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The essentials

  • Novox can treat pain or inflammation in animals — Vets prescribe Novox for dogs to treat pain and inflammation. It also goes by other names such as Rimadyl® and Carprofen (generic name).
  • Discuss Novox with your vet before giving your dog Novox — Though Novox is generally safe, some dogs require extra caution, and there are potential side effects. Always discuss your dog’s health history with your veterinarian, including other medications or underlying conditions.
  • Consider other options — Novox can be a safe and effective way to relieve your dog’s pain, but discussing alternatives with your veterinarian is always a good idea. Weight management and supplements may also help with your dog’s chronic pain.

How is Novox used for dogs?

Novox (also called Rimadyl® or the generic name Carprofen) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It’s approved for managing pain and inflammation in dogs and humans. Novox inhibits COX-2, an enzyme that contributes to inflammation. A veterinarian may prescribe it to help with various issues or conditions.

  • Arthritis. his condition affects at least 1 in 5 dogs during their lifetime and is a result of joint degeneration, trauma, autoimmune disease, or infection. Lethargy, reduced mobility, and depression are all symptoms of arthritis. Novox can help with the management of the chronic pain associated with arthritis.
  • Post-surgery. Novox can be used in the short or long term for post-surgical pain, such as orthopedic surgery. One study showed it was more effective in helping with pain than tramadol.
  • Hip dysplasia. This chronic condition occurs when the hip joints don’t develop properly. Larger breeds are at an increased risk, and pups with this condition are more likely to develop arthritis.
  • Soft tissue injuries. Novox may reduce pain in pets with soft tissue injuries, which are marked by mobility issues like limping.
  • Fever reduction. Novox may help lower fevers in dogs. While fevers can be normal , they often are a symptom of another issue, such as an infection. A veterinarian can chart the best course of treatment for your dog’s fever.

👉 Pet Health insurance may help offset the cost of medications your dog needs. Dog owners who invest in a plan earlier in their pup’s life typically enjoy the most benefits.

Giving your dog Novox

Novox is a prescription drug that should only be given with a veterinarian’s approval. It is FDA-approved for dogs, but veterinarians avoid prescribing it to pregnant or lactating dogs. Caution is needed in dogs younger than seven months old, particularly puppies under seven weeks of age. Dogs with liver or kidney problems also need extra care. A vet can review potential side effects, other treatment options, and guidance on dosing. 

Different forms of Novox

Novox comes in pill form. It can be taken with or without food. Some dogs experience fewer gastrointestinal issues, like vomiting, if taken with food or a treat. 

Novox is a brand name. The medication is also available under the generic name carprofen or the following brand names:

  • Aventicarp®
  • Canidryl®
  • Carpox® 
  • Carprieve® 
  • Carprodyl®
  • Levafen®
  • Norocarp®
  • Rimifin®
  • Rimadyl®
  • Rovera® 
  • Rycarfa®
  • Tergive®
  • Vetprofen®
  • Zinecarp®

Using the right dosage of Novox for your dog

It’s essential that dog owners speak to their vet before giving their pet any medication. The FDA considers Novox safe for dogs, but dosing requirements vary. Generally, vets recommend 2 milligrams (mg) per pound (lb) of body weight daily. They often split the dose in half, so it’s 1 mg per pound twice daily.

Weight Usual total daily dose
27 to 34 lbs 54 to 68 mg
35 to 50 lbs 70 to 100 mg
51 to 69 lbs 102 to 138 mg
70 to 100 lbs 140 to 200 mg
101 to 130 lbs. 202 to 260 mg

👉 Don’t panic if you forget to give your pet one tablet. You can give it as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time for the next dose, simply skip the missed dose. Never give two doses at once.

Potential side effects of Novox in dogs

Novox can cause adverse reactions ranging from serious side effects to more manageable ones. Every dog’s body is different, so one pup may not have any adverse effects while another may experience several. Understanding what to look out for when giving your dog Novox can help you know when to reach out for care or stop use under the supervision of a vet. When in doubt, call your dog’s veterinarian.

