Pet-Safe Pain Meds

Welcome to our blog! We have put together a list of commonly asked questions we hear in our exam rooms at Westside. Hopefully these will be both helpful and bring a smile to your face.  We love chatting with you and if you have any suggestions or other questions please feel free to call us at 573-893-7707. 

Pet-safe Pain Meds from your First-Aide Kit

One of the most frequent questions I ran into during vet school and since starting practice is, “Can I give my pet anything from home for pain? Something like Tylenol or Advil?”

My answer to this is almost always no. Unfortunately, many of the human medications we can easily grab from the cabinet are either non-effective or toxic to our fur babies. Most human and animal medications are simply designed differently and cause different reactions in the body.

For example, Tylenol in cats will cause hemolytic anemia, which is a very serious blood disease and causes all sorts of (expensive) trouble for our furry friends! Ibuprofen, Advil, or Aleve are also no goes for pets as they can cause gastric bleeding at very small doses. All of these problems; on top of whatever issue Fido started with, would actually lead to a bigger health problem for your pet and a higher bill for you.

Aspirin is a little tricky… Firstly, CATS SHOULD NEVER BE GIVEN ASPIRIN WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION! Hopefully you caught my emphasis there.  It is important to note that animals metabolize this drug differently than humans and so the dose is extremely different.

 Looking at simple math a 15-pound or less dog could have one baby aspirin (36 mg) and a 30-pound dog could have one adult aspirin (325 mg). It’s also important to stress that this should be a one time thing and is not something you need to be giving your pet on a regular basis. Eventually you will need to go to a veterinarian for an FDA approved pain medication. An overdose of aspirin can quickly cause uncontrolled bleeding. Before using aspirin please call your veterinarian to double check your dose.

We all mean the best by trying to quickly find something to help our babies out. In the long run our first suggestion would be to contact your local veterinarian to have them prescribe an anti-inflammatory or pain reliever. Seriously, give us a call we love hearing from you!


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