You’re back from your daily errands, call on your favorite furred friend, but its response gives you an instant clue that your dog is in pain. You don’t know when or how it began, but you can tell from its reaction that the discomfort is quite intense. You panic and start searching for some tabs to give your dog for pain. And you land your hands on some ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen tablets, ooh wait! There are also some Tylenol tablets in the cabinet. “All these are effective for pain relief.” You say to yourself as you rush out of the house. But before then, wait. Are they safe for dogs?
You want the best for your pup. That’s why you ensure that they eat healthy dog meals, are well-groomed, and happy. However, you need to stop in your tracks when medication is a concern because your care and tenderness to your favorite pup could risk its life instead of saving. The pain could be intense, but seeking the proper relief for your dog, though it may take a few moments of endurance, is safer than trying to offer an instant, dangerous solution. That’s why it’s crucial to seek guidance from your veterinarian before you use any medication on your dog.
Nonsteroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are a general term for medications such as Aleve (marketed under the trade name, naproxen), Advil (ibuprofen), and aspirin. Doctors and veterinarians often prescribe these medications to help people and animals fight inflammation, relieve pain, and stop fever.
Veterinarians often prescribe them for animals suffering from osteoarthritis, a condition that causes the cartilage to break down gradually, making the bones rub over each other. The friction may destroy joints entirely, leading to inflammation, pains, and lameness. These medications work by reducing inflammation to eliminate pain. However, Tylenol (brand name for acetaminophen) doesn’t work in a similar way. The mechanism the drug uses to ease pain in dogs isn’t very clear,
Is NSAIDs Safe for Your Dog?
Some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be safe for short-term use to ease your dog’s pain and manage discomfort coming after surgery. However, only use the medications under the guidance of your vet. Ensure you adhere to the correct dosage instructions, and follow administration guidelines. Here are the common NSAIDs and how they can impact your pup’s life.
- Aspirin- It’s the only NSAID that you can use on your dog for short-term relief but under the supervision of your vet. However, extended use of aspirin can cause severe side effects to your dog, including internal bleeding. Similarly, consider the coated baby aspirin for it’s less aggressive on dogs’ stomachs. Also, give your dog the medicine alongside food.
- Ibuprofen– Scientists consider Advil toxic to dogs and do not recommend its use. The same goes for Midol, Motrin, plus any medication that contains ibuprofen. Studies show that even the smallest dosage of these drugs can endanger your dog’s life. Some ibuprofen poisoning symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, blood in feces, nausea, and increased thirst, and increased urine, blood in vomit, un-coordination, increased urination, and lack of appetite, seizures, coma, or death.
Is Tylenol Safe for Dogs?
While NSAIDs eradicate pain by reducing inflammation, Tylenol doesn’t work the same way, and it’s not clear how the drug eliminates pain in dogs. However, studies prove that excessive dosages of Tylenol can be toxic to dogs and can lead to severe side effects, including organ failure and death. It’s not clear how much is excess since even small doses of Tylenol can lead to fatality in some dogs.
The veterinarian may (rarely) prescribe Tylenol to your dog, but only when other safer pain medications fail to provide relief. It’s safer to avoid using this medication on your dog without a vet’s directive since you may not have the capacity to determine how much is excess and what will risk your dog’s life. Remember that the drug’s toxins can cost the life of your pooch, so it’s safer to abide by your vet’s instructions.
What if Vet Prescribes Tylenol?
Your vet may consider acetaminophen as the best solution for dogs in pain. That’s fine. However, you need to watch out and be careful when administering the medication. Follow all instructions from your vet and check out your dog’s reaction.
Also, inform your vet about the dog’s medical history or if it’s on any other type of medication, including vitamins, supplements, and other herbal therapies. Remember that Tylenol may cause a negative reaction with some drugs like doxorubicin and select esthetics and aggravate the side effects even if your dog is under the right prescription.
Similarly, avoid using Tylenol on pregnant and nursing dogs, unless your vet approves the medication. Lastly, check out for any irregular behavior from your pooch and inform your vet as soon as possible.
Health Complications Your Dog May Suffer Due to Tylenol
Only a low dosage of acetaminophen is safe for your dog technically. As a result, it’s best to avoid using the drug on your pooch unless your vet permits the prescription. Similarly, veterinarians often prefer other safer alternatives for dealing with both short and long-term pains in canines.
If all other safe pain medications for canines fail to work, vets may prescribe Tylenol, but only on short-term courses due to the life-threatening side effects. That’s an indication that using the drug on your dog without proper guidelines may mean putting it at life-threatening risks. Some of the medical complications associated with improper use of Tylenol include:
- Liver failure
- The gastrointestinal, nervous system, or cardiovascular collapse
- Kidney damage
- Damage to red blood cells
Aspirin may be easier on your dog’s stomach but still exposes your puppy to serious side effects in the case of overdose. However, you should stay away from ibuprofen and naproxen as they are considered highly toxic to pets. Some of the common risks of overdosing on aspirin include stomach ulcers, vomiting, and diarrhea.
What if My Dog Eats Tylenol or NSAIDs Accidentally?
It’s essential to keep any medication out of your dog’s reach. However, if you suspect your pup accidentally took in Tylenol or any other NSAID, or see some signs of an overdose of the drugs, consult an emergency veterinarian immediately. You may also consider calling the ASPCA Animal Poison Control hotline at (888) 426-4435. You may pay a fee for the services, but you’ll certainly receive assistance regardless of time or day.
