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Deramaxx: Side Effects & Precautions

One of the worst feelings for pet owners as knowing that their beloved dog is in pain. A quick trip to the veterinarian will often leave you with a conventional medication that you likely can’t even pronounce let alone know much about. As dog owners who love and care about our furry companions more than life itself, we trust the recommendation of our vets because more than anything we want Fido to feel better.

However, what if a commonly prescribed pain reliever came with a list of potential adverse reactions so long that the side effects have subcategories of side effects. For this reason, we encourage you to read on further before agreeing to give your dog the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Deramaxx.



What is Deramaxx for Dogs 

Deramaxx is the brand name for a drug known as deracoxib. It is a non-narcotic, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are typically prescribed to alleviate fever, pain, and inflammation in dogs and humans alike. You’re likely familiar with NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen. Essentially, Deramaxx works as a kind of Ibuprofen for Fido. However, while Ibuprofen usually doesn't come with many adverse reactions for humans, the potential side effects of Deramaxx will likely make your head spin... but we'll get to that shortly.

Deramaxx for dogs is typically prescribed to alleviate pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and postoperative pain. Additionally, Deramaxx medication is also prescribed to treat inflammation from orthopedic surgery and dental surgery in dogs.

Deramaxx is used for post-operative care

Deramaxx Dosage 

Deramaxx must be prescribed by a veterinarian. A quick Google search will show you that Deramaxx is able to be purchased online and likely for cheaper. However, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as Deramaxx must be overseen by a veterinarian. There are far too many potentially harmful adverse reactions associated with the drugs for pet owners to diagnose or administer the drug without a vet’s involvement.

With that said, the dose for Deramaxx is typically 0.45mg/lb - 0.91mg/lb as a single dose, once daily. This gives pet owners a range of the dosage if Deramaxx is being used to provide relief in a long-term treatment plan. Experts recommend using the lowest effective dose whenever possible. Deramaxx is available in 12 mg, 25 mg, 75 mg, and 100 mg tablets. The chewable tablets are beef flavored to make the oral administering process more bearable. Additionally, experts also recommend administering the medication with food.

Precautions in Using Deramaxx 

Before we get into the side effects of Deramaxx, there are several precautions that we want to mention.

First, before your dog takes Deramaxx, we highly recommend that they undergo a liver and kidney screening. Pre-existing problems can ultimately cause worsening conditions are using Deramaxx. Additionally, if your dog is currently using another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug they should not use Deramaxx. Furthermore, Deramaxx for dogs is not intended for those under 4 months old or under 4 pounds.

While your dog is taking Deramaxx medication, they should be regularly monitored. Your veterinarian should be performing regular blood chemistry tests, complete blood count testing, urinalysis, and physical exams. This will ensure that the dog's vital organs are not being negatively affected while using the drug.

Additionally, dogs with the following conditions should not take Deramaxx:

  • Cardiac disease
  • Dehydration
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Hepatic disorders
  • Hyperproteinemia
  • Pregnant or nursing dogs
  • Renal disease

No Deramaxx for Nursing Dogs

How Does Deramaxx for Dogs Work 

A slightly troubling fact is that the way that Deramaxx works is not thoroughly understood, even by experts. It is believed that Deramaxx works by hindering the process that causes inflammation.

Side Effects of Deramaxx 

Here's where things get really scary. The Deramaxx side effects are so extensive that we had to put them in their own specific subcategories.

General Side Effects of Deramaxx 

The general side effects of Deramaxx include:

  • Loss of appetite and/or refusal to eat
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Disregard for doing things once enjoyed
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • General malaise
  • Fever
  • Dehydration

Gastrointestinal Side Effects of Deramaxx 

The following side effects affect the stomach and small intestine. Most often, gastrointestinal side effects of Deramaxx occur when the medication gets trapped in the stomach and therefore leads to irritation of the stomach lining.

The side effects include:

  • Vomiting (which affects 10% of dogs administered Deramaxx)
  • Bloody vomit
  • Diarrhea
  • Hypoalbuminemia (abnormally low levels of albumin in blood serum)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Peritonitis— inflammation of the abdominal cavity
  • Decreased or increased total protein and globulin
  • Gastrointestinal perforation (when a hole develops in the stomach, large bowel, or small intestine)
  • Gastrointestinal ulceration (ulcers forming due to the thinning of the mucosal lining of the stomach)
  • Melena (black and tarry stools)
  • Hematochezia (fresh blood in stool, bright red blood in stool)
  • Elevated amylase levels (the enzyme that helps digest carbohydrates)
  • Elevated lipase levels (the enzyme that helps break down lipids)
  • Hypersalivation (overactive saliva production)

Unfortunately, gastrointestinal issues are only the beginning of the potential adverse reactions associated with Deramaxx.

