You may already know that Ibuprofen is often prescribed to us humans as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication. Ibuprofen helps people experiencing dental pain, headache, muscle aches, menstrual cramps, and arthritis. Your dog probably suffers from any of these ailments and something inside you asks, can I give my dog ibuprofen? Can it be effective for my dog as much as it is for me?
In this post, we will tackle all things about Ibuprofen and whether you can safely administer it to your pet or not.
What is ibuprofen?
This is an NSAID considered to be analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic medication – intended for human consumption. Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter medication which a lot of people thought is safe for dogs too. Since they are readily available in drugstores, people can easily get their hands on this medication, consequently increasing the numbers of pet poisoning due to unintentional ingestion.
Can I give my dog ibuprofen for pain?
Going straight to the point, no. You can’t give your dog ibuprofen for the simple fact that it can be toxic for your canine companion.
When taken orally, it will just take half an hour for your dog to fully absorb ibuprofen – and that’s pretty fast. You’re lucky if your dog has eaten his meal beforehand because it can possibly delay the absorption but not that much.
1. Why you should not give ibuprofen to your dog
Ibuprofen toxicity can happen to your dog when you administer an ibuprofen to him. While it is safe for people, it has only a narrow margin of safety when it comes to dogs.
2. How much ibuprofen can I give my dog
As stated just above, there is still a thin line of safety, which technically allows you to administer ibuprofen to a dog BUT only within a little dosage. Know that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. This narrow margin of safety is most likely just a means of hope should your dog accidentally ingests an ibuprofen.
Be reminded that ibuprofen can really poison your dog. So if you want to give him this medication for a certain illness, you might want to opt for another treatment and refrain from administering ibuprofen as much as possible. For instance, if you want to help your dog with arthritis, why not just go for another treatment where you can be sure it’s safe?
1. Causes of ibuprofen poisoning
According to PetMD most cases of ibuprofen poisoning are accidental ingestion. For example, a dog can unintentionally eat an Advil lying around in your home. Other medication in tablet form can also make dogs think they are dry dog food.
2. Keep it away from your dog
The instructions behind your medication bottle are not just for compliance. They really mean it. Keep any ibuprofen or any medication for that matter away from your dog’s reach.
3. Don’t believe it’s safe
Because it’s not. There are still some pet-parents who believe in the myth that ibuprofen can serve as a treatment for their dog. Don’t be one of them. There are instances of ibuprofen poisoning that happened as a result of pet owners deliberately administering the said medication to their dog.
What happens if my dog ingests ibuprofen?
As an NSAID, Ibuprofen works just like any other medication in that category – except that it’s toxic to dogs as repetitively stated in this post. So what happens if you give your dog ibuprofen.
Ibuprofen inhibits this enzyme – called cyclooxygenase - that produces prostaglandins that cause inflammation, fever, and pain. While it sounds like a good thing for ibuprofen to inhibit these prostaglandins, there is a big downside to that.
Prostaglandins actually help your dog by maintaining this mucus layer in the gastrointestinal tract, consequently protecting it from stomach acid.
Going back, if your dog takes in ibuprofen, the prostaglandins are significantly decreased, which results in negative bodily functions including:
- Vomiting with blood
- Feces with blood
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach (gastric) ulcers
- Loss of weight
- Noticeably increased urination (but lack of urine)
- Increased thirst
- In worse cases, death
What to do if my dog gets poisoned with ibuprofen
Let’s say your dog accidentally ingested an ibuprofen from an Advil he thought was food. Here are some points to learn:
- The best thing to do is to contact your vet right after you are able to observe symptoms of potential poisoning.
- You can induce vomiting. You can do so by utilizing ipecac, hydrogen peroxide or apomorphine.
- Pumping the stomach or gastric lavage can also be done to make your dog vomit the toxic substances.
- Activated charcoal can also be used. This is an effective substance in absorbing the poison inside the stomach
- Anti-emetic medications can be used to control the vomiting. Additionally, gastrointestinal protectants may be necessary.
- Blood/plasma transfusions and fluid therapy may be needed when your dog’s kidney(s) has become damaged due to the said poisoning.
- For seizures, anticonvulsant medications may be needed.
- Surgical correction may be required in cases of gastric perforation.
An important note about our posts
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. No online advice beats professional diagnosis.
While time is of the essence when your dog accidentally ingests ibuprofen, it doesn’t really mean that everything is in your hands now. Any inappropriate action can worsen the situation. It would be safer if you call your vet first or rush to the nearest pet clinic to save your dog.
Ibuprofen is indeed an appealing medication which a lot of people thought to be equally effective in dogs as much as they are a big help for humans. But we hope this post clears things out.
So the next time you ask – can I give my dog ibuprofen – you already know the answer. Also, don’t forget to share this information to your family and friends. You might save an innocent dog.