When you’re uncomfortable, it may be customary for you to reach out for aspirin in your medicine cabinet like many people. Is it possible to do the same with your dog when they’re in pain? Can you give a dog aspirin to alleviate pain? Short answer: no.
You cannot give even baby aspirin to a dog. You may think that baby aspirin comes in safe doses, but it is still not suitable to treat a dog’s pain. However, you can give low-dose aspirin when the vet has prescribed it. You need to follow the vet’s prescription to the letter to avoid an improper aspirin dosage.
You should not give your dog the same other medications or forms of pain reliever you take, such as naproxen and ibuprofen when you feel pain — doing so can lead to all kinds of complications in your dog, namely kidney disease. Even in a small dose, naproxen and ibuprofen or other pain medications can be toxic to dogs. Always consult your veterinarian first before you give medications to your pet.
Aspirin is a pharmaceutical drug that relieves mild to moderate pain and reduces fever. It may reduce some swelling and pain as well. Again, this is true for most humans when you take aspirin, not the case for pets. It is always important to consult a vet first to know the right dosage to take.
Aspirin falls in the class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It is the first drug that was discovered in this class. The active ingredient in aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid or salicylate, which is present in plants such as myrtle, willow (typically in leaves and bark), and poplar trees. The first recorded use of salicylate was around 4,000 years ago. Famed classical Greek Physician Hippocrates relied on willow bark to provide pain relief and ease the fever. Some people, who prefer a natural remedy, still use willow bark to treat minor pains and headaches.
NSAIDs are not steroids, which often provide similar benefits. However, steroids have unfavorable side effects, and they are not suitable for everyone. NSAIDs are excellent analgesics and are likely to be non-narcotic. It means they do not cause stupor or insensibility.
If you are apprehensive about giving aspirin to your dog due to its classification and choosing to give Tylenol, you are putting your dog in danger. Although Tylenol is not a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, it is still something dangerous for your pet. Keep in mind that you should not give anything to your dog to treat its illness if you have not consulted the vet.
With normal use, aspirin is eliminated from the body in approximately seven hours. With an acute toxicity, a hospital stay of two to several days may be required to monitor your pet’s recovery.
What Happens if a Dog Ingests Aspirin?
Aspirin can be absorbed into the bloodstream fast. A pill of aspirin with a low dosage may cause grave side effects or complications for your dog. It is relatively common for dogs to have adverse reactions to aspirin. You need to know the symptoms and risks of aspirin overdose or adverse reaction before you give the drug to your dog. That way, you will be prepared in case you see an adverse reaction or signs of overdose. Your prompt action can save the life of your pet.
Giving too much aspirin to your dog may result in aspirin toxicity. This usually occurs when your pet takes too much aspirin at once. Your pet may also suffer from aspirin toxicity if they ingest it every day, and the aspirin begins to accumulate in their system. If you see any of these symptoms in your dog (especially after ingesting aspirin), you need to take it to a vet for a checkup. Don’t delay because every second counts.
If you suspect that your dog has ingested aspirin without your knowledge (whether it’s accidental ingestion or someone gave it to them), you should monitor their condition and behavior.
To prevent possible tragedy, you need to take your dog to a vet when you see any of the following signs of aspirin poisoning:
If your dog has black-colored feces, there’s a presence of blood in your pet’s digestive tract. Aspirin’s most common side effects are ulceration or bleeding in the intestines or stomach and gastrointestinal irritation.
Even if your dog only vomits a small amount of blood and still looks fine, you should not take chances. They could’ve been poisoned already, and it is prudent to consult the vet right away.
Your dog is unusually thirsty and must drink lots of water to quench his thirst and recover the lost body fluid. There are many possible reasons why your dog is so thirsty, and one of them is aspirin poisoning.
There are various reasons behind your dog’s sudden collapse; one of them could be aspirin poisoning. You need to take your pet to the veterinarian to check whether it is due to blood disease, heart disease, respiratory disease, other health issues, or aspirin poisoning.
Since aspirin’s most common side effects on dogs are ulceration and gastrointestinal irritation, expect your dog to have diarrhea, abdominal pain, and/or other stomach issues. It may also vomit due to gastrointestinal irritation.
Due to gastrointestinal irritation that aspirin may give to your dog, it is no longer surprising for your dog to also lose appetite. The stomach pain may intensify over time.
High doses of aspirin can give your dog damaged organs. Once their blood becomes too acidic, expect that there will be an increase in their respiratory rate. Your dog may also have decreased blood clotting, wobbly gait, high temperatures, and/or other health issues.
Before a seizure, your dog may appear dazed, confused, unsteady, or give a blank stare. Shortly after, your dog may become temporarily blind, wobbly, or disoriented and may even drool a lot. Dog seizures usually last between 30 and 60 seconds.
Unlike seizures, dogs are generally fully aware of their surroundings, responsive, mobile, alert, and conscious during tremors. They shake or tremble, and it may seem there’s nothing to be alarmed about. But, tremors may be telling you that your dog has been poisoned by aspirin.
Your dog may feel weak and become unconscious but can be awakened using a strong external stimulus, unlike when it is comatose. Don’t delay and take your dog to a vet when you see any of the given symptoms or signs of aspirin poisoning.
What should I do if my dog ate aspirin?
If you suspect your dog has ingested aspirin, you should call your veterinarian immediately. The doctor may suggest emergency decontamination or may recommend tests to determine how severe the toxicity is.
We hate to see our dogs in pain. If your dog is suffering with pain from an injury or disease, it can be tempting to treat him the way we treat ourselves—with a painkiller like aspirin. Before you reach into your medicine cabinet, talk to your vet. Vets do prescribe aspirin for dogs, but aspirin has some serious side effects that dog owners need to be aware of.
Aspirin is an NSAID, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. This puts it in the same category as ibuprofen, naproxen, carprofen, and a long list of other NSAIDs geared toward humans and animals.
NSAIDs are used to treat pain, inflammation, and fever. Aspirin also acts as an anti-coagulant, preventing blood from clotting. In general, NSAIDs have fewer side effects than steroids, although certain NSAIDs like Rimadyl are better suited for long-term use than others. But all of them can cause side effects, so talk to your vet about the best painkiller for your dog’s condition.
How long does aspirin take to work in dogs?
What happens if you give a dog too much aspirin?
Will a 81 mg aspirin hurt a dog?
Will an aspirin hurt a dog?
When used at appropriate doses in pets, aspirin is used for pain management for osteoarthritis to clot prevention. However, when aspirin (or its similar salicylate-containing compounds) are inappropriately ingested, it can result in severe poisoning in dogs and cats.