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currently available non-prescription NSAIDS for dogs

This statement is made based on a comparison of 4 common NSAIDS --

(1) acetylsalicylic acid (i.e., aspirin),

(2) acetaminophen (Tylenol),

(3) Ibuprofen (i.e., Motrin, Advil which is highly toxic to cats) and

(4) Naproxen (Aleve) the safety of which has not been established in dogs.

I am not a vet, but I have been told by several vets that a good OTC painkiller is Ascriptin with Maalox (a type of Aspirin).

If you administer Aspirin/Ascriptin, the dosage is 5-10 mgs per pounds of body weight every 8 hours. Ascriptin usually comes in 325 mg tablets.

Plain Aspirin usually comes in 81 mg, 325 mg and 500 mg sizes.

How to Use NSAIDS -Weigh the dog and calculate the dose. Never exceed the dose or give the drug more frequently than indicated.

Overdosing can cause severe and irreversible damage to kidneys and other organs. (WARNING: IBUPROFEN or NAPROXEN must NOT BE GIVEN more often than EVERY 24-48 HOURS). Use the smallest dose and the longest interval that will produce the desired effect.

Always administer NSAIDS with food. DO NOT USE COMBINATION NSAIDS (e.g., NSAIDS that contain antihistamines, cough suppressants or other compounds).

Basically NSAIDS act to inhibit prostaglandins that are released in the inflammatory processes in the body. By inhibiting these chemicals NSAIDS prevent or reduce tissue swelling and pain. There is a cost because NSAIDS also inhibit another type of prostaglandin that protects internal organs such as the liver, the stomach and the kidneys and promote the normal clotting of blood.

A good resource for such questions is "The Dog's Drugstore" (ISBN0-312-20888-X ($23.95) by Richard W. Redding, DVM, SMSc. Ph.D, and MayrnaPapurt, DVM, B.Sc.

from the berner-l

Rimadyl does indeed cause pretty serious side effects in humans - my recollection was GI problems, but I don't have any hard copy for that. It also is not safe for use in cats.

Aspirin can be used in dogs, as most are aware, but has the potential to cause GI ulcerations - which is why the buffered forms are better. It can be used VERY VERY cautiously in cats - cats do not metabolize it quickly, so regular doses in a similarly sized dog or person would kill a cat. The dose for cats is much much smaller, and only given like every 72 hours.

Tylenol can be used in dogs, though not as safely as aspirin or Rimadyl. I don't think I've ever used it or recommended it's use, so can't really speak to the potential side effects or appropriate dose. Tylenol WILL kill a cat - it causes a pretty nasty form of anemia.

Ibuprofen is a no-no in dogs, and I'm pretty sure in cats as well. But I can't recall exactly why, and don't have a text handy to check it out.

At any rate, this just illustrates the fact that it is always a good idea to check with a vet or MD before using one species drugs on another. Even the most apparently benign chemical can have very different effects for different species (chocolate!). And keep in mind that vets don't always know what's safe for humans any more than MDs know which drugs are safe for which pets. (Though vets have a slight advantage there, as we need to have at least some clue as to human effects since WE'RE the ones handling them.)

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