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Can I Give Fido An Aspirin??

What every pet owner should know about human over the counter pain medications.

There are many conditions that affect dogs and cats that warrant the use of medications to control pain and reduce inflammation. Arthritis and joint pain, post-operative pain, and pain due to trauma such as fractures and lacerations are all common reasons dogs and cats are prescribed anti-inflammatory medications. Dogs and cats metabolize these types of medications very differently from humans, medications that are commonly used medications in people that can be harmful if given to pets.

Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, Bufferin): Can be used under the careful supervision of a veterinarian with recommended biannual monitoring of blood work. Risks of using this drug include stomach and/or intestinal ulcers even when given at recommended therapeutic doses. Additional side effects include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, inappetance, depression, severe blood loss, anemia, fever, low protein, increased respiratory rate, seizures, or sudden death. Aspirin can be extremely toxic to cats, even at therapeutic doses. Aspirin should not be used in animals with known stomach ulcers, bleeding disorders, asthma, liver disease, or kidney disease. Aspirin should not be used in combination with steroids or other anti-inflammatory drugs. If aspirin is prescribed by a veterinarian, its use should be halted at least 1 week prior to any surgical procedure due to risk of prolonged blood clotting times.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Excedrin): Not to be administered to pets under any circumstances. Risks of using this drug include liver and kidney damage, red blood cell damage, anemia, inappetance, abdominal pain, vomiting, weight loss, and death. A single dose can be fatal in cats.

If your pet has been given this drug accidentally or intentionally, a physical exam, blood work, and possibly hospitalization with fluids and induction of vomiting may be warranted.

Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin): Not to be administered to pets under any circumstances.

Risks of using this drug include kidney damage, liver damage with chronic use, stomach and intestinal ulceration, red blood cell damage, anemia, inappetance, abdominal pain, vomiting with or without blood, and bloody diarrhea.

If your pet has been given this drug accidentally or intentionally, a physical exam, blood work, and possibly hospitalization with fluids and induction and induction of vomiting may be warranted.

Naproxen (Aleve): Not to be administered to pets under any circumstances.

Risks of using this drug include stomach and intestinal ulceration and bleeding liver and kidney damage, fluid retention, anemia, inappetance, abdominal pain, vomiting with or without blood, bloody diarrhea, stumbling, and twitching.

If your pet has been given this drug accidentally or intentionally, a physical exam, blood work, and possibly hospitalization with fluids and induction of vomiting may be warranted.

If your dog or cat is exhibiting signs of pain, a thorough physical exam by a veterinarian is the best course of action. Your pet may then be prescribed more pet friendly medications than those available for humans. The chronic use of any anti-inflammatory can affect kidney and liver function over time, so if your pet is prescribed a medication for long term use, regular physical exams and blood work may be recommended.

It is also important to remember to always consult a veterinarian prior to giving ANY medication to your pet, even if the medication has been previously prescribed for a similar condition.

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