Previcox is a type of pain reliever that is primarily formulated for use only on dogs. Its active ingredient is Firocoxib and belongs to a class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs that are collectively called as “coxibs”. Like other NSAIDs, Previcox (firocoxib) is a powerful canine analgesic that is primarily indicated in the management, control, and alleviation of pain of moderate to severe in intensity. This type of pain is often seen in bone and joint problems as well as the result of surgical procedures. Firocoxib is also helpful in the reduction and mitigation of inflammatory processes.

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Firocoxib belongs to a class of analgesics that are known in the scientific community as cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors or simply COX-2 inhibitors. From the name itself, Firocoxib works like all other coxibs by preventing the action of an intermediary enzyme that helps in the conversion of the omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid into a variety of pro-inflammatory substances such as prostaglandins and prostacyclin as well as thromboxane A2. These substances play a role in the initiation of the inflammatory response which is, technically, a protective mechanism of the body to limit tissue injury and help hasten tissue repair.

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Previcox (firocoxib) is a special formulation of a COX-2 inhibitor type of drug for the management and control of canine pain and inflammation that are the result of a variety of health conditions but most especially canine arthritis. It is also indicated in the alleviation of pain and the reduction of inflammation following surgical procedures performed on bones, joints, and soft tissues.

  • Osteoarthritis in dogs 

Canine osteoarthritis is a very common disease condition of the joints of older dogs. This is often the result of the gradual degeneration of the tissues that make up the ends of long bones such as those in the hips, legs, and even digits. While the condition mostly affects senior pooches, younger dogs can also be affected as a complication of another disease process that can significantly alter the normal composition of the cartilage. Trauma and bone infections can also severely degrade the integrity of the articular surfaces leading to increased friction and further deterioration of the cartilage.

The normal structure and functioning of the joints is dependent on healthy cartilage tissues. These are composed of specialized cells that are called chondrocytes which function in the maintenance of the integrity of the cartilage. In addition to the promotion and maintenance of joint integrity, chondrocytes also secrete a special substance that is added to the synovial fluid in the joint capsule. This fluid helps absorb shock forces and eliminate friction against the two opposing surfaces of cartilaginous tissues.

A change in the integrity of the cartilage effectively renders the entire joint apparatus incapable of absorbing impact and shock forces while also increasing the effects of friction on the opposing bone tissues. When this occurs, bone tissue near the junction of cartilage and dense bone is severely damaged, leading to a loss of structural integrity of the bone. That is why it is called osteoporosis which is the literal translation for ‘porous bones’ brought about by the release of bone minerals secondary to bone tissue destruction.

Inflammatory substances are released to attempt to limit the tissue injury by creating a protective wall around the injury so that other reparative and healing cells of the canine body can get to work. Unfortunately, these substances bring about pain and inflammation because of their effects on other components of the bone such as the nerve endings and blood vessels.

Since majority of these inflammatory responses are mediated by prostaglandins and other similar chemicals, Firocoxib can help reduce pain and inflammation by limiting the amount of arachidonic acid that can be converted into prostaglandins.

  • Post-operative pain and inflammation 

Previcox can also be used in the management of inflammation and pain caused by surgical procedures. In pretty much the same way as the inflammatory processes seen in canine arthritis, the surgical incision made in a body part of the dog can also initiate the inflammatory cascade. 

Benefits of Previcox

One of the most important benefits of Previcox is in the alleviation of moderate to severe pain syndromes that are most often associated with osteoarthritis in dogs. More importantly, however, is the extension of this benefit in other aspects of your dog’s wellbeing.

  • Brings comfort to your dog 

We always have this idea that pain is a highly subjective experience. Sadly, there really is no way our dogs can verbalize their assessment of their pain levels. We can only base our assumptions on what behaviors we can observe. We know that dogs in pain are typically irritable, highly agitated, can snap easily, and can become quite aggressive. If the pain is unbearable, you will see them whining, uneasy, or even fail to eat or sleep. They will not be able to move and enjoy the things they normally do. Firocoxib helps improve these symptoms to bring comfort to your pooch.

  • Improves physical mobility 

Can you imagine yourself walking with a very painful leg? Now imagine your dog trying to walk with its joints inflamed or its surgical wound still painful. Giving Firocoxib can help reduce both pain and inflammation allowing your dog to move about as freely and optimally as possible.

  • Enhances the speed of recovery 

We mentioned that inflammation is a natural occurrence in response to an injury to the tissues. However, the various symptoms associated with inflammatory processes particularly pain can lead to a reduction in your dog’s appetite. Without ample nutrition, it will not have the all-important nutrients to help in the healing process. Medicating your pooch with Previcox allows it to move with ease and eat the food it needs to help in the reparative process. This helps speed up recovery. 

How Previcox Works

Previcox (firocoxib) is a type of analgesic that acts by inhibiting the action of cyclooxygenase 2 which leads to the reduction in the formation or synthesis of prostaglandins and similar proinflammatory substances from arachidonic acid. More specifically, Firocoxib halts the transformation of the omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid into PGE1 and 6-keto PGF-1, two of the most clinically important prostaglandins as far as inflammation and pain in dogs are concerned. Understand that since Firocoxib affects the arachidonic acid-prostaglandin pathway, it is inadvertent that pain and inflammation are not the only effects that Previcox can produce.

