1. Home

Dogs and Aspirin

Human medications are potentially toxic to dogs

By

Golden Retriever GK Hart/Vikki Hart/Stone/Getty Images
Please see the vet questions archive for more Q & A topics.

Related: Can I give my cat aspirin?

When a dog is in pain, people are eager to give medication to ease that pain, but giving human medications such as aspirin and Tyelenol® to pets can cause more problems than it cures. Learn why in this article.

Q: Can I give my dog aspirin?
A: It is important not to just give a drug because the animal is 'not himself' or is in pain where the cause is unknown. A trip to the vet is definitely in order to find out the root of the problem. It may be pain-related, it may not be.

With regard to arthritis, aspirin is sometimes used for dogs, but only with caution and under veterinary supervision. Drugs containing acetaminophen (e.g. Tyelenol®) are very toxic, potentially fatal to both dogs and cats.

Aspirin is in a class of drugs called NSAIDs - Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, and dogs are particularly sensitive to the gastrointestinal effects of; pain, bleeding, and ulceration that can be a side effect of these drugs. Coated aspirin helps with the gastrointestinal effects.

Aspirin may cause birth defects, so it should not be given to pregnant animals.1

Aspirin also interacts with several other drugs, particularly cortisones, digoxin, some antibiotics, Phenobarbital, and Furosemide(Lasix®).2

Check with your veterinarian about what is going on with your pet and what would be the best drug for the problem.

Newer and better drugs are now available for dogs and cats.

Canine NSAID drugs such as Rimadyl, Deramaxx®, and Previcox may be good alternatives to aspirin for canine arthritis.

Glucosamine/chondroitin supplements, such as Cosequin, are another aid for arthritic pets and may be used alone or with NSAIDs or other therapies.

As always, please see your veterinarian to have your pet evaluated for pain, overall health (and bloodwork to check liver and kidneys, if indicated) prior to using these medications.

If you suspect that your pet has gotten into a poison or overdosed, call your veterinarian or national hotlines, such as ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. or Pet Poison Helpline.

As with any drug, only administer under the advice and supervision of your veterinarian.

Additional Reading:
Toxicology Links

Please see the vet questions archive for more Q & A topics.

Text: Copyright © Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM. All rights reserved.

1 = Source: Veterinary Drug Handbook, 3rd ed., Donald C. Plumb. pp 67
2 = Source: Veterinary Drug Handbook, 3rd ed., Donald C. Plumb. pp 67-68

  1. About.com
  2. Home
  3. Veterinary Medicine
  4. Toxicology (Poisons)
  5. Dogs and Aspirin

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.