Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?

Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?Dogs seem to need aspirin a lot. Perhaps K9s get so worked up it can take a toll on them. Maybe their exuberance becomes their own undoing, resulting in accidents and situations causing pain. This, together with their genetic make-up, predisposes many dogs to certain illnesses such as arthritis, heart ailments, etc. Time heals wounds but also contributes to them.

Common to these K9 illnesses is the acute manifestation of pain that many dogs experience, especially geriatrics. Old age tends to result in weak joints due to wear and tear just like us humans commonly experience as we get older. Dogs struggle to walk and getting around becomes excruciatingly painful.

A popular way to control pain in dogs is through medications. Aspirin is probably the most common over-the-counter remedies used to ease pain in dogs. But before purchasing a specific type of aspirin, it is important to get your veterinarian’s advice first.

Can I Give My Dog Aspirin? Answer: Yes, as directed

Aspirin, though manufactured, marketed and sold for human use, may also be used to treat pain experienced by dogs.

It may be given to dogs with arthritis and other joint related problems. It helps to reduce swelling and pain in the affected areas. Aspirin is generally fast-acting, which makes it very efficient for quick pain relief in pets.

What Is Aspirin?

Aspirin is a drug under the classification of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). They generally work by preventing the buildup of prostaglandin that causes pain receptors to react. It works for dogs.

Pain management for canines should start with a vet consultation, especially when you don’t know the root cause of your dog’s ailment. Once the underlying cause of the condition is known, only then can proper treatment can be applied. Aspirin in particular is best used for dog pain caused by arthritis or similar ailments.

How Much Aspirin to Give?

Just like all medications, owners should follow the appropriate dosage when giving aspirin to their dog. This is more difficult to get right for a K9. Generally, dosage should be adjusted according to the dog’s weight. Often a 10-20 milligram dose per kilogram of body weight should be given. A 5-mg/pound or 10 mg/kilogram works well for most dogs under typical treatment but consult with your vet to be sure. There are approximately 2.2 pounds in a kilogram.

Always refer to the manufacturers dosage chart provided to get accurate instructions for any medication. A standard of 320 milligrams is favorable in most cases. Using aspirin for puppies is equivalent to 16 pounds of body weight at 5mg/pound given twice daily. These are only estimates and every dog is different.

While taking aspirin medication, sometimes as a result of a serious recovery, it is vital to monitor the dog’s blood work and observe any gastrointestinal problems. This is critical as the drug may cause blood thinning and stomach ulcers.

You must carefully pay attention to the different signs and symptoms as a result of complications associated with taking aspirin.

If unsure about dosage levels and frequency of use, your best option is to call your veterinarian for guidance. Giving medications to your pet is very tricky. Some dogs act weird when ill. Find the best way to make your dog feel relaxed. This way, it will be a lot easier for you to successfully provide medication.

Contraindications for Aspirin Use

Aspirin should not be given to young pets. It is toxic for dogs weighing less than 2 pounds at doses of 30mg per pound. This is why starting the treatment with small doses usually does the trick. Use moderation especially when giving human formulated drugs to a dog.

No other drugs should be taken with aspirin such as Tylenol. Chemical reactions of the two drugs can cause severe complications even death.

Aspirin can cause bleeding and stomach problems. Prevent this by giving your dog food before administering medication. This lessens gastric irritation that causes ulceration of the stomach lining. For bleeding tendencies, keep your dog away from any sharp objects or activities that may cause trauma.

Always Use Caution

You cannot give your dog just any type of aspirin. While it is an effective remedy for dogs suffering from pain people confuse acceptable brands and variations of pain relievers which is very dangerous. Proper caution and monitoring should be observed to ensure safety and avoid any unfortunate complications.

There are many instances when a dog may develop adverse reactions to medication even if it is widely in use. In such cases, it is vital to consult your veterinarian for proper guidance ASAP.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Joel the Just February 18, 2013

This is really helpful to me and many others so thank you!

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Penny Lindell April 23, 2013

My dog weighs between 80 and 90 lbs. He is a white lab. Can I give him an 80mg baby aspirin as needed?

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Terence December 15, 2013

Never give aspirin to puppies. Their bodies lack the enzymes to break it down.

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Peter January 20, 2014

I just gave my 120 lb Dobie three 325mg of aspirin for a an inflamed paw from running. Did I give him 1 tablet too much?

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Terence February 9, 2014

Hi Peter. Sorry for the late reply. I think you have given your dog 1/2 a tablet too much of Aspirin. It should be about 812mg instead of 325 x 3 = 975mg.
Terence

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Nikki January 31, 2014

Why don’t vets help you with this kind of information? Instead, I have a 13.5 year old retriever on an expensive anti-inflammatory drug that costs me approximately $129 per month. I am going to try Aspirin, how can it hurt? If it doesn’t work I can always go back to Meloxicam.

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Terence February 4, 2014

Hi Nikki,

I have no idea why your vet prescribed Meloxicam. It’s a human medicine for pain reliever and inflammation. My Husky died because I trusted the vet too much without doing more research on the drug given by the vet. Hope you don’t repeat my mistake.

Regards
Terence

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Nikki February 7, 2014

Hi Terence
My dog was getting stiff and can no longer enjoy our walks. He starts off fine, then stops and drops … pants, dribbles … and needs 20 mins recovery time. His heart is fine so they tell me ! I was told it was more like a arthritic pain and inflammation, that’s why I was prescribed Meloxican …the box claims it is ONLY for dogs …and has a picture of a dog on the tube … so I can only trust what they tell you …. Nikki

Terence February 9, 2014

Hi Nikki. Meloxicam is a prescription medication that is not FDA approved for vet use. However, it is a commonly accepted practice for vet to use Meloxicam in dogs.
Regards
Terence

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Nikki February 11, 2014

Hi Terence. Thanks for your advice. I have actually started using Aspirin for ‘Bear’ and I can say for the last 10 days he has been able to walk with ease. I am only using 300mg tablets. He is around 36 kilos in weight, so far so good. Will watch for side effects and I always feed it with his nightly food. I also had him clipped so that this heat is not a worry for him either. He loves his beach swims, and looks like a young dog frolicking in the waves. I really don’t think the Meloxicam helped at all.

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