At those moments when you notice you dog in pain, you’ll do almost anything to make their discomfort go away. When you see your dog limping or just not acting like themselves, it is heartbreaking – so reaching for a human pain reliever doesn’t seem that unususal. After all – if drugs like aspirin work for you, why not your precious puppy? Please note, however, that human remedies may not be the solution and that aspirin for dogs needs to be used with extreme caution.
The best thing to do if contemplating giving aspirin to your dog is to first find the root cause of the problem. That is going to be best solved by having a visit with your family veterinarian. In some cases they may decide that aspirin is the best course of action for your pet. But, they will give strict dosages for you to follow and will want to monitor any side effects it may be having.
Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. You may have heard the term NSAID, and that is where it comes from. These are a class of drugs that can cause some pretty serious gastrointestinal issues with dogs. This is because dogs do not metabolize aspirin the same way that humans do. As a result, they can suffer from pain, bleeding and ulcers when taking aspirin or any other kind of NSAID. There are some coated aspirins available for purchase that can help minimize some of these side effects. But, it should still be administered under the supervision of a vet.
Another warning about giving aspirin for dogs is that it has been known to have negative interactions with other medications your pet may be taking. This is most prevalent in cortisones, digoxin and antibiotics. If your vet is not aware of your dog taking these then remind them before they recommend aspirin for your dog.
There are some alternative NSAID drugs and supplements that are available for dogs. They have the same pain killing properties of aspirin, but have been formulated specifically for dogs. These include Rimadyl, Previcox and Deramaxx.
Another alternative to try is the supplements previously mentioned. These may help with joint pain or joint degeneration. They are used quite a bit in dogs with arthritis. Many times they can be used on their own, but other times they may be used with some of the previously mentioned NSAID drugs. Examples of these supplements include Glucosamine and Chondroitin. These can be found in powder supplements sprinkled on food or actually put in food. It can also be purchased in supplements such as Cosequin.
Aspirin for dogs may, in fact, be the preferred course of treatment for your canine’s pain. It must, however be administered and monitored only under the supervision of your family veterinarian. Because of the possible severe consequences of using this drug, only your veterinarian can determine whether or not aspirin is the proper protocol for treating your dog’s pain.