If your furry best friend has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis [1] or is about to have surgery, your veterinarian may prescribe Deramaxx [2] for pain.

Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory (NSAID’s) are the most widely used analgesics in veterinary medicine today and are prescribed to control pain and inflammation in dogs.

Analgesics are very important in the treatment of acute pain in dogs, most especially in the perioperative period, and are the basis of treatment in canine osteoarthritis, and other painful conditions that may occur in dogs. [3]

What is Deramaxx?

Deramaxx pill bottles

Deramaxx (Deracoxib) is a non-narcotic, NSAID, that is non-steroidal, and works as an anti-inflammatory drug for post-surgical care, and used for postoperative pain relief. It is also beneficial for pain relief for osteoarthritis.

It is a non-coxib drug used for mild to moderate pain relief in dogs, and can only be prescribed by a veterinarian. Deramaxx is a formulation of NSAID’s, Cox-2, cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors.

“COX is the enzyme that converts Arachidonic Acid (AA)to form prostanoids, which are essential biological mediators including prostaglandins and thromboxanes” [4]

What is it used for in dogs?

dog at the vet dentist

There are various conditions that may prompt your vet to prescribe this medication for your pooch, and it is generally given to dogs after dental work, surgery or arthritis.

Dental work

Deracoxib may be prescribed at a dosage of 1-2 mg/kg to reduce pain and inflammation after dental surgery and extractions. [5] This medication seems to work more effectively than carprofen. More importantly, it shows no significant adverse reactions.

Osteoarthritis in dogs

This condition is characterized by thinning of the cartilage, build-up of fluid within the joint, and the formation of bony outgrowths around the joint. Joint degeneration is the result of trauma, infection, the body’s immune system or malformation during development.

Additionally, when this results in inflammation of the joint membrane, continued cartilage destruction and inflammation, and abnormal joint function, dogs feel intense bone pain.

Symptoms to keep an eye on

symptoms of dog arthritis

Credit: Top 10 Home Remedies

Signs of osteoarthritis include:

  • lameness
  • swelling of the joint
  • muscle wasting
  • thickening
  • and scarring of the tissue joint membrane.

Progressive damage occurs resulting in the:

  • grating sound during joint movement
  • soft-tissue swelling around the joint
  • the formation of bony outgrowths
  • hardening and thickening of bone beneath the cartilage
  • and possibly a narrowed joint space.

Veterinarians may prescribe Deracoxib to treat osteoarthritis in dogs.

Postoperative pain control

Jack Russell after surgery

The period after your dog’s surgery, or postoperative pain control, is an essential aspect for surgical veterinary care in dogs. Sufficient pain relief after surgery or trauma allows the dog to rest. Dogs will sleep longer for a few days after any surgery, and Deracoxib is effective in treating post-operative pain in dogs.

Benefits of Deramaxx for dogs

The two main benefits of this medication are that it provides comfort to dogs who are in pain, and increased mobility to those suffering from arthritis. It’s also proven that pups who feel little or no pain, will be able to recover quicker, and Deramaxx is the perfect solution to this.

Comfort & mobility

Since Deramaxx is a pain reliever for dogs, it is beneficial in improving the quality of life for your furry best friend. It does this by blocking the COX-2 enzyme that triggers pain and inflammation. [6] Deramaxx allows for a pain-free life and facilitates more natural movement for dogs. It is a potent analgesic that is also an anti-inflammatory. When using Deramaxx dogs will be able to walk, run, and jump, and even enjoy a trip to the beach for a swim.

Quicker recovery time

Deramaxx allows for your dog to be pain-free for extended periods of time. That said, dogs will start eating again which helps with a faster recovery. By removing constant pain from your dog’s life, he will be able to stretch, eat, play, exercise, and live a stress-free life.

Side effects of Deramaxx

There may be some side effects [7] that your dog may experience when taking Deramaxx. These include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite

Side effects requiring a trip to the vet

  • Itching
  • Rashes
  • Black stool
  • Weight Loss
  • Urinary changes
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Jaundice
  • Aggression or changes in behavior

Consult with your veterinarian if your dog has any adverse reactions to Deramaxx.

Deramaxx dosage for dogs

deramaxx for dogs dosage chart

Credit: Veterinary Place

For post-operative pain in dogs: The recommended dosage is 1.4 to 1.8mg per pound of body weight, once daily for seven days. A requirement for the medication is that dogs need to be 4 pounds or heavier before the drug is prescribed.

For osteoarthritis and inflammation: The dosage would probably look as follows: 0.45 -0.91mg per pound, once daily. These chewable pills are available in a beefy flavor and are best given with food so that there is a limited chance of gastric reactions. Deramaxx is only recommended for use in dogs and cannot be administered to other household pets.

