Even though ibuprofen may relieve your aches and pains, it won't do the same for your dog. In fact, it could kill him. Never give your dog ibuprofen. That's settled, but what if he gets into it accidentally? Contact your vet immediately or take him to a veterinary emergency hospital.
The pain reliever ibuprofen is sold over-the-counter under various brand names, including Advil, Motrin, Motrin IB and Nuprin in the United States and Canada and other names in different countries. Considered a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, humans take ibuprofen for ailments ranging from headaches to arthritis. What is safe for you isn't always safe for your dog. While the Merck Veterinary Manual states that ibuprofen has been recommended for dogs at 5 mg/kg, even this low dosage causes gastric ulcers after prolonged use. Ingestion of the drug at 100-125 mg/kg causes serious side effects, while a dose of 175-300 mg/kg and above leads to renal failure and possible death. The average ibuprofen capsule or pill contains 200 mg of the medication.
If you think your dog might have ingested ibuprofen, symptoms may include vomiting, lethargy, blood in the feces, dehydration, loss of appetite and abdominal pain. However, if the dog starts exhibiting symptoms, it's already a race against time. If it happens at night, it's not something that can wait until morning. By that time, in a worst-case scenario, your dog could be in renal failure.
Time is of the essence with treatment. If your dog arrives at the veterinarian before any symptoms are evident, the vet will induce vomiting. She may also administer activated charcoal to soak up any ibuprofen that didn't come up in the vomit. If the dog does exhibit symptoms, the vet will administer intravenous fluids for at least the next 48 hours to aid the gastrointestinal system and kidneys. The dog receives other medications for ulcer prevention, and possibly blood transfusions. If the dog pulls through, his kidneys require monitoring until normal levels return.
Drugs for Dogs
Well, now that you know not to give your dog an Advil if he comes in limping after an outing with you, what should you do? Don't give him aspirin or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as naproxen, sold under the brand name Aleve. Arthritis and other joint problems are just as common in canines as people, so your vet can provide you with safe medications that put the punch back in your pooch.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.