Previcox for Dogs: Safety, Side-Effects, and Alternative Medicine

Previcox is a drug in veterinary medicine. It plays a crucial role in the treatment of dogs suffering from the painful effects of osteoarthritis, as well as in the recovery process after surgery.

Let’s look into this medicine, exploring its mechanism, safety profile, potential side effects, and alternatives.

Key Takeaways

    • Previcox is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) designed specifically for dogs.
    • It’s considered generally safe, but its adverse effects are dose and time-related.
    • There is no data about Previcox safety beyond the period of 180 days. 
    • Potential side effects are vomiting and changes in appetite, alterations in activity levels, gastrointestinal disturbances, aggression, seizures, or a lack of coordination, itching, redness, or the development of scabs.
    • Rare side effects can be hives, facial swelling, a jaundice appearance in the gums, skin, or whites of the eyes, increased thirst and urination, extreme vomiting or diarrhea, lethargy, incoordination, seizures, and uncharacteristic behavioral changes.
    • Alternatives for Previcox are other NSAID medications, Joint supplements, and CBD oil.

What is Previcox? 

It’s an FDA-approved, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) tailored for dogs. Previcox primary function is to alleviate pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. Sometimes it can be used for postoperative pain and inflammation stemming from both soft-tissue and orthopedic surgeries. 

How Does this Medicine Work?

Previcox’s effectiveness lies in its selective inhibition of the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme pathway. This targeted approach ensures a reduction in inflammation and pain while sparing the COX-1 pathway, which is instrumental in minimizing the risk of side effects. 

The precision of this mechanism underscores the advanced nature of Previcox in managing canine discomfort with an emphasis on safety.

Is Previcox safe for dogs?

According to the studies conducted by the manufacturer, this medicine was tested on healthy beagles for up to 180 days at 1, 3, and 5 times the standard dose. The studies showed that the drug’s adverse effects are dose and time related, and dogs on a higher than the standard dose for an extended period are more likely to experience health issues.

So yes, the Previcox was deemed safe in these studies, but liver changes were observed in dogs who took the standard dose for 180 days. The study authors considered these changes to be harmless, yet it’s important to note that the study concluded at 180 days, and there is no data on the drug’s safety beyond that period. 

Also, the manufacturer advertises Previcox as “safe for long-term use,” the term “long-term” is not clearly defined. Your dog could use the drug for more than 180 days, but if you decide to use this medicine to manage your dog’s pain and inflammation, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian and discuss the potential risks and benefits of the drug. Your veterinarian may recommend regular monitoring of your dog’s liver function while taking Previcox.

Side effects 

In some cases Previcox may cause adverse reactions in dogs. These side effects can range from mild to severe and may include:

  • Vomiting and changes in appetite, either an increase or decrease, which could lead to unexpected weight loss.
  • Alterations in activity levels, whether a decrease or increase, potentially signaling discomfort or other issues.
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances, such as diarrhea or the presence of bloody or black stools, indicating possible internal bleeding.
  • Behavioral changes are also a concern, with symptoms including aggression, seizures, or a lack of coordination, which could distress both the pet and the owner.
  • Dermatological issues, such as itching, redness, or the development of scabs, may also occur, suggesting an allergic reaction or sensitivity to the medication.

In rare cases, dogs may exhibit signs of a severe allergic reaction or adverse event indicative of renal or liver damage. Symptoms that necessitate immediate veterinary attention are:

  • hives, 
  • facial swelling, 
  • a jaundice appearance in the gums, skin, or whites of the eyes, 
  • increased thirst and urination, 
  • extreme vomiting or diarrhea, 
  • lethargy, incoordination, 
  • seizures, 
  • uncharacteristic behavioral changes 

These symptoms could denote serious health issues requiring prompt intervention to prevent lasting damage.Pet owners must remain vigilant and closely monitor their dogs for any signs of adverse effects during Previcox treatment. Immediate communication with a veterinarian is imperative at the onset of any concerning symptoms. 

