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Do you think your dog may have a toothache?
The truth is that canines with oral discomfort can also get relief from Orajel. Many owners find that it works for their pets!
And vets commonly use Benzocaine which is the active ingredient in Orajel.
With that being said, human-grade versions have caused side effects in some animals.
In particular, Orajel is not recommended for puppies or small breeds. And all dogs should be prevented from ingesting it.
There is more to learn about this toothache reliever. Keep reading…
Avoid Using 3X or 4X Orajel On Your Dog
High amounts of benzocaine can be toxic.
20% formulations or Maximum Strength Orajel (like the one pictured above) are a little on the strong side for most dogs.
Safer in Lower Concentrations
The regular Medicated For Toothache Gel has a 10% benzocaine potency. That’s the Orajel you’d want for a desired numbing effect.
But, if you can, get your veterinarian’s diagnosis because it can be difficult to know if your dog actually has a toothache!
And even if that is the case, a professional’s prescription is recommended for any type of pain relief – even if it’s just temporary.
A Bad Blood Disease
While not the norm, dogs can suffer a severe side effect from the main ingredient in Orajel.
A study published by The National Center for Biotechnology Information documented 3 canine cases whereby benzocaine triggered Methemoglobinemia (a type of anemia).
Two of the dogs required full blood transfusions after their Methemoglobin levels spiked.
The lesson here is that Orajel, like any pharmaceutical, has potential for harm.
Not For Open Sores
Based on the above study there is reason to believe excessive absorption of benzocaine should be avoided.
In practical terms that means:
Orajel should not be used on open sores, lesions, wounds or if your dog’s mouth is bleeding.
Orajel Not a Real Fix
Preventative maintenance (ie. regular cleaning of teeth and gums) is the key to having a hound with a healthy mouth.
Older dogs in particular need periodic dental work done.
Does your buddy’s mouth smell terrible?
Bad breath is a symptom of halitosis or tooth decay. And neither Orajel or Anbesol can fix it!
Other troublesome signs include:
- Difficulty eating
- Inflammation of the gums
- Excessive drooling
A toothache could be the least of your dog’s problems!
Again, Orajel cannot help your dog with issues that result from tartar build-up or gum diseases.
For Puppies With Pain
Do you have a teething puppy?
Consider getting a gum massager or try chicken-flavored teething rings.
The Bottom Line
Orajel is, at best, only a temporary solution for your dog’s toothache.
And while Benzocaine is effective, this local anesthetic could be a bit overkill.
Stick to Orajel concentrations of 10% or less and do not apply any to open wounds. Further, avoid use if you have a small dog or young pup.
Why not get your vet’s prescription? They’ll likely provide a reduced strength equivalent for the pain.