Deramaxx causes diarrhea

Hematologic Side Effects of Deramaxx 

One of the reasons that it is so important that a dog taking Deramaxx is seen regularly by the vet is because the drug has the ability to affect the blood.

Symptoms of disorders and diseases that affect the blood are typically only properly determined through blood testing. Therefore, it is paramount that a dog taking Deramaxx on a long-term basis regularly see use the veterinarian.

Hematologic effects of Deramaxx include:

  • Anemia (extremely low red blood cell count or inadequately functioning red blood cells)
  • Thrombocytopenia (very low levels of blood platelets)
  • Leukocytosis (raised levels of circulating white blood cells)
  • Leukocytopenia (decreased levels of white blood cells)

Hepatic Side Effects of Deramaxx 

Additionally, the following side effects of Deramaxx affect the liver and its ability to function properly.

  • Elevated liver enzymes
  • Hyperbilirubinemia (high concentration of bilirubin causing jaundice)
  • Jaundice (yellowing discoloration of mucous membranes (gums, mouth, nostrils, eye)
  • Ascites (a build-up of fluid (25ml or more) in the peritoneal cavity)
  • Decreased Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)

Neurologic Side Effects of Deramaxx for Dogs 

The following symptoms affect the dog's nervous system, including the brain and the spine.

  • Seizures
  • Loss of balance and coordination
  • The constant need to lean for support due to pain
  • Confusion
  • Trembling
  • Collapse
  • Hindlimb paresis (muscular vulnerability and overall weakness in hind limbs caused by nerve damage or disease)
  • Involuntary eye movement (known as Nystagmus)
  • Inability to use paws accurately
  • Walking in circles
  • Head tilting
  • Stumbling
  • Falling

Deramaxx causes head tilting

Behavioral Side Effects of Deramaxx 

We find it very unsettling any time that conventional medication causes behavioral or personality changes in the dog. Unfortunately, Deramaxx also has these effects.

  • Nervousness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Aggression
  • Apprehension

Urologic Side Effects of Deramaxx for Dogs

The following symptoms affect the urinary system, including the kidneys. Deramaxx can reduce blood flow thus causing kidney damage in dogs. But that isn’t the only urological effect of the drug.

  • Elevated Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
  • Impaired kidney function
  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Elevated levels of phosphate in the blood
  • The presence of blood in the urine (affects 2% of dogs)
  • A chemical imbalance of urine
  • Inability to urinate
  • Kidney failure
  • Urinary tract infection

Deramaxx causes excessive thirst

Dermatologic Side Effects of Deramaxx 

Additionally, the following symptoms affect the skin, hair, and nails.

  • A constant need to itch, scratch, and chew on the skin (thus causing inflamed skin)
  • Reddening of the skin
  • Skin rash (typically caused by an allergic reaction)
  • Raw, irritated, and painful skin lesions
  • Inflammation of the head
  • Dermal ulceration
  • Necrosis

Respiratory Side Effects of Deramaxx 

The following side effects affect the dog's ability to breathe properly.

  • Panting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bleeding of the nose
  • Coughing (and uncontrollable coughing fits)

Cardiovascular Side Effects of Deramaxx for Dogs 

The following side effects of Deramaxx affect the dog's heart and its ability to function properly.

  • Rapid heart rate (referred to as Tachycardia)
  • Heart murmur
  • Slow heart rate (Bradycardia)
  • Abrupt loss of heart function

Sensory Side Effects of Deramaxx 

  • Vestibular signs (which show up as the loss of ability to balance)
  • Inflammation of the middle layer of the eye (known as the uvea)
  • Glazed eyes
  • Ophthalmic Side Effects of Deramaxx
  • The following symptoms of Deramaxx affect the dog's eyes.
  • Blindness
  • Dilation of pupils
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Dry eye
  • Inflammation of the middle layer of the eye called the uvea (aka Uveitis)

Clinical Signs of Deramaxx Overdose 

The following are clinical signs of a Deramaxx overdose:

  • Vomiting
  • Bloody vomit
  • Diarrhea and/or black-tarry stool
  • Inappetance
  • Lethargy and/or extreme exhaustion
  • Excessive urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • General discomfort and uneasiness
  • Abdominal pain and distress
  • Seizures
  • Elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
  • Hyposthenuria
  • Polyuria
  • Renal changes

If you feel that there is any possibility that your dog is suffering from a Deramaxx overdose, it is imperative that you act appropriately and immediately. Veterinary intervention will be necessary in a timely matter. Treatments include inducing vomiting, stomach pumping, administering activated charcoal, supportive care, and additional blood tests. A Deramaxx overdose can be fatal. We cannot stress enough that if you feel that your dog might have overdosed, act immediately.

