companion is in pain can be one of the worst feelings for a pet owner. You do all that you can to ensure your dog's happiness and well-being. You make sure they get plenty of exercise and feed them the very best, species-appropriate diet. Fido has routine check-ups and you're sure to stay aware of any health changes they may experience. So what went wrong? And moreover, what can you do to relieve (wo)man's best friend from any and all discomfort?

Regardless of the cause of your dog's pain, a trip to your veterinarian will likely leave you with prescription medication. While we are certainly not negating the absolute importance of conventional drugs, there are a few things that dog owners must be aware of before deciding to administer the new medicine. 

In this article, we'll cover everything you should know about the pain medication, Previcox. We'll discuss the benefits as well as the potential adverse reactions. Additionally, we hope to shed light on effective, all-natural alternatives that more and more pet owners are choosing to treat their dog's pain and inflammation. Let's get started!

What is Previcox for Dogs 

Previcox is a prescription painkiller that veterinarians often recommend for dogs suffering from inflammation and associated distress. It is a chewable, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is typically prescribed to dogs suffering from canine osteoarthritis. 

dog looking at pills

What is Firocoxib | What are Equioxx Tablets for Dogs

The active ingredient of Previcox (brand name) is firocoxib (generic name). Therefore, the terms Previcox and firocoxib are often used interchangeably. Additionally, the brand name medication Equioxx also contains firocoxib as its active ingredient and is specifically formulated to be used to treat osteoarthritis in horses. Due to the fact that they all share the same active ingredient, one can assume that the positive effects, as well as the negative side effects, are shared by all.

Furthermore, it is important for pet owners to always be familiar with the other names that veterinarians may use for the same medication. The more you know about a new drug, the better equipped you will be to make the best decision for your pet's well-being.

Understanding How NSAIDs Work 

As we previously mentioned, Previcox for dogs is an NSAID, also known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like some other analgesics, work to relieve inflammation and, therefore, alleviate pain. Typically, veterinarians prescribe NSAIDs to treat and control joint pain and to manage and prevent post-surgical pain. 

On a scientific level, NSAIDs block the effects of specific enzymes, specifically Cox-1 and Cox-2 enzymes, and reduce the production of prostaglandins. In turn, this reduces the levels of pain and inflammation and fever.

What is Previcox for Dogs Prescribed For 

As we previously mentioned, Previcox is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Like most NSAIDs, veterinarians prescribe Previcox in an effort to reduce and manage pain. The source of the dog's pain may vary from one to the next. We'll explain.

Previcox for Osteoarthritis in Dogs 

Most often, veterinarians will prescribe Previcox to treat and manage symptoms of osteoarthritis in dogs. Arthritis is a general term for irregular changes of the joints. While there are different types of arthritis, osteoarthritis (also called degenerative joint disease) is the most common. The condition affects up to one in five dogs and is typically associated with age. Additionally, osteoarthritis is a progressive disease and is often difficult to detect in its early stages. It can cause the dog to experience severe joint pain, lack of mobility, and ultimately affect their quality of life. 

Witnessing your dog face the unfortunate truths of aging can be extremely difficult for a pet owner. The fact of the matter is that as your dog gets older, they are at a higher risk of developing a number of health conditions, including osteoarthritis. In order to manage their pain and inflammation, your vet may prescribe a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as Previcox.

Managing Post-Operative Pain and Inflammation 

Your vet may also prescribe Previcox to manage and prevent inflammation resulting from surgical procedures. We want to note that it is important for pet owners to make sure that their dog isn't being too active after having surgery. Previcox may completely alleviate your dog's pain and they may want to get back to their playful lifestyle. However, it is imperative that they heal entirely in order to prevent the development of additional issues. 

Previcox Dosage 

Veterinarians will prescribe an appropriate Previcox dose based on your dog's body weight. The medication is available in either 57mg or 227mg chewable tablets.

Previcox 57mg

Dogs weighing between 12.5 and 35 pounds are prescribed the 57mg tablet. Either 1/2 tablet or 1 full tablet will be prescribed, depending on the dog's weight. 

