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What Is Firocoxib?

By K. K. Lowen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Firocoxib is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug commonly used to manage pain in dogs and horses. The medication treats symptoms related to arthritis and may be useful for post-surgery pain relief. It works by inhibiting natural substances that cause inflammation, pain, and fever. Animals could experience a number of adverse reactions while receiving treatment.

When given to horses, firocoxib is typically administered in paste form which the animal receives orally, but injecting the medication is also common. Chewable tablets are the most common form for use with dogs, but they may receive injections in some situations. Most forms of the drug are meant for use by a specific animal. Veterinarians and manufacturers do not recommended giving a drug formulated for one animal to a different animal.

Adverse reactions and side effects can occur following the use of firocoxib, but they may vary for different types of animals. The effects on dogs mostly involve the digestive tract, but owners should contact a veterinarian if their animals exhibit any severe effects or changes in behavior. A dog may suffer from constipation, diarrhea, or bloody stools. Shedding, dizziness, coordination issues, and changes in eating and drinking habits are not uncommon. Allergic reactions are possible as well, including facial swelling, shock, hives, cold limbs, coma, scratching, as well as skin irritation, redness, or scabbing.

Horses may have digestive issues as a result of taking firocoxib. Diarrhea, loose stool, weight loss, and jaundice have been associated with use of the medication. More extreme adverse reactions include colic and ulcers of the gums, lips, tongue, and face. Side effects may occur without warning and are occasionally fatal.

The drug should be used only by or under the direction of a veterinarian. Before any animal receives firocoxib, it should undergo a thorough examination by a trained animal doctor. The owners should make the veterinarian aware of the animal’s medical history and all other medications that the animal currently takes. It is particularly important to inform a veterinarian if the animal receives other types of anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, because the combination could thin the blood and cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure. Only a veterinarian can determine whether the treatment will be safe and effective for a specific animal.

Animal owners should ask their veterinarians about proper dosage and administration of firocoxib. The species, temperament, and size of the animal all play an important role in determining the appropriateness of using the drug, the size of the dosage, and the proper method of administration. Following all of the veterinarian’s instructions and returning for follow-up visits and lab work is vital for animals treated with the medication.

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