Skip to main content

Terry Center Researcher Studies Effectiveness of Canine Pain Medication

Dr. Kristen Messenger, a veterinary anesthesiologist and researcher at NC State University’s Randall B. Terry, Jr. Companion Animal Veterinary Medical Center, is investing the effectiveness of a pain medication given to dogs.

With funding by the Morris Animal Foundation, Dr. Messenger is investigating the drug carprofen (trade name Rimadyl), a commonly used pain medication given to dogs. The study involves determining how the effectiveness of carprofen may vary depending upon the age, breed, sex, and illness of the canine patient. She will also look for alterations in plasma concentrations, or how the drug is absorbed, which may predispose a dog to develop adverse drug reactions.

While many studies analyze medications using healthy animals, Dr. Messenger’s study is unique in that she will monitor dogs that are already on the medication for preexisting conditions.

“This particular drug is the most commonly used drug at the Terry Center, which shows how important this research will be,” Dr. Messenger says.

The research team will have the information and ability to perform genetic testing as part of future studies if important correlations are found.

“This study is the foundation for future research on the effectiveness of orally administered analgesics, such as carprofen, in dogs and should answer some important questions many veterinarians and owners have about this particular drug,” she says.

Pain management is not only good for pets but it benefits owners and veterinary practitioners as well. Patients enjoy improved quality of life, owners maintain the bond with their pets and veterinary teams experience improved morale and job satisfaction. When pain loses, everybody wins.

Excerpted from the posting  “Snuff out the ouch” by Kelly Weir on the Morris Animal Foundation webpage.