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Vicodin is powerful prescription narcotic that relieves severe pain.
But for a pet dog?
Straight to the point:
This combination formula (Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen) is not recommended unless your vet is advising you.
Do not attempt to reduce your dog’s pain with a leftover supply of Vicodin.
Providing this medication could make the situation much, much worse!
When it comes to Vicodin, dogs are way more susceptible to harm compared to humans. The risks are very real.
Few Vets Prescribe Vicodin These Days
Acetaminophen, in particular, is not well-tolerated by canines. And combining it with an opioid (Hydrocodone) increases a possibility of bad side effects.
It cannot be stressed enough:
Never take it upon yourself to give any amount of Vicodin to your dog. Again, only a vet can make that call!
Thing is the FDA almost banned Vicodin. It has been linked to hundreds of deaths (not to mention countless cases of liver damage).
Just imagine what it can do to your dog!
FYI: A better alternative to Vicodin is Rimadyl.
Vicodin is Very Risky
It’s all about active ingredients.
Vicodin contains Paracetamol (AKA Tylenol or Acetaminophen) which is easily toxic to dogs. The other component is an opioid called Hydrocodone.
As pain killers go, Vicodin is nearly as potent as Oxycontin and Morphine.
Do not give any dose!
It doesn’t matter if you have a large breed or small puppy. Providing your dog with Vicodin could be fatal. Their organs may not stand a chance!
Some Safer Alternatives
Pain is a big problem as our dogs live longer.
You are encouraged to research several Carprofen names. These are formulated prescriptions designed specifically for animals with inflammation and the associated aches and pains.
- Rimadyl (already recommended as this one is the most popular)
The above drugs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). While there are lots of known side effects, they are certainly safer than Vicodin!
An End of Life Option?
It’s heart-breaking to see the family dog dealing with chronic pain. Of course, you want stop their suffering because you love them so much.
But hopefully you’ve been convinced that Vicodin is out of the question.
Sure, we occasionally hear from owners with near-death geriatric dogs who’ve successfully used certain prescription pain killers.
For a short time, such drugs may make a life-long friend more comfortable. However, this approach could also backfire.
Do it right and get assistance from a trusted veterinarian.
And, in all honestly, sometimes the only path forward is euthanasia.
The Bottom Line
Administering Vicodin to your dog is generally a bad idea.
In fact, this pain killer isn’t even optimal for animals at the end of their life cycle. It is too unpredictable.
If, for some reason, a veterinarian has prescribed Vicodin then be sure to carefully follow their instructions.
Just be warned that this drug can do more harm and than good. There really are better alternatives for a pet dog’s pain problems.