Alternative medicine

Other NSAIDs

Previcox is among several NSAIDs approved for veterinary purposes, including human medications like ibuprofen, occasionally used off-label for animals. However, all NSAIDs share similar risks, particularly concerning potential impacts on the stomach and kidneys, making their long-term use a matter of careful consideration and veterinary advice. 

Joint supplements

They can enhance the general health of canine joints, potentially reducing or even eliminating the reliance on prescription NSAIDs like Previcox.

Yumove and Seraquin emerge as notable supplements recommended for supporting joint health. These products can be introduced gradually, allowing for the possible reduction or cessation of Previcox usage after a few weeks. But, you should know that managing joint health might still necessitate occasional Previcox use during periods of increased stiffness or soreness. This balanced approach, complemented by controlled exercise and a sensible diet for weight management, offers a holistic strategy for maintaining joint health.


It’s derived from the hemp plant and distinct from THC, and it presents an alternative avenue. A study conducted by Cornell University highlighted CBD’s potential in alleviating discomfort and enhancing activity levels in dogs with osteoarthritis.

CBD oil and treats, often combined with natural ingredients like Glucosamine and Chondroitin, offer support for mobility and may serve as a viable option for pets that respond poorly to traditional NSAIDs. But be careful and consult with a veterinarian before incorporating CBD into a pet’s pain management regimen. 

Previcox and other medications 

The suitability of this medicine for an individual dog depends on various factors, including the dog’s overall health, the presence of concurrent medical conditions, and the use of other medications. For example, Previcox is not recommended for dogs with known hypersensitivity to NSAIDs, those suffering from severe renal or liver disease, or in cases where there is a risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. 

Prior to prescribing it, veterinarians typically conduct a thorough health assessment to identify any contraindications and discuss the risks and benefits with the dog’s owner. Also, the safety of this medicine can be enhanced through vigilant monitoring by the pet owner and regular follow-ups with the veterinarian. This includes observing for signs of adverse reactions and adhering strictly to the prescribed dosage and duration of treatment.

Adjustments to the treatment plan may be necessary based on the dog’s response to the medication and any side effects experienced.


Can it be used for dogs of all ages?

Previcox is generally not recommended for dogs younger than seven months. The safety and efficacy of Previcox in very young dogs have not been fully established, and dosing accuracy can be challenging in smaller, younger dogs. Always consult a veterinarian to determine the most appropriate treatment for dogs of any age.

How long does it take for it to start working?

Previcox begins to relieve pain and inflammation in dogs within a few hours of administration. But, the full effect might not be observed until a few days into the treatment. Owners may notice improvements in their dog’s mobility and comfort levels within 24 to 72 hours.

Can I give my dog Previcox and Benadryl together?

Yes, Previcox and Benadryl can generally be given together to dogs under the supervision of a veterinarian. Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is often used to treat allergies, itching, and other conditions in dogs and is not known to have significant interactions with Previcox (firocoxib).

Are there any breed-specific reactions to this medicine?

There is no widely documented breed-specific reaction to Previcox. But as we mentioned earlier, individual dogs, regardless of breed, may have different sensitivities or reactions to NSAIDs. 

Is it safe to administer this medicine to a pregnant or nursing dog?

The safety of Previcox in pregnant or nursing dogs has not been established. Use in these dogs should be carefully considered only when the potential benefits outweigh the risks. Consult a veterinarian for guidance before administering.

What should I do if I miss a dose of Previcox for my dog?

If you miss a dose of this medicine, give it as soon as you remember, but if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume the regular dosing schedule. Don’t double up on doses to make up for the missed one. If you’re unsure about how to proceed after a missed dose, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian for advice.


Previcox is an FDA-approved NSAID for dogs and It’s effective in managing pain and inflammation associated with conditions such as osteoarthritis and post-surgical recovery. 

It’s generally considered safe and well-tolerated, yet it’s important to be familiar with its side effects and to monitor your pet if they are receiving treatment. But, don’t forget it’s recommended that all treatments be carried out under veterinary guidance.