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My dog ate ibuprofen

Shih Tzu in front of medecine advice

You need to call a vet if your dog has eaten ibuprofen.

© Shutterstock

However ill your dog is, you should never think of ibuprofen as the answer to help your pet.

By Dr Hester Mulhall MA, VetMB, MRCVS

Published on the 12/08/2020, 13:06

If your dog is ill or in pain, it's never a good idea to give them a human drug. This is particularly the case with ibuprofen, because it's not been made with dogs (or any other animals) in mind. So if your dog is in need of help, the best thing you can do is contact a vet. Read on to find out why ibuprofen is so bad for your pet.

What are the effects of NSAIDs in dogs?

NSAIDS, or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, are painkillers and they also reduce the inflammation that causes redness, heat and swelling. There are many types of NSAID and some are much safer for dogs than the common human NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen, Advil), diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren) and naproxen (e.g. Naprosyn).

Can I give my dog ibuprofen for pain?

Ibuprofen is a type of NSAID that has a very narrow safe range in dogs, so it is too easy to underdose or overdose them. For this reason, ibuprofen is not recommended for use in dogs.

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk  

What does ibuprofen do to a dog?

Ibuprofen reduces blood flow to the kidneys and the gut. This can lead to stomach ulcers and kidney failure at toxic doses.  

What symptoms develop if my dog has eaten ibuprofen?

Symptoms will vary and can include: vomiting, diarrhoea, bleeding, frequent drinking and urination, collapse and even death.

What is the diagnosis if my dog has eaten ibuprofen?

The vet may run urine samples and blood tests to check kidney function and for signs of bleeding. He or she may also use an endoscope to check for stomach ulcers in your dog. 

What treatment is there if my dog has eaten ibuprofen?

The treatment will be supportive and can include emptying the stomach, intravenous fluids and medication to protect the stomach.   

What to do if your dog eats ibuprofen, but has no symptoms

If your dog ate ibuprofen but seems fine – even if it was two or three days ago – you should still call a vet. The symptoms can be delayed and damage to the kidneys and gut may be happening without your dog showing immediate symptoms.

When to call a vet if your dog eats ibuprofen

If you dog has eaten any ibuprofen (or other human drugs), contact a vet immediately to find out what to do. The vet can advise you if the type and amount your dog has eaten is likely to be toxic. The safest thing to do is to make them vomit as soon as possible, so they do not absorb the drug. The vet can advise how to do this safely and if further treatment is likely to be needed.

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk