It’s rare for anyone not to be familiar with this medication. Aspirin is used as a treatment for fever and painful conditions due to toothaches, muscle aches, headaches, common colds, and more. When taken properly with a doctor’s guidance, you know the good it can do to your body. And now you’re wondering, can I give my dog aspirin?
You probably are curious whether it’s safe to give your dog the same aspirin medication you are using to treat yourself when you have an illness. Does aspirin have the same effect? Or should you avoid administering it to your canine companion? Read on to know the answers.
What is Aspirin?
Aspirin is an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). This medication can be given to dogs who have a short-term condition like a recent injury. It may be given as a long-term medication but pet-parents must know the risk of potential side effects. There are also other kinds of NSAIDs, and they are usually given to dogs in pain. NSAIDs have multiple applications including treatment for fever and inflammation too.
Read more: What Can I Give My Dog for Pain
Aspirin can also prevent blood-clots as it also acts as an anticoagulant. One thing that makes NSAIDs more appealing as a treatment option is the fact they have fewer side effects – when compared to steroids.
Aspirin for dogs
You can use aspirin for your furry friend if he is suffering from conditions such as:
- Chronic inflammation diseases
- Short-term pain relief
- Post-surgery treatment
- Minor to major injury
How Much Aspirin Can I Give My Dog?
While aspirin may not have as much side effects as steroids, it’s not enough reason to be careless when administering it. For starters, there is still a lack of conclusive studies defining the right aspirin dosage for dogs. The reason behind: aspirin is still not approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for pet use.
You can follow the recommended dosage by the Merck Veterinary Manual: 10-40 mg/kg.
A baby aspirin is generally 80mg while the standard aspirin is 320mg. This means that:
- A small Chihuahua must only take 1/2 of a baby aspirin
- A small Chihuahua must only take 1/8 of a standard aspirin
- A 60-pound dog like a Rottweiler can take a whole aspirin
2. Vet discussion
If you want to be safer and more assured, you can always talk with your vet and let him evaluate the dosage for your furball. More importantly, discuss what kind of aspirin your dog specifically needs.
For instance, enteric-coated aspirin tablets might be good for a human but can have undesirable results when taken by a dog. It has been found out that half the time, a normal dog won’t be able to digest the coating, which can be evident when you observe the dog’s stool.
3. Administer with food
Another thing to remember is to always give aspirin along with your pet’s food. This is to help them in the digestion process especially if you’re giving him the coated version. Administering with food can at least protect your dog from intestinal or stomach irritation.
For any species, aspirin overdose leads to similar symptoms. This includes salicylate poisoning associated with hemorrhage, abnormalities, coma, seizures, or worse, death.
Do Vets Prescribe Aspirin?
Yes, vets do prescribe aspirin as an ideal medication for some dog ailments. As an NSAID, aspirin is in the same category as other medications geared toward giving relief to dogs suffering from ailments like arthritis.
Read more: What Can I Give My Dog for Arthritis
That said, aspirin is prescribed by vets for dogs with musculoskeletal inflammation or osteoarthritis. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties packed inside, aspirin has the ability to decrease the said inflammation and pain that comes with these arthritic symptoms. As a result, you can expect your dog to feel relief and will finally be able to break free from the pain and symptoms.
Aside from arthritis and related ailments, vets also recommend aspirin for a whole lot more of other conditions which you can discuss with him. You should also know that you can’t give your pet aspirin without any approval from the vet himself. Further, make sure to follow your vet’s instructions and discuss potential side effects that your particular breed might encounter.
What are the Side Effects of Aspirin?
Just because aspirin is technically safe for your dogs, doesn’t mean it has no side effects. It is only safe when you’re able to ideally follow the entire instructions of your vet. Otherwise, adverse aspirin reaction to your dog can happen. Here are some side effect symptoms to look out for:
- Black, tarry stool
- Mucosal erosion
Note: When you spot these symptoms, immediately stop your dog’s aspirin medication, and call your vet right away.
Aspirin overdose symptoms:
- Appetite loss
- Acid-based abnormalities
- In worst cases, death
What Are Aspirin Alternatives?
Your vet has got all the good intentions for prescribing aspirin. There are, however, some alternatives to aspirin you can use with the approval of your vet.
You can opt for a Carprofen as it’s an effective medication for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. The better thing about Carprofen is it’s usually better tolerated by dogs when compared to aspirin.
Before you give your dog aspirin
While we can assure that everything in this article is harnessed from thorough research, the team highly recommends every reader to visit a vet first – and actually make it a priority.
You can also talk with a pharmacist if a vet is not available at the moment. Always do this before giving your dog over-the-counter medications and any prescription drugs.
After you give your dog aspirin
Regardless if it’s aspirin or not, always monitor your dog’s behavior closely every time you give him a medication. Be observant and watch out for possible side effects or worse conditions that may arise.
Changes in activity level, appetite, bowel movements, urination, and even your dog’s personality (which you should know well as the pet-parent) could be the signs of adverse reaction to aspirin. Know that while aspirin has fewer side effects than steroids, it has actually more side effects than the other medications in the same NSAID category like Rimadyl (used for treating arthritis). Bottom line – keep a close eye on your little pooch.
Can I give my dog aspirin? That’s yet another question that a lot of pet-parents ask, probably including you. The answer is basically yes, but there are a lot of things you need to know first before administering it.