Major Uses

Etodolac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), similar to ibuprofen and aspirin, that works to reduce pain and tissue inflammation. Although NSAIDs are safe for use in humans, they are generally harmful to pets. Some NSAIDs are tolerated by dogs, including etodolac. This drug should not ever be given to cats.

Etodolac is typically used to treat short or long-term pain. It works by inhibiting production of prostaglandins in the body. It was designed for once a day use for long-term control of pain and inflammation, such as the type that occurs with arthritis.

Common Precautions

Side effects associated with etodolac use in dogs include stomach ulceration, inappropriate bleeding, loss of kidney function, and dry eye. These side effects are more common in older animals and are dependent on medication dose. Because there is a risk of liver toxicity associated with NSAID use in dogs, any dog developing appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea should discontinue use of the medication and undergo a liver enzyme blood test. Dogs with borderline kidney function should not use NSAIDs because this class of drugs reduces blood flow through the kidneys. Dehydrated animals should not take etodolac or other NSAIDs for this same reason. Additionally, dogs with liver disease or pre-existing GI ulcerations should not use etodolac.

It is not known if etodolac is safe for use in pregnant or nursing animals, and it is therefore not recommended in these groups. Safety has not been established for etodolac in animals less than 12 months of age. Etodolac should not be used concurrently with ACE inhibitors, certain antibiotics, some diuretics, or phenobarbital. It should also not be used in conjunction with corticosteroid hormones, such as dexamethasone and prednisone, and there should be a one week rest period between use of a corticosteroid and etodolac. There should be a 5 to 7 day rest period between use of one NSAID and another.

Etodolac should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Symptoms of overdose vary, but may include nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, drowsiness, lethargy, or bloody, tarry, or black stools. Any suspected or known overdose should be reported to a veterinarian right away.


Etodolac should be stored in its original packaging, tightly closed, and out of the reach of pets and children. This drug should be kept at room temperature and away from moisture and heat. It should not be stored in the bathroom or above the kitchen sink.


Etodolac is available in tablet form in a variety of strengths.

The usual starting dose of etodolac is 5 to 6 mg per pound (10 to 15 mg/kg) once daily by mouth. Dogs weighing less than 10 pounds should not be given etodolac due to difficulty with dosing. Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.

If a dose of this medication is missed, it should be taken as soon as possible. Taking two doses of this drug at once can be harmful; if it is almost time for the next scheduled dose, the missed dose should be skipped.

This information is for general reference only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition of your pet. It's intended as a general reference, this information may not include all possible uses, precautions, directions, reactions (including allergic), drug interactions, or withdrawal times. Always consult your local veterinarian and have your pet examined for any advice concerning the diagnosis and treatment of your pet, including which products and doses are most appropriate. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. VetDepot is not a pharmacy. All prescription products are dispensed by our Pharmacy Partner. Article last updated 2/2014.