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Potential Side Effects

As we have mentioned previously, the action of Firocoxib on the arachidonic acid-prostaglandin pathway does not only mean it is going to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain exclusively. This is because prostaglandins and the other substances affected by this COX-2 inhibitor have physiologic effects other than cause inflammation and pain. As such, you should not really concern yourself if you see any of the following in your dog.

  • Abdominal pain and/or tenderness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite

Now, if you see any of the following signs, these are often an indication of an adverse reaction which is similar to a side effect but should never occur. The only reason why these occur is because of either an allergic reaction or toxicity.

  • Stools that are colored black
  • Stools that have streaks of bright fresh blood
  • Vomitus with streaks of blood
  • Intense itching on the skin
  • Skin rashes
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unusual fatigue or lethargy
  • Changes in the frequency, volume, and characteristics of urine
  • Jaundice or yellowing of the mucus membranes
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Seizures
  • Unexplained canine behavioral changes

Seeing any of these adverse reactions should warrant an immediate discontinuation of Previcox. You are also advised to bring your pooch immediately to your vet or to the nearest veterinary clinic with an emergency facility. In addition to these adverse reactions, you also need to seek veterinary help if you notice labored breathing, swelling of your dog’s face and tongue, or even the presence of hives. 

Things You Should Know about Previcox

Previcox (firocoxib) is an FDA-approved, prescription-only analgesic and anti-inflammatory medication intended only for dogs. It is available in scored chewable tablet forms making it relatively easy to administer. It comes in 57 mg and 227 mg formulations, accounting for the recommended once daily dosage of 2.27 milligrams per pound of canine body weight or roughly equivalent to 5 mg per kilogram in the metric scale. The amount of Firocoxib dose often depends on a variety of factors that should be assessed thoroughly by your vet.

Since Previcox may also provoke the occurrence of allergic and adverse reactions as we have identified in the preceding section, it is imperative to learn how to recognize these manifestations. If any of these signs and symptoms is observed, you should immediately discontinue the Previcox therapy and bring your pooch to the nearest vet facility. Moreover, if you are planning to give your dog other medications or supplements in conjunction with Previcox, make sure to check with your vet first if there will be any drug interactions. 

What You Should Tell Your Vet before He Prescribes Previcox

It is imperative to inform your vet about the medication history of your pooch. For instance, if your dog is known to be allergic to NSAIDs, your vet should be informed about it so that other analgesics may have to be prescribed to ease the pain. If your pooch has stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, liver disease, gastrointestinal bleeding, or even kidney disease, these may require some adjustments in the dose of Previcox. Pregnant as well as lactating pooches should not also be given Previcox. Prednisolone, prednisone, and methylprednisolone therapy may also require some changes in the Previcox therapy. 

How to Give Previcox to Your Dog

Firocoxib should be given according to your vet’s instructions. The current recommendation is for a once daily administration of Firocoxib at a rate of 2.27 milligrams for every pound of your dog’s weight or as your veterinarian deems appropriate. It can be given with or without meals, although it is highly suggested that it be given with meals to help minimize its gastrointestinal effects. Previcox is also designed specifically for dogs and, as such, under no circumstances are you supposed to administer it to other pets. 

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

In case you forgot to give your dog its Previcox medication, you need to administer it as soon as possible. However, if it is already almost time for your dog’s next Firocoxib dose, you can disregard the missed dose and just treat it as is. Never give your dog twice the recommended dose in an attempt to make up for the missed dose. 

dog laying in grass

What to Do in Case of Previcox Overdose

It is clear that if any of the following manifestations are observed in your dog during the course of Previcox therapy, you need to discontinue the Firocoxib treatment immediately and bring your pet to a veterinary emergency clinic or even your vet. The following manifestations may already point to Previcox toxicity or overdose.

  • Changes in your dog’s behavior
  • Bloody diarrhea or black, tarry stool
  • Difficulty or labored breathing
  • Changes in urinary pattern
  • Unusually increased thirst
  • Yellowing of the mucus membranes
  • Unexplained weakness or lethargy
  • Pale gums and other mucus membranes
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Some Drug Interactions

It is crucial to recognize that Firocoxib should never be administered when your dog is already on another NSAID. Additionally, if your pooch is also on corticosteroid treatment such as cortisone, prednisone, and dexamethasone, you may need to have the dose adjusted by your vet as these steroids are already very potent anti-inflammatory agents. Technically, whatever medication or supplement your dog is receiving while it is undergoing Previcox treatment should be made known to your vet so he will know what adjustments should be needed.

Previcox is an exceptional pain reliever and anti-inflammatory agent that is specific for dogs. The drug is made especially for managing pain and inflammation that accompany osteoarthritis in dogs as well as the result of a surgical procedure.  Knowing how it works, the different side effects to expect, and how to administer a particular dose can provide you peace of mind in providing pain relief for your dog.

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Olivia Williams
Olivia is our head of content for, mum of one and a true animal lover. With 12 different types of animal in her family, it's never a dull moment. When she isn't walking the dogs, feeding the cats or playing with her pet Parrot Charlie, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest products for your pets!


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