Are Human Pain Meds Safe for Dogs?
As dog owners, naturally, when our pets appear to be suffering, we want to do anything and everything in our power to help. In the case of aspirin and ibuprofen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (or NSAIDs) for humans may be easily attainable and ready to hand, but they are almost universally toxic to dogs. There are veterinarian-approved and prescribed NSAIDs specifically formulated for dogs – always consult with a veterinary health care professional before attempting to treat your dog at home.
Analgesics are drugs used to relieve pain. There are many classes of painkillers. Demerol, morphine, codeine, and other narcotics are subject to federal regulation and cannot be purchased without a prescription.
Buffered or enteric-coated aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is an over-the-counter analgesic that is reasonably safe for a short time for home veterinary care in the recommended dosage for dogs. Buffered or enteric-coated aspirin is much safer than regular aspirin because it is less likely to cause stomach and duodenal ulcers.
Is Aspirin Effective?
Aspirin is one of the most common medicines used for relieving pain in dogs. However, enteric coated aspirin is safer than the usual aspirin. Aspirin can be given to dogs in case of a musculoskeletal injury, bleeding or clotting. Dosage of aspirin clearly depends on the body weight of the dog. 5 to 10 mg of aspirin per pound is sufficient. Repeat the dose after every 12 hours. However, it should not be used if the dog is pregnant.
Can you give a dog ibuprofen?
When it comes to ibuprofen for dogs, all of the same terms and conditions for over-the-counter NSAIDs like aspirin apply. While buffered aspirin and buffered baby aspirin may be given to dogs – only with great care, and preferably after a veterinary consultation – ibuprofen has an even narrower margin of safety. In point of fact, ibuprofen for dogs is even worse and more dangerous than aspirin, and should be avoided at all costs. The same issues caused by aspirin can be caused by ibuprofen, including stomach ulcers and kidney failure. If a possible side effect of a medication is death, it’s probably not worth the risk when there are canine-specific NSAIDs that your vet can prescribe.
Symptoms of accidental aspirin or ibuprofen ingestion
What if the circumstances are different? What if you didn’t give aspirin or ibuprofen to your dog, but have come home to find your bottle of Motrin or Advil open on the floor? How do you spot accidental ingestion of these NSAIDs? Since the primary ill-effects dogs suffer from these medications are related to digestion and filtration, the symptoms of poisoning are reliably related to those systems. Things to look out for if you suspect your dog has gotten hold of human pain meds include vomiting. If the dog has enough aspirin or ibuprofen in its system, that vomit may contain blood, as may the dog’s feces, which may express itself as bloody diarrhea.
Seemingly innocuous symptoms include lack or loss of appetite, which can lead to fatigue and lethargy. In large enough amounts or given enough time, the dog may experience abdominal pain, which can lead the dog to hunch over or struggle to find a comfortable resting position. The dog may also seem confused or disoriented. In more advanced cases, a dog who has ingested aspirin or ibuprofen not meant for them can have seizures and even lapse into a coma. Basically, it’s bad news all the way around.
What is Glucosamine?
Glucosamine is a herbal medication that gives immediate relief from pain to dogs. It is also effective in humans. These can be easily found in drug stores. You can also get it from your veterinarian. Taking it from a veterinarian would be a better idea since he/she will know the safest brand to take.
Use of Acetaminophen as a Pain Reliever for Dogs
Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog acetaminophen. The medication is easy to overuse if you don’t know the exact safe dosage. Overuse of this pain killer can cause liver and kidney damage.
If your veterinarian does advise you to use acetaminophen over drugs approved for use in dogs, the dosage should never be more than 10 milligrams per pound. In addition, you’ll never give more than two or three doses per day or serious side effects could occur.
What is Tramadol?
Tramadol is an analgesic. These can be given in place of NSAIDs or along with them. Tramadol do not have side effects to the extent of NSAIDs or aspirin. They are great for chronic pain in both dogs and humans. Tramadol are given to arthritis patients also. The dosage should be limited to what is prescribed by the veterinarian. Overdose can lead to damage to the liver, nervous system or kidney.
What is Adequan?
Adequan is meant to heal the pain caused by joint injuries and arthritis. They are also known to repair the areas of problems. It does not have any side effects and can be given to dogs safely. However, you will need the assistance of a specialist, since this medicine can only be given through injections.
Are Narcotics Safe?
Narcotics are considered as an unpleasant aspect. However, it is one of the best pain relievers known. If narcotics are given in a controlled manner and under expert supervision, they can be the best way you can help your dog escape the pain. Narcotics is usually used in serious health conditions, post-surgical conditions, to fight cancer, or to treat large amount of pain. Some of the examples of narcotics that veterinarian are allowed to use are Fentanyl Patches, Amantadine, and Neurontin etcetera.
Is your dog in pain? Consult a vet!
Can you give a dog aspirin? Technically yes, but only under certain conditions and doses. Can you give a dog ibuprofen? Best not. The rule of thumb to follow is that if it’s human pain medication, think twice before offering it to your dog, even with the purest motives and the best of intentions. After you think twice, put the bottle of ibuprofen or aspirin back in the medicine cabinet. If you cannot get to a vet, then at least give one a call – in the long run, it’s possible you’ll spare your dog further and completely unnecessary pain.
If you have dogs, especially if they have free reign of the house, make certain that all human medications are safely and securely bottled. Then see to it that your cache of aspirin, ibuprofen, and all your other medications for that matter, are stored in cabinets, boxes, cupboards, or other home-storage facilities well out of reach. As we all know, dogs can get into mischief around the house; knock the wrong thing over, or the wrong thing open, and trouble can follow.