She’s a 50 lb 2-year-old mixed breed dog. She ate a 200 mg Advil liquid gel capsule. (You know… those green or blue gel capsules with fast-acting Ibuprofen inside.)
It was right after I’d let her out of her crate in the morning, and she had used the bathroom outside.
I noticed that she was licking her lips a lot, and she was looking at me like she was up to something.
So I looked at the floor near her and noticed that she had found an Advil/Ibuprofen gel capsule that hubby had accidentally dropped when he was treating his headache earlier that morning.
The gel capsule itself had puppy teeth marks in it, and most of the Ibuprofen liquid inside was gone.
It had clearly happened within the past 30 minutes. I knew I had to do something quickly!
What is ibuprofen?
Ibuprofen (brand names: Advil, Motrin, Midol, Nuprin) is a commonly-used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat fever, pain, and inflammation (swelling) in humans. Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs treat inflammation by blocking certain processes in the body.
Ibuprofen is a popular over-the-counter medication and is also available by prescription. Ibuprofen may be the only ingredient in a medication or be part of a combination product. These medications may include opioids, antihistamines, decongestants, and acetaminophen. Typical uses include the treatment of headaches, pain, colds, flu, and menstrual discomfort.
Initial symptoms of NSAID toxicity in dogs
We’re focusing on dogs and ibuprofen, since that appears to be the biggest reported culprit, but no nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID, is safe for dogs to take. Depending on an individual dog’s tolerance, one 200mg tablet can be sufficient to cause symptoms of ibuprofen toxicity in dogs. If a dog gains access to a bottle, the chances of eating just one are remote and the potential damage far more severe.
Ibuprofen and naproxen, the two active ingredients in the popular pain relievers Advil and Aleve, respectively, cause similar symptoms. In medical parlance, canine reactions to painkillers classify as “acute” disorders because of their sudden onset and immediate severity. If your dog ate ibuprofen, signs of toxicity within an hour include:
What causes ibuprofen poisoning?
Ibuprofen, and other NSAIDs, act by blocking certain chemical processes in the body that cause inflammation. Unfortunately, these chemical processes are also important in maintaining normal gastrointestinal, kidney, liver, and blood clotting functions.
When ibuprofen is ingested, it is absorbed quickly into the blood stream. Instead of being removed from the body, ibuprofen is released from the liver and reabsorbed in the intestines repeatedly. This recycling prolongs the poisoning effects. Poisoning may occur from a single dose or repeated dosing. Puppies and older dogs have a higher risk of being poisoned. Other current medical conditions such as kidney disease, or liver disease may increase the risk of poisoning. Dogs that are already taking steroids or another NSAID also have a higher risk of developing signs including gastrointestinal ulceration.
Will one 200 mg ibuprofen hurt my dog?
What happens if my dog eats ibuprofen pill?
How many 200mg ibuprofen can you give a dog?
How long does it take for ibuprofen to affect a dog?
Symptoms can be seen anywhere from two to six hours after ingestion. More severe symptoms may not appear until a few days after ingestion.