Ibuprofen is a widely used pain relief medicine that is mostly advocated for people. Like humans, dogs do experience pain and discomfort symptoms that come along with several diseases such as headache, backache, joint pain, arthritis, physical injuries, etc. Nevertheless, when it comes to dealing with dog illnesses, the treatment techniques and prescribed medications are very different from that of humans. Hence, using ibuprofen for dogs is very debatable, though some veterinarians prescribe it in a specific dosage under certain conditions.
What is Ibuprofen?
Ibuprofen is the generic form that encompasses a group of over-the-counter pain medications. Therapeutically, it is a non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), effective to reduce a wide range of inflammatory symptoms. Being sold as a non-prescribed drug, it is frequently used to manage pain in people, even without the doctor's recommendation. As we all are aware, every chemical-based therapeutic drug is associated with temporary or long-term side effects. Similarly, there are certain adverse effects of ibuprofen, particularly when it is taken in a high dose or administered for a longer period.
Dog health questions such as 'Is ibuprofen safe for dogs?' or 'Is ibuprofen bad for dogs?' linger in the mind of every pet owner. The answer is both yes and no. To be more precise, ibuprofen is safe for dogs if given in a correct dose under the supervision of a veterinarian. Otherwise, this anti-inflammatory drug is strictly not recommended for canines.
The major risk factor for administering ibuprofen in dogs is the danger of toxicity. Every dog owner wants the best for his/her pet, in terms of everything. At times, a pet owner gives a dose of ibuprofen to alleviate pain in his pet, without thinking twice about the toxic concentration and associated side effects. Contrary to human treatment, ibuprofen overdose or toxicity in dogs occurs even with a very low dose.
The most noticeable side effect is mild to severe stomach ulcers. Bleeding in the stomach, if left unchecked, causes excessive loss of blood, leading to various weakness symptoms. Signs and symptoms of an ibuprofen overdose in dogs are as follows.
- Loss of appetite
- Increased lethargy
- Abdominal pain
- Dizziness and vomiting
- Blood in vomit
- Black or tarry stools
In severe cases, an overdose can lead to kidney problems, seizures, and anemia in dogs. In order to identify ibuprofen toxicity in dogs, the veterinarian may examine the medical history of the pet and perform blood tests. If admitted immediately (within 2 hours of ingesting the drug), your pet may be given activated charcoal to absorb traces of ibuprofen from the stomach and other bodily systems. If required, a blood transfusion may be done to replace loss of excess blood.
No doubt, ibuprofen may be prescribed by a veterinarian in order to manage painful symptoms in dogs. But it does not mean that this pain medicine can be given frequently to the pet without taking the vet's advice. To be on the safer side, give your dog ibuprofen only if the vet recommends it. Also, stick to the prescribed dosage. By doing so, you can minimize the risk of developing unusual dog health complications.
So, now you know how dangerous ibuprofen is for dogs. Be a responsible owner and keep this pain relief medication behind close doors, far away from the reach of your dog to prevent accidental ingestion. By any chance, if your dog manifests any of the overdose symptoms, get immediate veterinary care and attention to avoid any serious medical condition.