Knowing that a dog is in pain is upsetting. So it's an understandable reaction to want to do something — anything — to provide the dog pain relief as soon as possible. However, as tempting as it may be to reach for an over-the-counter pain meds such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen and give it to the family dog, avoid them at all costs. Over-the-counter pain meds and anti-inflammatories can be very dangerous, even fatal, when used improperly in dogs.
A dog owner would not just stand by seeing the pet in pain
The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications are the mainstay of pain relief in dogs. Unfortunately, cats do not tolerate this group of medications very well, with a few exceptions. Many clients view NSAID medications as safe, based on the fact that many of them are over-the-counter medications for human use. Despite this general feeling of safety it should be noted that aspirin alone is suspected of causing approximately 16,000 deaths per year in the United States due primarily to gastric or intestinal ulcers. This group of medications is safer in many respects than other classes of pain relief medication but they are not entirely risk free. NSAIDs are frequently used for both acute and chronic pain.
Over-The-Counter Medications For Your Dog | The Dog Liberator™
Are NSAIDs Dangerous for Dogs?
Some of the most common over-the-counter pain relievers fall into the category of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). Common examples include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. They all work by inhibiting an enzyme called cyclooxygenase that is responsible for the production of prostaglandins that promote inflammation, fever, and pain. But prostaglandins also play many other roles in the body, including maintaining adequate blood flow to the kidneys, the production of a layer of mucus that protects the inner lining of the gastrointestinal tract from stomach acid, and normal blood clotting. When these functions are reduced, dogs can develop vomiting and diarrhea (often bloody), loss of appetite, bleeding disorders, or or failure. They may even die without appropriate treatment.
Dog owners know that sometimes a simple over-the-counter medication
Also known as NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are just anti-inflammatory agents and do not repair damaged cartilage. The pain relief from NSAIDs is almost immediate. Few types of NSAIDs have chondroprotective properties, meaning they protect against the breakdown of cartilage. Other NAIDs like aspirin, actually damage cartilage with the dosage required for pain relief. For this reason, aspirin is rarely used in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Over-the-counter NAIDs used for pain relief in people should not be given to dogs. Because of potential side effects, dogs who are prescribed NAIDs should have blood work taken to measure liver and kidney levels. NAIDs should not be mixed with steroids.Joint supplements for dogs work in a similar way as they do for people. They have a unique formula of ingredients that address joint pain and arthritis from several angles. Their ingredients address inflammation, pain relief, cartilage repair, and tissue repair. Joint supplements can be used in combination with other over-the-counter pain relief if needed. Their main goal is to treat and address joint problems long term.