Like most small dogs, chihuahuas need extra care since they’re prone to more illnesses. You’ll often catch yourself wondering about their health concerns, such as, what can you give a chihuahua for pain? It’s crucial to know what at-home treatment is safe for your chi—and when’s the best time to give it to them.
How to tell if your chihuahua is in pain and what you can give to help are discussed below.
How to Tell if your Chihuahua is in Pain
Before discovering the best treatment, you’ll need to confirm that your chi is in pain. Most dogs exhibit discomfort in different ways, some of which are very easy to miss. Since your chihuahua can’t tell you when they’re in pain, you need to be vigilant—and pay attention.
Here are the signs and symptoms that may indicate pain in chihuahuas:
- Excess limping
- Sudden aggressive behavior
- Frequent whining or yelping
- Panting a lot
- Has difficulty lying down
- Excessively licking their joints
- Sudden changes in sleeping, drinking, and eating habits
- Excess drooling
- Lowers their tail more
If your chi is experiencing any of the symptoms above persistently, it’s best to visit the vet. Doing so helps you find out what pain medications would help your dog the best.
Treating Your Chihuahua for Pain – Common Medications You Can Give Them
If you notice your chihuahua behaving unusually lately, they might be in pain. There can be several causes of this change, such as injury, infection, or illness. Regardless of this, as an owner, you’ll want to help your dog feel better. But, what can you give a chihuahua for pain?
If this is the case, don’t try to guess what your chi’s problem might be and visit your vet immediately. Most veterinarians will recommend medication based on your dog’s needs. Below are some of the medicines you can buy from a pharmacy:
Note: never give your dog medicine without discussing it with your vet first (giving the wrong medication or dose might be fatal to your pet)
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs help in relieving swelling, stiffness, and joint pain. These are most beneficial to dogs with arthritis or who have undergone surgery. However, never give your chihuahua NSAIDs intended for humans.
Instead, here are NSAIDs exclusively made for dogs:
You can get most of these over the counter, and they’re usually safe for dogs. But they react differently for each dog, so it’s best to consult with your vet beforehand. When administered incorrectly, this can lead to liver, kidney, and digestive problems.
Before giving any NSAID to your chi, talk to your vet first. Then follow their recommendations on what NSAID to give your dog, how much, and how frequent.
Tylenol, commonly known as Acetaminophen, is known to relieve fever in humans. But, can dogs take this? It depends on your dog’s size, breed, and current health.
OTC pain relievers are usually harmless on dogs and might help with the pain. But, since chihuahuas have more health issues than other dogs, talk to your vet first. Never give Tylenol to your chi first unless your veterinarian supervises you to do it.
Generally, dogs shouldn’t be given human medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin.
Opioids are among the most potent pain-relieving medications for humans. And these are usually highly effective on dogs as well.
However, for pups, side effects like nausea and sedation are common.
A few years ago, tramadol, a specific kind of opioid, was a popular go-to for vets when NSAIDs just didn’t cut it. But in recent years, veterinary research has shown that it’s unpredictable.
Also, it caused several severe side effects on dogs. For this reason, opioids have gone out of favor with most veterinarians today.
But some vets still prescribe this to dogs who are in extreme pain.
This is an antiviral medication that synergizes well with NSAIDs for dogs. Amantadine is best for wind-up pain, common in sensitive dog breeds like chihuahuas. This is when things that shouldn’t be ordinarily painful for your chi become unbearable.
For instance, if your chihuahua shows signs of pain from a mere touch on a specific area. Due to this, Amantadine has become a popular choice for relieving pain and swelling in dogs. However, this medication is a little pricy.
So talk to your vet first to see it would be worth the money.
Methocarbamol is a muscle relaxant that many vets use in relieving pain in dogs related to muscle strains and spasms. Also, veterinarians prescribe this to dogs with back issues. But, this may cause lethargy and drowsiness in chihuahuas. So always use this medication with caution and talk with your vet first!