What to do about skipped doses?

Never double up on a missed dose of Deramaxx!

Should you miss a dose, administer it if there are a couple of hours in between until the next treatment. Veterinarians recommend waiting until the next succeeding dose to be given to the dog as scheduled if the gap between succeeding doses is too short.

Consult with your veterinarian to confirm dosing schedules for Deramaxx.

In the event of an overdose

Although considered a safe medication, when used in the wrong dosage, severe toxicity can occur in dogs. Symptoms may include seizures, lethargy, black stools, vomiting, and intense itching. Deramaxx poisoning can occur in dogs, so contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog has experienced an overdose!

Additionally, some dogs present with sensitivity to certain medications. If this happens to your dog, it can be deadly. Dogs that suffer from cardiac, liver, and kidney related problems should not take Deramaxx. Pregnant and lactating dogs also should not be prescribed this medication.

Possible drug interactions

Certain drugs may interact with Deramaxx, and a few of these include:

  • Other NSAIDs
  • Triamcinolone
  • Prednisolone
  • Dexamethasone
  • Cortisone
  • Other corticosteroids
  • Probenecid
  • Cough medications
  • Antihistamines
  • Warfarin
  • Furosemide

Consult with your veterinarian and discuss what drugs, vitamins, and supplements that your dog is taking before starting him on Deramaxx.

Things to ask your vet about Deramaxx

Vet talking to a pet owner

Before prescribing Deramaxx, your veterinarian will most likely begin by discussing treatment options. He or she will recommend and advise you about the specific disorder, and the approved drugs that will be needed to treat the disease.

You will need to thoroughly discuss with your veterinarian any medications, prescriptions, over-the-counter, or herbal meds that you are giving your dog. You will also need to inform yourself about how Deramaxx works, and any possible side effects that this drug may have on your dog.

Most importantly, you will need to prepare yourself in advance should any side effects arise that would require immediate emergency veterinary care. Even if Deramaxx seems easy enough to use, or you’ve given this to your dog in the past, it’s still important to follow all instructions carefully. Correct dosages must be administered at all times.

Inform your veterinarian if your dog suffers from seizures as this drug cannot be given to dogs with a seizure history. Gastrointestinal problems, pregnancy, liver disorders, and kidney disease are among the range of conditions or diseases that will prevent your veterinarian from prescribing this remedy.

Final thoughts on Duramaxx for pain relief

dog after a operation

Deramaxx is useful for pain control in all dogs. Selecting the most suitable drug or drug combination for your dog will be based on how much pain your dog is in, and his overall health. Reducing your dog’s stress, anxiety, pain level, and providing proper care will maximize your veterinarian’s treatment regimen.

Pain will interfere with every part of your dog’s life! It is essential to visit your veterinarian if your dog shows any signs of constant discomfort or illness. Acute surgical, traumatic, and disease-related pain in dogs can be treated with non-steroidal NSAIDs or pain-relieving drugs like Deramaxx. Consult with your veterinarian for the best advice.


Looking for other dog meds?


  1. What can we learn from osteoarthritis pain in companion animals?” Cimino Brown. September 2017
  2. Deramaxx™ (deracoxib) Chewable Tablets, For Oral Use in Dogs Only – DailyMed
  3. Bienhoff, Stephen E et al. “Efficacy and safety of deracoxib for the control of postoperative pain and inflammation associated with dental surgery in dogs” ISRN veterinary science vol. 2011 593015. 23 Jan. 2012, doi:10.5402/2011/593015
  4. Ricciotti, Emanuela and Garret A FitzGerald. “Prostaglandins and inflammation” Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology vol. 31,5 (2011): 986-1000.
  5. Deramaxx Approved For Post-Op Dental Pain In Dogs – Veterinary Practice News
  6. Bakirel, Tülay et al. “Synergistic growth inhibitory effect of deracoxib with doxorubicin against a canine mammary tumor cell line, CMT-U27” Journal of veterinary medical science vol. 78,4 (2016): 657-68.
  7. Safety and tolerability of 3-week and 6-month dosing of Deramaxx (deracoxib) chewable tablets in dogs.” E.S. Roberts. K. A. Van Lare. B. R. Marable. W. F. Salminen. August 2009

About the Author


Claudia Bensimoun is a hard working, animal loving, dog journalist from sunny West Palm Beach, and specializes in veterinary content. A long-time contributing features writer for Animal Wellness magazine, Fido Friendly magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association. She's also the author and ghostwriter of more than 50 dog eBooks. She's passionate about canine nutrition, canine health and wellness, and animal rescue/adoption. Her interests include wildlife conservation, animal welfare, disaster/ humanitarian relief, and veterinary research.

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