Dogs are living longer and healthier lives today thanks to advances in veterinary medicine and the introduction of effective natural pet care home remedies.
With more active lifestyles that extend into advanced ages, dogs are often diagnosed with painful age-related mobility issues such as osteoarthritis or undergo surgical procedures that require postoperative pain medications.
In these cases, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) like Rovera (Robenacoxib) are among the most common analgesics prescribed by veterinarians.
What Is Rovera for Dogs?
Currently, NSAIDs are the first line and mainstay treatment by veterinarians for the pain and inflammation that accompany musculoskeletal disease dogs.
Rovera (Robenacoxib) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug available for canine use for the control of pain and inflammation marketed as Onsior.
Onsior tablets for dogs were first approved in Europe for chronic osteoarthritis in 2008, and more recently in the United States in 2016 for the control of postoperative pain and inflammation associated with soft tissue surgery.
Rovera (Carprofen) is the nonproprietary designation) is a NSAID in the same class as ibuprofen, naproxen, and ketoprofen.
Rovera is often used before and after surgical procedures to control the pain and inflammation caused by orthopedic and soft tissue surgeries such as spays and neuters in dogs because robenacoxib targets inflamed tissues.
Rovera is also indicated in dogs for the relief of chronic joint pain and inflammation associated with canine osteoarthritis (OA).
How Does Rovera Work?
Like other drugs in this class, Rovera (robenacoxib) has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting the synthesis of prostaglandins. The mechanism of action of Rovera (carprofen) is believed to be associated with the inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX) activity.
Two unique cyclooxygenases have been described in mammals–the ‘constitutive’ COX-1 enzyme and the ‘inducible’ COX-2 enzyme.
The COX-1 enzyme is primarily responsible for synthesis of prostaglandins important for maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal tract, kidney function, platelet function, and other normal functions.
While the COX-2 enzyme is responsible for synthesizing prostaglandins that are important mediators of pain, inflammation, and fever. The enzyme inhibited by NSAIDs like Rovera is the cyclooxygenase (COX-2) enzyme.
Despite its rapid clearance from the blood, Robenacoxib attains peak concentrations and persists longer in inflammatory exudate due to the acidic moiety in its structure and consequent high affinity for plasma proteins that carry the drug to sites of inflammation. This explains the longer efficacy after a single dose of robenacoxib.
Are There Adverse Effects from Robenacoxib?
Rovera, like other drugs of its class, is not free from adverse reactions.
Owners should be advised of the potential for adverse reactions and be informed of the clinical signs associated with drug intolerance.
Adverse reactions may include decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, dark or tarry stools, increased water consumption, increased urination, pale gums due to anemia, yellowing of gums, skin or white of the eye due to jaundice, lethargy, incoordination, seizure, or behavioral changes.
While this moderate-acting medication should stop working in a few days, there can be longer lasting effects in pets with liver or kidney disease.
Most pets will do well with robenacoxib, but dogs that are hypersensitive to it or other NSAIDs could experience side effects including anorexia (lack of appetite), lethargy, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney disease, and kidney failure.
In some cases, serious adverse reactions associated with this drug class can occur without warning and in rare situations result in death.
Dog owners need to be aware of the side effects and should discontinue Rovera therapy and contact their veterinarian immediately if signs of intolerance are observed.
Rovera For Dogs Side Effects
As a class, cyclooxygenase inhibitory NSAIDs may be associated with gastrointestinal, renal and hepatic toxicity. Bleeding or infection at the post-surgical incision site is also a possible adverse reaction.
Adverse effects may result from decreased prostaglandin production and inhibition of the enzyme cyclooxygenase which is responsible for the formation of prostaglandins from arachidonic acid.
When NSAIDs inhibit prostaglandins that cause inflammation they may also inhibit those prostaglandins which maintain normal homeostatic function. These ‘anti-prostaglandin effects’ may result in clinically significant disease in animal patients with underlying or pre-existing disease more often than in healthy patients.
Categories Of Abnormal Health Observations In Dogs Taking Rovera:
Gastrointestinal: Vomiting, diarrhea, soft stool, constipation, black, tarry, bloody stools (melena), gastrointestinal ulceration, bleeding due to hemorrhage in the alimentary tract, pancreatitis.
Hepatic: Inappetence, vomiting, jaundice, acute hepatic toxicity, hepatic enzyme elevation, abnormal liver function test(s), hyperbilirubinemia, bilirubinuria, hypoalbuminemia. [Approximately one-fourth of hepatic reports were in Labrador Retrievers].
Neurologic: Ataxia, ocular disease, partial motor paralysis (paresis), seizures, vestibular signs, disorientation.
Urinary: Hematuria, polyuria, polydipsia, urinary incontinence, urinary tract infection, azotemia (uremic poisoning), acute renal failure, tubular abnormalities including acute tubular necrosis, renal tubular acidosis, glucosuria.
Behavioral: Sedation, lethargy, anxiety, hyperactivity, restlessness, aggressiveness.
Hematologic: Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, blood loss anemia, epistaxis.
Dermatologic: Dermatitis, pruritus, skin lesion, increased shedding, alopecia, Pyo traumatic moist dermatitis (hot spots), necrotizing panniculitis/vasculitis, ventral ecchymosis.
