Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?

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Can I Give My Dog Aspirin?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. Sometimes genetics also predisposes dogs to illnesses such as arthritis, heart ailments, etc.

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 can 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, commonly misspelled as asprin, is classified as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by preventing the buildup of Prostaglandin that causes pain receptors to react. Yes, it works for dogs.

But canine pain management should 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. 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. Giving medications to your pet is 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.

Please 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.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan January 22, 2015

My dog is a 12 year old Blue Heeler/Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross weighing 30 kilograms. She suffers from arthritis and the vet told me I can give her aspirin, but only for 5 days at a time. How long should I rest her between medication periods?

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Michelle December 25, 2014

My dog was attacked by another dog. She has two small cuts but a lot of bruising. I will take her to the vet on Friday but it’s Christmas day and they are closed. Is there any pain relief I can give her from home?

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Trish December 31, 2014

Did you get any replies on this? I also have a dog that was attacked. I’m not sure what I can give her for pain.

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Christine November 18, 2014

Is 100mg enteric coated aspirin okay to give my 6 month old Doberman puppy? He got off his lounge and had a slight limp. He was fine earlier but he runs fast around the house and I am worried he has pulled something in his leg. He favors his back left leg but then walks normally, then limps again, then walks normally so I doubt anything is broken. I have pet insurance so I am taking him to the vet. In the meantime, I am wondering if he can have pain relief and not Panadol which I know is dangerous for dogs.

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Mel October 14, 2014

My 3 year old half Lab/half Chesapeake Bay Retriever is very athletic. She is normally in great condition and runs one mile almost every day, I follow in my pick-up truck. Her affected leg does have a pretty severe skinned place on it. I am treating that part with triple antibiotic ointment for pain. Can I treat that with one tab of 8mg enteric aspirin and if so how often?

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Amy March 19, 2014

Can I give my 10 pound Dachshund mix the 81mg chewable aspirin? She was in a little scuffle with another dog and ended up with a cut. No stitches, thank goodness, but she seems very stiff and sore when I try to move her.

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Terence March 28, 2014

Vets say dogs can have a bad reaction to aspirin. You can’t predict which dogs will react badly. One dose may be fine and the next time you give it, bam!

One thing to check for in any chewable tablet is that they don’t use xylitol as a sweetener, that can be deadly to dogs. Apparently it is starting to be used in some chewable kids vitamins, etc.

But do not use Aspirin on a long term basis. A better alternative is to try natural foods like omega-3 fatty acids, boswellia, yarrow, alfalfa, horsetail, dandelion root, devil’s claw, licorice, turmeric, white willow bark, vitamin C and other antioxidants, MSM and glucosamine and chondroitin.

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