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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
Dogs, cats and horses
May Be Prescribed by Vets for:
Pain relief especially for musculoskeletal pain, osteoarthritis, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, protection from endotoxemia.
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Ketoprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and cyclooxygenase inhibitor. It is a potent analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory. Ketoprofen is most-commonly prescribed for musculoskeletal pain from soft tissue injury, osteoarthritis, or other bone and joint problems. It may be used to reduce or control fevers due to viral or bacterial infections. NSAIDs work by inhibiting the body's production of prostaglandins, thromboxane, and other inflammatory mediators. Some of these actions are dose-dependent. Ketoprofen may be given by injection or orally. Following oral administration, pain relief and fever reduction usually start within one to two hours.
Ketoprofen is used in dogs and cats for the short-term management of postsurgical pain. On occasion it may be used for the longer-term management of chronic pain particularly due to osteoarthritis. About 20% of adult dogs are affected with osteoarthritis, which makes management of musculoskeletal pain a major component of companion-animal practice. There is a very narrow margin of safety for all NSAIDs in the dog and there are other NSAIDs that are used more commonly (etodolac and Rimadyl®). GI-protectant drugs such as Misoprostol, cimetidine, omeprazole, ranitidine, or sucralfate frequently are included as a part of treatment with any NSAID.
Ketoprofen is used commonly for managing musculoskeletal pain due to soft-tissue injury, synovitis, and osteoarthritis in horses. It also is used as an antipyretic. Ketoprofen also may be used in the management of colic for protection from bacterial toxins (endotoxemia); however, flunixin meglumine is used more commonly for this purpose.
Injectable ketoprofen is labeled only for short-term use. The package insert recommends a maximum of five days. Although ketoprofen is labeled for intravenous use, it has been used in the muscle with occasional injection site reactions.
Overdoses of ketoprofen can cause GI ulcers, protein loss, and kidney and liver damage. Early signs of toxicity include loss of appetite and depression.
Dr. Barbara Forney is a veterinary practitioner in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She has a master's degree in animal science from the University of Delaware and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982.
She began to develop her interest in client education and medical writing in 1997. Recent publications include portions of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat, and most recently Understanding Equine Medications published by the Bloodhorse.
Dr. Forney is an FEI veterinarian and an active member of the AAEP, AVMA, and AMWA.
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