Risks of Tylenol Toxicity in Dogs
Not only is Tylenol a risk on its own, but it’s often combined with other active ingredients that may be harmful to your pet.
Exposure to acetaminophen at toxic doses can have serious effects on a dog’s health that require prompt action and aggressive treatment by a veterinarian.
Tylenol is processed in your pet’s liver through two main pathways. When those two pathways are overwhelmed, the body is unable to inactivate a dangerous acetaminophen metabolite, which can cause injury to the liver and death. This metabolite also prevents affected blood cells from carrying oxygen.
And if a dog has liver disease, acetaminophen may worsen it due to the already decreased ability to metabolize the Tylenol.
Dogs and OTC Medications Like Tylenol
For your pet’s safety, never give them anything OTC without talking to your veterinarian. This includes medications like acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or any other OTC medication.
Animal hospitals consistently see well-intentioned owners cause harm to a beloved pet by administering these and other medications without veterinarian approval.
Harm can occur via the actual medication and dose that was given, leading to toxicity, or simply by the owner’s delay in seeking promptly needed veterinary care. Because of that, you should only give acetaminophen if directed by a veterinarian.
At this time, acetaminophen is not commonly recommended by veterinarians in dogs for many different reasons, never in cats. One reason is safety. Acetaminophen is NOT as safe for dogs as it is for humans. In fact, many veterinary toxicologists label acetaminophen as having a low safety margin for pets.
Oftentimes, if a veterinarian is prescribing acetaminophen to a dog, it is being prescribed in addition to other medications as a part of a multidrug pain plan in dogs that are in great pain.
Tylenol, on its own, can have some effect on pain in dogs, but it does not affect inflammation, which means it may not be an ideal solo drug choice for effectively treating many pain conditions in pets.
Many medications are labeled, tested, and approved for dogs specifically, and they are proven to help treat pain and inflammation. So, veterinarians will recommend these pain and anti-inflammatory medications instead.
Tylenol is also considered off label for animals, which means there has been no government regulated approval, and minimal studies are available on its use in dogs.
Can you give a dog Tylenol? How much Tylenol can you give a dog?
You should give the dose as recommended by your veterinarian. There is additional dosage information above.
Can you give your dog Tylenol?
Itâs common to wonder if medications that are meant for people are safe for pups, too. Tylenol, for one, is definitely not. Veterinarian and pet health advocate Dr. Aliya McCullough explains why this over-the-counter medication is unsafe for dogs.Â â