Tylenol poisoning can endanger your dog’s life; hence the sooner you seek medication for your puppy, the better. The drug enters the bloodstream within 30 minutes and causes shattering side effects soon after. Reaching out to an emergency vet faster may save the life of your canine.
A qualified vet staff can estimate the toxic dosage and advice on the right course of action. If you make the call within 30 minutes after the dog consumes the medication, your vet may advise you to induce the dog to vomit. Even if the dog vomits, you still need to visit the vet for further diagnosis and treatment.
However, do not attempt to induce vomiting without a vet’s instruction since that may cause aspiration of the puppy’s stomach contents and worsen stomach ulcers. Some of the signs you may look out for for Tylenol poisoning include:
- Jaundice (skin yellowing)
- Abdominal pains
- Discolored gums
- Brown urine
Tylenol and NSAIDs Overdose Treatment
The right treatment procedure may depend on how long you take to seek help and the drug your dog swallowed. The vet may pump your dog’s stomach and administer activated charcoal to engross any toxins. If the duration since the dog consumed the medication is unknown or beyond one hour, your vet may have to take blood work to establish if the toxins have affected the kidneys or liver.
The veterinarian will decide if the canine requires intravenous fluids, oxygen, or amino acids to stabilize. In some cases, your dog might require blood transfusions alongside other medications to recover. The vet may also give your dog N-acetylcysteine to protect it from red blood cell and liver damages. Sometimes the dog may also receive drugs to coat the stomach and decrease irritation.
Your dog will need additional specific drugs to suppress the toxic effects of the medicines in the case of acetaminophen intoxication.
Safer Alternatives for Dogs
There are several safe and FDA-approved painkillers your veterinarian may consider before settling on acetaminophen. The vet will therefore decide on the best pain meds to give your dog for pain relief. This decision depends on the signs of pain your pooch displays and its medical history.
Etodolac, Meloxicam, and Rimadyl are often the most common drugs that vets prescribe to dogs for pain relief. In some cases, your dog may receive Tramadol, Gabapentin, and Prednisone too. Similarly, some FDA-approved NSAIDs such as Grapiprant, Robenacoxib, or Firocoxib may also be a suitable solution for dogs in pain.
The options are numerous. However, it’s essential to only consider any option with the instructions of your vet. Avoid giving OTC pain medications to your dog without consulting with a vet to keep the pup safe.
In some situations, your vet may subscribe to other treatment methods that either do not involve drugs or incorporate them for persistent conditions like arthritis. Acupuncture, weight control, hydrotherapy, exercises, massage, and dietary controls can also help alleviate arthritis symptoms in dogs.
Similarly, food supplements such as fish oil, turmeric, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate can help cut the pangs of pain. Consult with your vet on the best treatment procedure for your dog’s chronic pains.
Safe OTC Pain Medicines for Dogs
Sometimes the signs of pain in dogs may come at odd hours when all veterinary clinics are closed. If this happens, don’t worry, as there are some over-the-counter medications that you can pick and help your favorite furred friend feel better. However, you shouldn’t rely on these options as final treatments. Consider visiting your vet as soon as you can afterward, and if symptoms persist. Here are some options to consider:
- Benadryl– Good for treating itching and allergies. It also helps in soothing swellings on insect stings and bites. The typical dosage is ½ to 1 mg per pound of animal’s weight.
- Dramamine– Is effective for treating motion sickness if you’re embarking on a long car ride with your dog. Administer before the journey to keep your canine comfortable. Consult with your veterinarian for an appropriate dosage.
- Diarrhea emergencies– The condition can start anywhere, so it’s essential to be ready at all times. Equip yourself with Kaopectate, Pepto Bismol, and Imodium AD to save the day when there’s a need. Contact your vet for dosage instructions.
Tylenol may be safe for use and an effective pain reliever for humans. However, the case isn’t the same for your canines. That’s why you need to consult with your veterinarian before giving a dog the medicine.
What Medicine Can I Give My Dog For Pain Relief?
The best way to treat your dog’s pain is to consult your vet for an appropriate diagnosis. However, you may also consider FDA-approved medications such as Rimadyl, Etodolac, and Meloxicam for quick relief while you seek a specialist’s assistance.
How Much of Tylenol is Safe For My Dog?
Only give a dog Tylenol under the instructions of a veterinarian. Studies show that Tylenol can be toxic to your dog if you exceed the acceptable dosage. However, it’s not easy to decide which quantity may be safe for your dog because even the smallest doses have proven toxic to some canines.
Can One Tylenol Kill a Dog?
It isn’t clear how much Tylenol is safe to give a dog for pain since even the most minor portions of the medicine have proven unsafe to some pups. The best way to know the proper dosage for your dog and if Tylenol is the right treatment is by consulting with your veterinarian.
What Will Happen If I Give My Dog Tylenol?
Tylenol poisoning can be catastrophic if you don’t seek immediate help. However, your dog may be safer if your veterinarian prescribed the medication. Even so, watch your dog for any distinctive signs of pain and seek help immediately in case there’s an alarming reaction. Also, keep the medicines away from your dog’s reach to avoid accidents. If it happens, seek help immediately because the medication’s side effects may even cost the dog’s life.