Potential Novox side effects include:

  • Change in appetite. Your dog’s appetite might decrease. This side effect should be temporary. If it persists, call the vet.
  • Change in energy levels. Some pets become more lethargic.
  • Seizures. Seizures can affect several parts of a dog’s body, including pupil dilation or excessive salivation. Talk to your vet if your pet has a history of seizures or is on any seizure medications.
  • Yellowing of skin or gums. Yellowing of the skin or gums or pale gums could be a sign of jaundice.
  • Gastrointestinal issues. Black, tarry stools, vomiting, and diarrhea may occur. These more serious side effects signal potential GI damage. Call the vet if your dog starts exhibiting these symptoms.
  • Kidney problems. Excessive urination or drinking may be a sign of kidney damage. Seek immediate veterinarian medicine attention if you notice this potentially serious side effect of Novox for dogs.
  • Aggression. In rare cases, pets may display aggressive behavior.
  • Lab results. Your dog’s blood work may come back abnormally if they are taking Novox. Thyroid levels, liver enzymes, blood cell counts, potassium levels, kidney values, and bleeding times may all be affected.

Possible drug interactions with Novox

You’ll always want to discuss any drugs or supplements your furry friend is on with your vet. Some drugs that may negatively interact with Novox include:

  • ACE inhibitors
  • Anticoagulants
  • Antidepressants
  • Aspirin
  • Corticosteroids
  • Dacarbazine
  • Dactinomycin
  • Desmopressin
  • Digoxin
  • Dinoprost
  • Insulin
  • Oral diabetic medication
  • Loop diuretics
  • Methotrexate

Overdosing information and signs to watch for

It’s possible for dogs to overdose on Novox, particularly if they accidentally get into a bottle and ingest too many tablets. Symptoms of Novox overdose will depend on how much the pet ingested but may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Bloody vomit
  • Diarrhea
  • Tarry stools
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Increase water consumption or urination
  • Abdominal pain
  • Seizures

Risk factors associated with Novox and pets

Novox is safe for most pups, but not all. Caution is necessary for dogs under six weeks old or those who are pregnant or nursing. Since Novox can trigger increased thirst, refrain from giving it to a dehydrated dog. 

Pups with pre-existing conditions, including liver disease, kidney disease, congestive heart failure, or gastrointestinal problems, should not take this drug. Bleeding disorders, such as Von Willebrand or low palette counts, are also not good candidates for Novox. 

Some pets may have an allergic reaction to it. Discuss this risk factor with your vet if your pup has had a previous allergic reaction to an NSAID.

Alternatives to Novox for dogs

Novox is one of several treatment options for pets with chronic or situational pain. Dog owners may be interested in exploring alternatives or using Novox as part of a holistic treatment plan. Here are a few alternatives to consider 

  • Acupuncture. Acupuncture can target specific points along a line (meridian). When a needle is inserted, a practitioner can manipulate that point to ensure chi (or energy flow is balanced. Though there’s no scientific data supporting the use of acupuncture for pain management, some dog owners swear by it.
  • Physical therapy. Physical therapy is a first-line treatment post-surgery and for conditions like arthritis. It can help improve joint diseases, pain, and functioning.
  • Weight management. Feeding your dog a healthy diet of 90% AAFCO-approved food and ensuring they get enough exercise can keep joint issues at bay.
  • Joint supplements. Supplements containing omega fatty acids, hemp, and turmeric may help reduce pain and inflammation. 
  • CBD. Though it’s not FDA-approved for pain, CBD may help. Be sure to do your research and only purchase CBD products from reputable sellers.

Frequently asked questions

What does Novox do for dogs?

Novox can reduce inflammation and pain in dogs. It is used in day-to-day treatment for conditions like arthritis, joint pain, and hip dysplasia. It may also be given for short-term use after surgery.

Are Novox and Rimadyl the same?

Yes, Novox and Rimadyl are just different brand names for the generic drug Carprofen.

Will Novox make my dog sleepy?

Lethargy is one of the potential adverse effects dogs may experience while taking Novox. It should be temporary. If it persists, discuss this issue with your pet’s vet.

Is Novox a narcotic?

Novox is not a narcotic. It’s considered a non-narcotic, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent (NSAID). It’s not available over the counter, but Novox for dogs is FDA-approved, and vets can prescribe it. 

How long does Novox take to work in dogs?

Novox is fast-acting. Dogs metabolize medication at different rates, but it generally works in one to two hours.