By Rania Gollakner, BS DVM, MPH

What is robenacoxib?

Robenacoxib (Onsior®) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat postoperative inflammation and pain in dogs and cats. It is also effective for treating pain and inflammation from other causes, such as musculoskeletal disorders.

In the US, the use of robenacoxib in cats and dogs to treat inflammation due to musculoskeletal disorders is ‘off-label’. Many drugs are commonly prescribed for off-label use in veterinary medicine. In these instances, follow your veterinarian’s directions and cautions very carefully as their direction may be significantly different from those on the label.

How do I give my pet robenacoxib?

Robenacoxib is available both as an injection and oral tablet. The injection is administered by your veterinarian at the hospital and the tablets are given at home by mouth, with or without food; however, if vomiting occurs when dosed on an empty stomach, give future doses with food. For dogs, if vomiting occurs shortly after dosing, another dose may be given with food. The tablets should be given whole and are not designed to be broken.

Wash your hands after administering this medication. Pregnant women should wear gloves when handling this medication.

This medication will take effect quickly, in about one to two hours, and improvement in clinical signs should follow.

What if I miss giving my pet the medication?

If you miss a dose, give it when you remember, but if it is close to the time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and give it at the next scheduled time, and return to the regular dosing schedule. Never give your pet two doses at once or give extra doses.

Are there any potential side effects from robenacoxib?

While most pets do well with robenacoxib, pets that are hypersensitive to it or other NSAIDs could have side effects, including anorexia (lack of appetite), lethargy, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney disease, and kidney failure. Bleeding or infection at the surgical incision site is also possible.

Signs of serious side effects include yellowing of the skin or gums, changes in the frequency or amount of water consumption or urination, seizures, abnormal behavior, incoordination, weakness, or severe vomiting or diarrhea. Stop this medication and call your veterinarian if any of these are noted.

This moderate-acting medication should stop working in a few days, although the effects can be longer in pets with liver or kidney disease.

Are there any risk factors for this medication?

Robenacoxib should not be used in pets that are allergic to it or other NSAIDs or with gastrointestinal ulcers. It should be used with extreme caution, or not at all, in pets that are dehydrated, on diuretic therapy, or have existing severe renal, heart, or liver disease. Do not use in pets that are pregnant or nursing, or in pets younger than four months old.

Use cautiously in dogs that are geriatric or have bleeding disorders.

Blood work should be performed prior to starting this medication to check for these risk factors. Your veterinarian can discuss risks specific to your pet.

Are there any drug interactions I should be aware of?

Robenacoxib should not be administered with any other NSAIDs or corticosteroids. Diuretics, ACE inhibitors, or any other medications that affect the kidneys should be used with caution when given with robenacoxib. Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

Is there any monitoring that needs to be done with this medication?

Pets should be monitored closely for efficacy and for clinical signs/side effects that may show a hypersensitivity. If any of these signs are noticed, especially a decreased appetite or lethargy, stop administering the medication and call your veterinarian.

Baseline blood and urine tests are recommended, and periodic recheck appointments may be necessary for long-term therapy.

How do I store robenacoxib?

Store the tablet form of this medication at room temperature, between 15°C - 25°C (59°F - 77°F).

What should I do in case of an emergency?

If you suspect a negative reaction to the medication, call your veterinarian immediately. If your veterinarian is not available, follow the directions for contacting an emergency facility.

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