Immunologic: Allergic or hypersensitivity (facial swelling, hives, erythema).
Oral/Periodontal Disease: high salivation, bleeding gums.
Reproductive: Mean ovarian weights were statistically significantly decreased in female canine patients.
In some instances, a dog may experience multiple combinations of preceding abnormal events. In rare situations, death has been associated with some of the adverse reactions listed above.
Many reactions due to NSAIDs may be lessened if owners are aware of potential side effects, and with appropriate use many can be minimized or avoided.
First and foremost, if an owner suspects a reaction to an NSAID, the owner should stop administering the drug immediately and should contact a veterinarian. Some reactions are mild and go away after stopping the drug.
What Are the Contraindications of Rovera for Dogs
Robenacoxib should not be used in patients that are dehydrated, on diuretic therapy, or have existing renal, heart disease, or liver disease.
Rovera is not recommended for use in dogs with bleeding disorders (e.g., Von Willebrand’s disease), as safety has not been established in dogs with these disorders. The safe use of Rovera in animals less than 6 weeks of age, pregnant dogs, dogs used for breeding purposes, or in lactating bitches has not been established.
Blood work should be performed by your veterinarian prior to starting this medication to check for these risk factors.
How Is Rovera (Robenacoxib) Administered
Robenacoxib is available both as an injection and oral tablets. The injection is administered by your veterinarian at the hospital, and the tablets are given at home by mouth, with or without food.
The tablets should be given whole and are not designed to be broken. Rovera chewable tablets are scored, and contain 25 mg, 75 mg, or 100 mg of carprofen per tablet. Each tablet size is packaged in bottles containing 30, 60, or 180 tablets.
Consumer Choices for Prescription NSAIDs
Selecting the best NSAID for your dog’s situation is important. With clinical advances in animal pain abatement and with so many NSAID choices available, much benefit can be gained from the appropriate and careful use of these drugs.
Just like humans, pain control in response to the use of an NSAID varies between dogs. Because the response to pain medication is individualized, no one NSAID is considered more effective than another, and because every NSAID can cause adverse reactions, including stomach/intestinal ulcers and death, none is considered safer than others.
Curtis has been passionate about the health and welfare of animals since his first dog rescue.
After studying Sports Medicine & Biology at the University of Oregon, Curtis went on to excel in a career of Clinical Nutrition, later owning a health care supplement company serving private-practice physicians.
Known for his expansive knowledge of natural health and alternative medicine, Curtis believes that natural plant-based therapies can be applied to veterinary animal care which led him to study the science of Cannabinoid Medicine. His expertise in Functional Medicine led him to formulate a unique hemp-based canine care product, Canine Support Formula, fulfilling a dream to combine natural pet-care strategies with the new therapeutic potential of medical cannabis.
In reverence for his own dog, Parker, Curtis has dedicated his company–K9 Medibles–to improving the health and longevity of all dogs.
To learn more about Curtis and how K9 Medibles can help your dog, click HERE.
4 thoughts on “Rovera For Dogs – Facts For Pet Owners”
My female lab who is 11 years old she is on 75 mg of Rivers 2 times a day. She is shedding terribly for a while now. I have started noticing she is shedding really bad. Can this medication cause shedding? I can’t find anywhere in what I have read that it does but maybe can it be a less common problem?
Thank you Earlene
Hi Earlene, thank you for your question concerning adverse reactions of Rovera (Carprofen) in dogs. Common side effects can include GI tract problems (vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite) but NSAIDS can also manifest as more serious issues like liver dysfunctions and behavioral changes. Your dog’s increased hair loss (shedding) can be due to changes in skin and coat and the health of dermal tissue caused by long term use of Rovera. Our Canine Support Formula is made especially for older, senior dogs who need pain relief without the adverse reactions of prescription anti-inflammatories like Rovera, Meloxicam, Carprofen, etc. CBD (+CBDA) has shown to be a very safe & effective, all-natural means to care for dogs with joint pain and inflammation.
You can find more information on using full spectrum CBD oil for dogs HERE.
Can I order Rovera from you? My new vet doesn’t carry it.
Hi Robin, thank you for your inquiry.
K9 Medibles is a holistic pet care company, so our approach to dogs with pain & inflammation is to offer a viable, all-natural point of care.
Please take a look at our 2-In-1 Canine Support Formula, made exclusively for dogs with PAIN. https://shop.k9-medibles.com/product/canine-support-formula-2fl-oz/
As you know, Rovera is a non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory drug that works as a COX-II inhibitor. But did you know that Canine Support Formula is also a COX-II inhibitor BUT without the negative side effects.
K9 Medibles uses only the highest quality hemp grown in the USA, combined with a clean, solvent-free extraction that provides the best full-spectrum, medicinal hemp plant components and beneficial terpenes in the form nature intended.
Depending on the size (weight) of your dog, I would recommend either the 1 oz tincture bottle–OR–the 2 oz for larger dogs.
I’m always available to answer questions or help with dosing recommendations. Try our CBD (+CBDA) instead of Rovera and you’ll see what our other dog owners have said about the results they’ve seen from Canine Support Formula with their dogs with painful conditions. Regards, Curtis / Owner-Founder K9 Medibles