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What Could Be Causing Joint Discomfort In My Dog?

Table of Contents

What is Galliprant for Dogs?

Prescription Treatment for Serious Joint Issues in Dogs

Senior Dog older canine

What is Galliprant?

In March of 2016, galliprant was approved by the FDA as the newest prescription medication for dogs approved to treat the discomfort and inflammation from serious joint issues. Galliprant belongs to a category of drugs called non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. Galliprant, active ingredient grapiprant, comes in a flavored chewable tablet form and is best absorbed by the body when given to a dog on an empty stomach (60 minutes+ before next meal time). However, if a dog experiences nausea when taking alone, it can also be taken with food.

Galliprant works quickly as an anti inflammatory agent to relieve the discomfort and swelling caused by serious joint issues; most doggies show reduced discomfort symptoms within 1 to 2 hours. Galliprant has a long half-life and one dose each day should be sufficient for serious joint issues discomfort and inflammation.

Treating Joint Discomfort in Dogs

Canine joint discomfort is a  medical issue where cartilage deteriorates and causes two or more bones to rub against each other. This uncomfortable rubbing can cause permanent damage to the affected joint as well as irritation, discomfort, non-normal inflammatory response, and debility. Senior dogs as well as overweight dogs have a higher risk of developing this .

 The body  should have a natural response to injury or irritation. When cells are damaged, the body releases an enzyme called cyclooxygenase, which then stimulates the cell to produce substances called prostaglandins. These prostaglandins are what cause the common signs of non-normal inflammatory response  like discomfort, swelling, fever, and redness. The scientific name for this process is the Inflammatory Pathway.

The FDA had previously approved several other NSAIDs for joint discomfort and non-normal inflammatory response in dogs, but galliprant is the first of its kind in terms of its specific targeted action. While previous drugs used in dogs work by blocking COX, galliprant provides targeted joint discomfort  support further along the inflammatory pathway by blocking the activity of a specific prostaglandin.

Side Effects in Dogs

When used for supporting canine joint discomfort, NSAIDs may cause these common adverse reactions:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Decreased appetite and tiredness
  • Changes in urination frequency or smell
  • Change in stool (consistency, presence of blood or mucus)
  • Jaundice (yellowing of gums/eyes/skin)
  • Changes in behavior (aggression, depression, etc)

Signs of more serious Galliprant and NSAID side effects include:

  • Gastrointestinal Ulcers
  • Stomach/Intestinal bleeding
  • Liver and kidney toxicity
  • Neurological side effects, including seizures

Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet is experiencing these side effects.

Other Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Treatments

FDA approved alternatives include the following non steroidal anti inflammatory drug medications below:

Active Ingredient

Brand Names


Marketed under multiple trade names


Deramaxx, Doxidyl






Marketed under multiple trade names


Canines Who Should Avoid Galliprant

There are times when something is not the right treatment for your dog’s joint discomfort. Galliprant has only been studied and approved by the FDA for use in dogs older than 9 months of age and who weigh at least 8 pounds. Dogs younger than 9 months should not take it .Additionally this medication is not approved for use in pregnant or lactating dogs. Any dog with prior kidney, liver, or heart disease is more likely to experience adverse effects. Some pups may be allergic to this option, so another NSAID or corticosteroids may be a safer option.

Supporting the Safe Use of Galliprant

Joint Discomfort in dogs is usually a long-term condition, so a dog may be on NSAIDs for an extended time period. Before starting this medication, your veterinarian will want to perform baseline blood tests to gather information about your dog’s kidney and liver health. Once  treatment begins, ongoing monitoring is recommended if used long term to make sure that the benefits of this medication treatment of canine joint discomfort continues to outweigh the risks.