In the past several years, some newer medications have come on the market; these are commonly referred to as COX-2 inhibitors . Remember, all NSAIDs work against cyclooxygenase (COX). Traditional NSAIDs (. Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve) work against both COX-1 and COX-2. COX-1 and COX-2 are both types of cyclooxygenase enzymes that function in your body. The new medications (. Celebrex) work primarily against COX-2, and allow COX-1 to function normally. Because COX-1 is more important in producing the protective lining in your gut (gastric mucosa), these newer NSAIDs are believed to have less of a risk of causing stomach ulcers.
Given how NSAIDs and steroids work in the body, a combination of anti-inflammatory doses of NSAIDs and corticosteroids is almost always contraindicated and should generally be avoided. This nasty mix can induce gastrointestinal bleeding and/or alter oxygen delivery to the uniquely important organs like the liver and/or kidneys. There are several alternatives for pain management in patients, and consultation with a board-certified veterinary surgeon, sports medicine and rehabilitation specialist, and/or critical care specialist may be invaluable to help ensure pets receive the best possible healthcare.