Deramaxx Alternatives 

If you’re anything like us, the extent of the potential adverse reactions of Deramaxx is a lot to take in. It’s hard to imagine being able to knowingly give your dog the drug after recognizing all of the harm it could cause. Of course, if you’re reading this article, your dog is likely in a fair amount of pain. Luckily, we have good news. It is not mandatory to give your dog Deramaxx. In fact, there are a number of natural alternatives that have the potential to eliminate Deramaxx altogether.

Additional Natural Alternatives 

There is a seemingly endless amount of natural supplements that prevent inflammation in dogs and humans alike. We’ll discuss a few of our favorites.


You’ve likely heard of the root called turmeric. Turmeric is the space that gives curry it’s a bright, rich yellow color. What you may not know is that turmeric is incredibly effective in terms of relieving pain. The root has an anti-inflammatory property that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for a slew of pain-related conditions including arthritis. Lucky for us, turmeric is now gaining popularity in the Western world for its ability to manage a wide array of health issues for humans and dogs alike and is available for purchase at health food stores worldwide.


Comfrey is an herb that has been easing pain and inflammation for hundreds of years. The word is actually derived from the Latin word for "grow together" and it makes sense as comfrey is known to help speed up cell reproduction. Comfrey's pain relieving properties also make it highly effective in providing relief for joint-related conditions.


A member of the pea family, the herb licorice has fascinating anti-inflammatory properties that allow it to be highly effective in treating arthritis and a number of other pain-related conditions.

As always, we encourage our readers to consult with a holistic veterinarian in terms of the appropriate remedies that will effectively treat their dog's individual needs.

Deramaxx vs. Natural Pain Remedies 

At the end of the day, we know that you want what’s best for your dog. Seeing them in pain it’s a terrible feeling for any pet owner. Not knowing what to do or the right medication to give them can be incredibly stressful. You want them to feel better, but at what cost? Is the reduction of pain worth your dog potentially developing seizures, blindness, or even death? Of course not. But what other options do you have?

Thankfully we are living in a world where we have information at the tips of her fingers. We encourage pet owners to do their research on the products that they are being prescribed. While conventional medication has got us to this point and is incredibly important for so many reasons, it’s not always necessary. Being able to recognize alternatives to conventional medication can make a world of difference for your dog.

Something to Consider

Think about it, when is the last time you had a headache? And what did you do? It’s likely that you felt a headache coming on so you popped to Advil’s and carried on with your day. Did you consider what the underlying issue was? Is it dehydration? Allergies? Sinus pressure? So often we choose the easy fix without thinking of what harm it may cause long-term. Luckily, Advil and most nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for humans aren’t accompanied by a slew of potential he harmful reactions. However, for our dogs, it’s incredibly different.

All NSAIDs for dogs have the potential to cause irreversible damage. Additionally, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs act as more of a Band-Aid rather than a cure. Sure your dog is no longer in pain, but where did the pain stemming from? The inflammation likely still exists, it’s just being masked temporarily. If pet owners are able to fully recognize the root of the problem, treating it at its core will provide your dog with lasting relief that no conventional medication can compete with. Furthermore, after determining the underlying issue, treating it naturally is not only possible but effective and safe.

Deramaxx: The Bottom Line

Your dog means the world to you. We get it. At Honest Paws, we are all pet lovers and pet owners. That’s why when troubles arise we understand how worrisome and heart-wrenching it can be. We cannot stress enough to do your homework. It is so important to know what you were giving your dog and the long-term effects that it may have.

Whenever possible, we encourage our readers to consider an all natural approach to treating your dog's ailments. If there’s a way to reap the same benefits and effects of conventional medication in a non-toxic way, why wouldn’t you jump at the chance? Trust us, your dog will thank you for it!

Sources › Dog Conditions › Dogs › Medication › Dogs › Medication

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