Previcox 227mg

Dogs weighing between 36 and 240 pounds are prescribed the 227mg tablet. Again, your dog's exact weight will determine the recommended dose and amount of tablets, ranging between 1/2 tablet to 2 full tablets.

Benefits of Previcox 

Before we dive into the risk of Previcox for dogs, we want to note that there are many benefits. Again, we are certainly not negating the importance of conventional medication. Who knows where we would be without it. We do, however, want our readers to be completely aware of both the pros and cons of any new medication before giving it to Fido. 

Reduces Pain 

Dogs are notorious for hiding pain. It's instinctual for them. Therefore, if your dog is showing any amount of physical distress, chances are, they are in a great deal of pain. For many pet owners, the idea of eliminating their dog's discomfort is absolutely paramount, and Previcox shows that it can deliver these results. 

Increases Mobility 

With your dog experiencing less pain, their mobility will increase. This is in large part due to the anti-inflammatory effects of Previcox. Less inflammation = less pain = the more your dog will be able to freely move around. 

happy dog running

Fast Acting

The chewable tablets are also fast-acting and deliver pain-relieving effects within a very short amount of time. 

Dangers of Previcox for Dogs  

With that said, it is essential that dog owners understand the potential risks of a drug like Previcox. Again, only after knowing all of the pros and cons can you truly make the best decision for your dog's health and well-being. 

Common Side Effects of Previcox for Dogs

The most common side effects of NSAIDs are related to the gastrointestinal tract, liver and kidneys. However, we don't feel that this makes them something pet owners should simply disregard. The most common side effects of Previcox include: 

  • Vomiting 

  • Diarrhea

  • Abdominal pain and sensitivity 

  • Loss of appetite 

  • Irritated Skin

dog biting leg

Allergic Reaction & Severe Gastrointestinal Issues 

Aside from the "common" side effects, there are also a number of clinical signs that can indicate a serious allergic reaction as well as toxicity or overdose. 

If you recognize any of the following adverse events, it is imperative that you take your dog to the vet straight away. 

  • Black, tarry stools 

  • Bright red blood in stools

  • Blood in the vomit  

  • Severe skin irritation and/or skin rashes

  • Excessive lethargy and overall weakness

  • Excessive, unexplainable weight loss

  • Changes in urine (frequency, characteristics, and/or amount)

  • Unexplainable bleeding

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes, mouth and/or gums)

  • Behavioral changes

  • Seizures

These adverse reactions are telltale signs of an allergic reaction as well as toxicity. Again, if you recognize any of these signs, do not delay in getting your dog emergency medical attention.

Risks of All NSAIDs

When it comes to alleviating pain in both people and dogs, doctors often recommend the use of NSAIDs. Unfortunately, all nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs come with a laundry list of potential adverse reactions. For instance, carprofen is another NSAID that many vets prescribe to treat arthritis pain in dogs. Yet, carprofen may have even more severe adverse reactions than Previcox. All NSAIDs are also commonly associated with irreversible damage such as internal bleeding and chronic stomach ulcers. NSAIDs also need to be used cautiously in patients with pre-existing liver and kidney conditions. Again, it is incredibly important for dog owners to be implicitly aware of all risks prior to giving their furry companion a new, potentially harmful medication.  

Holistic Options

The potential adverse reactions of a medication like Previcox leave many pet parents wondering, 'so what can I give my dog for pain?' Luckily, we are living in a time where all-natural, holistic medicines are continuing to prove to be incredibly effective alternatives for countless conventional medications. Alternative options include acupuncture, adequan injections, glucosamine supplements, and fish oils.

Preventing Osteoarthritis 

An essential part of being a responsible dog owner is recognizing when certain health conditions can be avoided. Of course, we aren't able to completely stop the hands of time and prevent the natural aging process from occurring. We can, however, do everything in our power to provide substantial amounts of joint support and help to effectively slow down joint degeneration. 


