e-Vet ALERT: Beware Ibuprofen in Dogs

Topic: Beware Ibuprofen in Dogs

by D.E.L.T.A. Rescue Veterinarian, Dr. Gaylord Brown

Ibuprofen is a common non-steroidal ant-inflammatory used in humans for analgesia. Its relative safety in people have led some well meaning pet owners to consider its use in dogs to alleviate discomfort from arthritis. unfortunately, such action may lead to death due to perforations in the stomach or upper intestine.

Acute toxicosis due to ingestion of large numbers of ibuprofen tablets has long been recognized in veterinary medicine. This typically occurs when a pet gets a hold of an entire bottle of medication and consumes a large number of tablets. Signs of this include vomiting, diarrhea, and death due to renal failure.

However, well meaning dog owners have unwittingly caused severe damage to their pet’s gastrointestinal tract by giving small doses in an attempt to alleviate signs of limping or pain. Sensitivity to such ingestion varies from pet to pet. Some dogs can develop perforations in the intestine with a single dose of medication. The longer the dog consumes the ibuprofen the more likely a perforation will occur.

Unfortunately, the death rate from such perforations is quite high. Even if the dog has surgery, the bowel may be so friable the lesion cannot be successfully repaired. The simple message from the alert is do not give ibuprofen to your pet!

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