Supplements usually work best for chihuahuas with chronic problems related to their joints. When your chi reacts well to this, you can lower your doses or stop giving it to them altogether.
Make sure to give this to your dog every day along with their proper meals to relieve them of pain indefinitely.
These medications are used to address inflammation and redness, reducing swelling and pain. However, these are usually prescribed by vets as a short-term solution. Long-term can lead to weight gain and a weaker immune system, especially on smaller dogs. So corticosteroids are typically used for extreme cases of pain on dogs.
Most vets start chihuahuas on a higher dose of this and wean them off over time. Doing so helps chis with patella luxation, collapsed trachea, and hip dysplasia.
This medication is used to manage seizures in dogs. But when you use this at lower doses, it works well in relieving pain. Generally, Gabapentin works best when combined with other pain-relievers for dogs. Hence, it’s become a second-pick for pain relief among vets.
Although it varies, this medication is usually best for relieving neurological pain. For instance, if your chi has a slipped disc on their back, Gabapentin can help.
However, like most medications, Gabapentin also has some side effects. Among them is sedation, which can be dangerous to smaller dog breeds.
That’s why before giving Gabapentin to your chi, consult with your vet first.
Dangers of Pain Medications for Chihuahuas
As a responsible owner, remember that not all pain medications for dogs are safe for your chihuahua to consume. After all, your pup needs to metabolize and excrete them. Therefore, if your chi has underlying issues with these organs, using these medications can worsen their pain.
That’s why before giving anything to your chihuahua, always consult with your vet first. And only administer dog medication approved by them.
Also, there are plenty of dog medications that can be harmful to your chihuahua when misused. For instance, mixing NSAIDs and corticosteroids can lead to gastrointestinal ulcers and excessive bleeding.
Natural Pain Relief for Chihuahuas
If you don’t want to give your chihuahua medication, there are natural remedies to try. If your vet approves, try any of the alternatives below to free your chi from pain:
🔥 Heat Therapy
Heat packs do wonders for muscle pain and strain, relieving discomfort. Also, heat therapy works well in loosening stiff joints, ideal for older chihuahuas.
Ice packs can help reduce inflammation and any pain related to acute injuries. So if your chihuahua has a swollen leg or broken paw, this can ease the pain. Just make sure to wrap these in a towel to make them more comfortable for your dog.
Gently massaging affected areas on your chihuahua can relieve them of pain. Massaging your chi can help improve the blood flow in those places, reducing inflammation, and promoting faster healing. But remember to be gentle since chihuahuas are delicate dogs!
🏋️ Weight Management
Helping your chihuahua stay fit and lean helps relieve them of pain long-term. It specifically helps ease pain in their legs and back. After all, the less gravitation force there is on a specific area, the less likely it’ll hurt.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it safe to give my chihuahua Aspirin?
A: Giving your pet any human medication is not safe and can be detrimental to their health. So before giving your chihuahua medicine, consult with your vet beforehand.
Q: What’s the best medication to give my chihuahua temporary pain relief?
A: NSAIDs are your safest bet when it comes to giving temporary comfort to your chihuahua. Doing so helps reduce swelling, stiffness, and pain. But talk to your vet first to know what type of NSAID to give, how much of it, and how often.
Q: What medication can I give a limping chihuahua?
A: NSAIDs work best in managing joint pain and swelling. And prescription dog medications like Carprofen and Meloxicam are your safest options. You can get these at most pet pharmacies or stores.
It’s easy to assume that you can give your chihuahua just any dog medication to free them from pain. However, this can lead to several complications, or worse, fatal consequences. So knowing what to give a chihuahua for pain can go a long way. Just make sure to talk to a vet before giving your chi any medication. Doing so keeps your dog safe, healthy, and pain-free.
Here at ILoveChihuahua, we share our personal experiences as owners of this feisty breed. We talk about recommended methods, dog supplies picks, and advice on common Chihuahua problems. Our goal is to promote responsible dog ownership, so there would be fewer Chihuahuas in shelters.