Diet, diet, diet! We cannot stress the importance of diet enough. It can truly make a world of difference for your dog. We recommend consulting with your holistic veterinarian regarding any dietary changes that can support your aging dog's joint health. Many holistic experts recommend a species-appropriate, raw food diet which ensures your dog is receiving all of the nutrients they need for optimal health. There are also therapeutic diets that are enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate and omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils). 


Next, ensuring your dog is receiving appropriate amounts of exercise is paramount for preventing joint degeneration. If your dog tends to be a bit of a couch potato, they may be losing muscle function without you realizing it. Of course, we certainly aren't recommending that you begin training your senior dog for the next marathon. Daily walks are typically plenty to help maintain joint function. 

Exercise is also important in order to make sure that your pet is at a healthy weight.  The additional pounds can put extra stress and strain on your dog’s joints. This can cause more damage and worsening of the arthritis. Weight loss if recommended if you pet is currently overweight. 

Glucosamine for Dogs 

Additionally, you may want to consider implementing a supplement such as glucosamine for dogs. Glucosamine is a compound that naturally occurs in the body. It promotes the growth and repair of cartilage and synovial fluid that ultimately protect the joints. Therefore, implementing a supplement like glucosamine can help improve mechanical joint function, repair current joint damage, and slow the progression of degenerative joint disease. 

dog legs

Is My Dog in Pain? Recognizing Early Signs of Joint Damage

Finally, one of the most important things that pet owners can do is be aware of their dog's "normal." Again, dogs are notorious for hiding pain. Therefore, owners must be definitely aware of what is typical behavior for their individual dog in order to recognize when something is wrong. There are several telltale signs that Fido isn't feeling his or her best. 


The first sign of pain, specifically joint pain, is changes in energy levels. You may find that your once active canine is now spending more time sleeping or laying down. Changes in energy levels are not only a sign of pain, but also a symptom of a slew of health issues. If you notice that your dog isn't quite like their usual self, it's important to figure out why. 

Behavioral Changes

One of the most common clinical signs that most owners will notice is that their dog has a harder time getting up from rest. You may also notice difficulty or reluctance to running, jumping, or going up and downstairs. Another obvious sign includes limping or favoring a leg. They may also seem to have a stiff gait or their legs may shake after standing for a while. Other behavioral changes seen with pain may include increased panting, pacing, whining/vocalization, and decreased appetite.   

tired dog


Dogs will commonly bite or chew on the area of their body that is in pain. Additionally, dogs may lash out and bite others who are attempting to touch them for fear that it will cause them to experience even more pain. If your dog is typically a sweetie pie and is now nipping when you get near them, it is likely a sign they are in pain. 


Inflammation can often result in physical swelling around the joints. Whether due to inflammation or disease, swelling is never 'normal' and it is paramount that pet owners figure out what is causing it to develop. 

The Telltale Tail 

Another clinical sign of pain can be seen in the way your dog holds their tail. If their tail is typically upright and is now dragging or between their legs, it may be because they are in pain. 


Finally, your dog's eyes can be very telling when it comes to whether or not they are feeling their best. Dogs in pain will often have bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils. Dogs may also have loopy-looking sick eyes, just like many people do when they aren't feeling well. 

Bonus! Previcox for Horses

As an added bonus, we want to briefly discuss Previcox for horses as it is a frequently asked question. As we previously mentioned, the active ingredient in Previcox is firocoxib. Firocoxib is also the active ingredient in a drug called Equioxx. The properties of firocoxib are ultimately what reduces the inflammation and associated pain and lameness.

Differing the two drugs is that Previcox is labeled for its use in dogs whereas Equioxx is formulated for horses. However, horse owners can attest that the Equioxx medication can be incredibly expensive.

Previcox: The Bottom Line 

At the end of the day, we know just how heart wrenching it can be knowing that your dog is in any amount of pain. We wish more than anything that there was a magical pill that could stop your dog's natural aging process and keep them young and lively forever. Sadly, as your playful pup gets older, your pup’s joints do too. While a life of pain is no life to live, we encourage our readers to think twice before starting with a conventional medication such as Previcox. When there are many all-natural, effective, and incredibly safe options available, wouldn't you want to at least give them a try first?