Some dogs seem to need aspirin a lot. Perhaps canines get so worked up it can take a toll. Their exuberance becomes their own undoing, resulting in accidents and situations causing pain. This, together with their genetic make-up, predisposes dogs to illnesses such as arthritis, heart ailments, etc. Time heals wounds but also contributes to them.
Common to these illnesses is often acute pain, especially for geriatrics. Old age brings with it weak joints, due to wear and tear, just like people experience as we age. Some 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 remedy used to ease pain in dogs. But before purchasing a specific type of aspirin, it’s important to get your veterinarian’s advice first.
Can I Give My Dog Aspirin? Answer: Yes, as directed
Aspirin may be used to treat pain for dogs even though it’s manufactured, marketed and sold for human use.
It may be given to dogs with arthritis and other joint related problems by helping to reduce swelling and pain in the affected areas. Aspirin is generally fast-acting, which makes it good for quick pain relief in pets. You must, however, pay attention to any signs or symptoms as a result of complications associated with taking aspirin.
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. Yes, it works for dogs.
Canine pain management should always start with a vet consultation. This is especially true 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 be applied. Aspirin in particular is best used for dog pain caused by arthritis or similar ailments.
How Much Aspirin to Give?
As with all human medications, including aspirin, the appropriate dosage is difficult to determine for a K9. Generally, dosage should be adjusted according to the dog’s weight. A 10-20 milligram dose per kilogram can be given. This works out to approximately 5-10 mg/pound ratio which is conservative and works well for most dogs. For example, if your dog weighs 20 pounds you would provide 100mg of aspirin but never more than 200mg perhaps twice daily. This is only an example and every dog is different.
For reference, there are approximately 2.2 pounds in a kilogram. Always refer to the manufacturer’s dosage chart or literature, if applicable, to get more detailed and accurate instructions.
While taking aspirin medication it’s vital to monitor the dog and observe any gastrointestinal problems. They may need routine blood work as well. This could be critical since the drug may cause blood thinning and stomach ulcers.
If unsure about dosage levels and frequency of use, your best option is to ask your veterinarian for guidance. Giving medications to your pet is very tricky. Some dogs experience changes in behavior 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 could be toxic for dogs weighing less than 5 pounds at any dose. This is why starting the treatment with a small dosage is so important. Use moderation whenever 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 for dogs, even death.
Aspirin can cause bleeding and stomach problems. Prevent this by giving your dog some 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 pets just any type of aspirin. While it’s an effective remedy for dogs suffering from pain, people confuse 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.
Your dog may develop adverse reactions to a medication like aspirin even if it’s widely in use. That’s why it’s vital to always have your veterinarian’s contact info on hand.