By far, the #1 cause of poisoning for cats and dogs is human medications.
When a dog is in pain, we’re eager to relieve that pain and medication often comes to mind. But giving meds like aspirin and Tylenol® to pets can cause more problems than cures. Learn why in this article.
The three types of common pain relief meds
As a group, pain meds may fall into a category called NSAIDS, or Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs.
While these have been a godsend to many people in reducing pain, these drugs can cause serious injury to your Morkie or other small dog, up to and including death!
Over-the-counter NSAIDS are generally made with one of three main ingredients:
- acetylsalicylic acid or ASA
The first two are very dangerous for dogs – particularly small dogs. ASA or aspirin CAN be given to dogs under special circumstances but it’s far better to let your Vet prescribe it, or newer and better drugs available for dogs and cats.
Q: Can I give my dog aspirin?
A: First ask yourself what’s wrong with the dog? Just because he’s not himself or seems in pain, isn’t a good reason since there could be so many causes of that pain. A trip to the vet is definitely in order to find out the root of the problem. It may be pain-related, it may not be.
Aspirin is sometimes used for dogs with arthritis, but only with caution and under veterinary supervision. Drugs containing acetaminophen (e.g. Tyelenol®) are very toxic, potentially fatal to both dogs and cats.
Q: What is aspirin?
A: Aspirin is in a class of drugs called NSAIDs – Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, and dogs are particularly sensitive to the gastrointestinal effects of pain, bleeding, and ulceration that can be a side effect of these drugs. Coated aspirin helps with the gastrointestinal effects.
Aspirin may cause birth defects, so it should not be given to pregnant animals.
Aspirin also interacts with several other drugs, one of which your Morkie might already be taking.
Newer and better drugs are now available for dogs and cats
Canine NSAID drugs such as Rimadyl , Deramaxx® , and Previcox may be good alternatives to aspirin for canine arthritis. Your Veterinarian can tell you more.
Glucosamine/chondroitin supplements, such as Cosequin, are another aid for arthritic pets and may be used alone or with NSAIDs or other therapies.
See your Veterinarian
As always, please see your Veterinarian to have your Morkie evaluated for pain, overall health (and blood work to check liver and kidneys) before using these medications.
If you suspect that your dog has gotten into a poison or overdosed, call your veterinarian or national hotlines, such as ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center or Pet Poison Helpline.
As with any drug, only administer under the advice and supervision of your Veterinarian.