Comparison of the Effects of Deracoxib, Buffered Aspirin, and Placebo on the Gastric Mucosa of Healthy Dogs

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Virginia Tech


This study tested the hypothesis that administration of deracoxib, a cyclooxygenase-2 specific (COX-2) inhibitor, would result in lower gastric lesion scores than administration of buffered aspirin and gastric lesion scores similar to placebo when administered to healthy dogs for 28 days. Twenty-four, healthy, random source dogs were divided into three groups. Group I received buffered aspirin, 23.6 mg/kg PO q 8h, group II received deracoxib, 1.6 mg/kg PO q 24h and placebo twice daily PO q 8h after deracoxib administration, and group III received placebo PO q 8h. Gastroscopy was performed on days -7, 6, 14, and 28 of treatment. Four regions of the stomach (pylorus, incisura, cardia, and body) were evaluated separately and lesions scored on a scale of 1 (mucosal hemorrhage) to 12 (perforating ulcer) by an observer unaware of which treatments the dogs received. Dogs were observed every 8 hours for vomiting, diarrhea and anorexia. Feces were scored from 1-5 (scores <4 were considered diarrhea).

Lesion scores for each group, at each location, and total scores, at each time period, were evaluated for the effects of time and treatment using a Kruskal-Wallis test. Total dog days of vomiting and dog days of diarrhea in each group were compared using a Wilcoxon rank sums test. Significance was determined at p<0.05.

Significantly higher median total gastric lesion scores were found in the aspirin group compared to the deracoxib or placebo groups on days 6, 14, and 28. There were no significant differences in median total gastric lesion scores between the deracoxib or placebo groups at any time during the study. There was no location effect on gastric lesion scores and there was no significant change in gastric lesion scores over time in any of the groups during treatment. Significantly more dog-days of vomiting occurred in the aspirin group as compared to the deracoxib group. No significant differences were found between groups for dog-days of diarrhea.

In this study, the administration of deracoxib to healthy dogs resulted in significantly lower gastric lesion scores compared to dogs receiving aspirin and lesion scores similar to those receiving placebo.



gastroscopy, cyclooxygenase, gastric ulceration, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, canine