Anti-inflammatory drugs are life-savers for many arthritic dogs, but used improperly, they can cause injury or even death. Veterinarians at the CVM regard canine NSAIDs to be safe and effective as long as consumers take precautions and pay attention to the labels and insert warnings.
Traditionally dispensed solely from the veterinarian’s office, prescription drugs for companion dogs represent a ripe peach – ready for picking by retail chain pharmacies and emerging Internet-based pharmacies that have sniffed out a promising new niche in the lucrative pharmaceutical market. These drug retailers have discovered the more than 35 million dog owners in the United States who anticipate the same access to sophisticated medicines for their dogs as they have come to expect for themselves.
Pet pills are big business, raking in an estimated $3 billion last year and growing by 20 percent each year. Pharmaceutical companies have found they can modify human drugs for pets without much additional research expense. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved 15 new behavior-altering drugs for veterinary use in the last year and a half. The two new canine drugs receiving the biggest ad blitz and the most mainstream media coverage, Clomicalm and Anipryl, both were adapted from human drugs.