Systematic review of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-induced adverse effects in dogs

J Vet Intern Med. Sep-Oct 2013;27(5):1011-9. doi: 10.1111/jvim.12127. Epub 2013 Jun 19.


The aim of this systematic review was to identify, assess, and critically evaluate the quality of evidence of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-induced adverse effects in dogs. Original prospective studies published in peer-reviewed journals in English (1990-2012) that reported data on the safety of NSAIDs administration in dogs were searched. For each study, design type (I, II, III, or IV) and assessment of quality (+, Ø, -) were rated. For each drug, quantity and consistency rating (***, **, *) and strength of evidence (high, moderate, low, or extremely low) were identified and evaluated. The strength of evidence was defined in terms of how applicable and relevant the conclusions were to the target population. Sixty-four studies met the inclusion criteria. Thirty-five (55%) research studies and 29 (45%) clinical trials were identified. A high strength of evidence existed for carprofen, firocoxib, and meloxicam; moderate for deracoxib, ketoprofen, and robenacoxib; and low for etodolac. Quality and consistency rating were as follows: carprofen (***/***), deracoxib (**/***), etodolac (*/unable to rate), firocoxib (***/**), ketoprofen (**/***), meloxicam (***/***), and robenacoxib (**/**), respectively. Adverse effects were detected in 35 studies (55%) and commonly included vomiting, diarrhea, and anorexia. Three studies (5%) reported a power analysis related to adverse effects of ≥80%. In randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded studies (n = 25, 39%), the incidence of adverse effects was not statistically different between treated and control dogs. Finally, most studies were not appropriately designed to determine the safety of NSAIDs, and involved a healthy nongeriatric population of research dogs.

Keywords: Analgesia; Canine; Evidence-based medicine; Osteoarthritis; Pain.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects*
  • Dog Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Dogs


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal