Deramaxx(®) (also known as deracoxib) is an NSAID medicine used for controlling pain. When given to dogs it is often used post-operatively for up to seven days, or on a longer-term basis at a lower dosage for relieving the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Aside from its use as a painkiller it has also been shown to be effective in the adjunctive treatment of bladder cancer (TCC specifically).

Arthritis treatment alternative: Treating your dog’s arthritis with pain relief medicine is an important decision as it’s usually a lifetime commitment. We recommend exploring more natural alternatives first. Some dogs experience great relief from supplements such as Dasuquin® and don’t require medication until much later.

Deramaxx Dosage For Dogs

Note: See your vet before giving this medicine to your dog.

There are two typical oral dosages when treating dogs. 1.4 – 1.8 mg/lb once daily for up to 7 days is used to control post-operative pain, while a smaller dose of 0.45 – 0.91 mg/lb once daily for an unlimited duration is used to treat osteoarthritis. Our chart below shows a dosage of 0.5 mg/lb which can be used for the treatment of osteoarthritis.

Deramaxx dosage for treating dogs with osteoarthritis

Though not officially recommended, in studies 1.36 mg/lb of deracoxib given once daily by mouth has been used for treating dogs with transitional cell carcinoma (TCC).

Example: A 20 lb dog could be given 30 mg daily for up to 7 days post-operatively, or could be given 10 mg per day indefinitely for osteoarthritis. When used for the adjunctive treatment of TCC, a deracoxib dosage of 27 mg could be tried.

How Safe Is It?

The majority of dogs will tolerate this medicine well, but like most NSAIDs there are numerous reports of adverse effects, some of which are serious and could even lead to death. This is why it’s especially important that you think carefully before deciding to use this medicine on a long term basis. We urge owners to exhaust natural remedies first and even experiment with other medicines such as tramadol which can effectively relieve the symptom of pain.

In particular dogs may be unsuitable for treatment if they:

  • Have impaired kidney or liver function
  • Have peptic ulcers, hypoproteinemia or blood clotting disorders

Deramaxx is known to put strain on both the kidneys and liver, especially if there are existing problems related to their function.

Pregnancy/nursing: We recommend that owners avoid the use of deracoxib in the treatment of pregnant or nursing animals due to a lack of available information.

How To Use It Safely

Our recommendations for the safe use of this medicine are as follows:

  • For osteoarthritis, try natural remedies first
  • Speak to the vet before giving the medicine to your dog
  • Ask the vet for his/her opinion on the pros and cons of treatment
  • Do not administer alongside any other medicines unless your vet tells you to
  • Kidney and liver function should be tested periodically during long-term treatment

As well as listing the pros and cons of treatment and what you can expect, the vet may be able to suggest different medicines. Ask the vet about tramadol and whether it would be more suitable for your dog.

What Are Its Uses?

Typically vets prescribe this medicine to treat dogs with:

  • Post-operative pain
  • Osteoarthritis

Deramaxx has been found to have antitumor activity when given to dogs with transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder. For more information refer to this study.

Side Effects

There are many side effects associated with this medicine. Below you will find the most common Deramaxx side effects followed by others which may be based on anecdotal reports.
More Common

  • Diarrhea
  • Gastric bleeding
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach ulceration (or perforation)
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss

Other Associated Side Effects

  • Anemia
  • Coughing
  • Dermatitis
  • Increased thirst
  • Kidney failure
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of coordination
  • Raised liver enzymes
  • Slow heart rate
  • Urinary incontinence

If your dog produces dark and tarry or bloody stools, or if blood is present in vomit contact the vet immediately. These symptoms are caused by internal bleeding.

Side effects are more likely to occur when the drug is used at a dosage higher than 0.91 mg/lb.


Novartis (manufacturer)
Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook (sixth edition)