How to kill the pain but not the dog!

What a week! Aurora Animal Hospital had two cases of owners trying to ease their dog’s osteoarthritis with pain relievers from their own medicine cabinets. That’s a big no-no in the veterinary world. I know it’s frustrating to not have a lot of options at home for your pet after a long run or exhausting trip to the dog park, but when you reach for Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, or Motrin to ease your own discomfort, do not share these with your pets! Ibuprofen, Aleve, Advil, & Motrin, at best, will cause severe, painful, bleeding ulcers, and can even lead to a ruptured stomach or intestinal tract in our pets. Often, it will induce a fatal kidney failure. Sure, the limp will go away, but next your pet will lose her appetite, start vomiting, and excessively urinate. Treatment for this can include emergency blood and urine panels, an ultrasound, and days of fluids, antibiotics, and stomach protectants.

Aspirin, although not as serious a toxin for dogs and cats, does cause almost immediate intestinal bleeding. Many owners give it regularly and feel their dogs shows no signs of discomfort. But if you looked for evidence of the blood loss on a bloodwork panel or took a peek inside the stomach, I can assure you your stoic dog is indeed suffering the ill effects of the medication. That “coated” aspirin is not any better either. Tylenol is okay at really low doses, but very ineffective in dogs. But, Tylenol will kill any cat that comes even close to it!

So, what’s a family to do? Call us! We will give you several safe options for your dog. There are several non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications that are fantastic pain relievers in dogs, but they are not sold over the counter. And by the way – they are toxic to humans!

Remember, share love – not medications!