There are different ways to help ease your dogs pain. Whether they were injured or starting to get arthritis, when your dog hurts you just want them to feel better. Here are the questions we are answering for you.
- How much aspirin can I give my dog?
- How do you know if a dog is in pain?
- Can you give a dog Ibuprofen?
- Can I give my dog Tylenol?
- What can I give my dog for pain?
How do you know if a dog is in pain?
Dogs show their pain in many ways. This is why it’s so important to bond with your dog so you can tell when something is wrong.
Some signs that your dog is in pain may include:
- Increased heart rate or breathing
- Reduced appetite
- Reluctant to move or antisocial
- Agitation or growling
- They may try to tell you by being more vocal… whining or howling
- Limping or swelling
- Drinking a lot more or a lot less water (changes in drinking)
How much aspirin can I give my dog? Can you give a dog Ibuprofen?
I wouldn’t give either. Aspirin and Ibuprofen are an over-the-counter NSAIDs. (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) I would avoid because they are not approved for dogs and can be fatal. Even though your vet may give the OK to give aspirin to your dog for a limited time ( this is usually because your dog has an injury, had surgery or another short-term condition), be-aware that Aspirin in the most common poison for dogs!
Problems with Aspirin or Ibuprofen use with dogs:
- Owner could inappropriately give high dose
- Certain dogs are more sensitive to human NSAID brands and can develop dangerous side effects, even if the correct dose is given
- The simultaneous use of other medications or the presence of certain health conditions (gastrointestinal, liver or kidney disease) can make the use of NSAIDs for dogs even more risky
According to PetMD, Dogs should not be given Advil, aspirin, Tylenol or any other pain reliever made for human consumption.
Can I give my dog Tylenol?
Tylenol (Acetaminophen) is a different story as it’s not a NSAID. When dogs ingest toxic amounts of Tylenol it destroys their liver cells and damages the kidneys. It also converts hemoglobin,(the oxygen-carrying molecule in blood), to methemoglobin, resulting poor oxygen delivery and tissue damage. It is even more dangerous for cats; as little as one single Tylenol tablet could kill a cat.
In most cases, Tylenol may be toxic at anything over 75mgs per kilograms of body weight in a dog. (although dogs may react differently) If you suspect that your dog could have been poisoned here are some signs to watch for:
- Gums are grayish-brown color
- Yellow skin or to the whites of their eyes
- Difficulty breathing or Rapid breathing
- Heart rate is rapid
- Licking or biting their belly – can show they have in belly pain
- Dark brown urine
- excessive drooling
- Dark bluish color to their skin and mucous membranes (inside of eyelids or gums)
So, what CAN I give my dog for pain???
First I need to say the combination of a good diet and exercise will often lessen if not completely eliminate the need for pain meds for dogs suffering from chronic conditions like arthritis as they lose weight.
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You can also give your dog joint supplements, which I have given my dogs in the past. Glucosomine is the most common and although it doesn’t directly stop the pain it’s believed to alleviate the symptoms of joint damage and repair cartilage. Here are highly recommended joint supplements —>
Dogs also may change their behavior as they get older, see our dog blog on behavior changes in senior dogs here—>
Other natural relief includes message, essential oils and acupuncture for dogs. These remedies show mixed results but can be very helpful if used along side another treatment. I used essential oils on Jesse before she passed away. She seemed to really like them. Essential oils for older dogs can help with inflammation due to a weaker immune system. There are also essential oils good for joint pain and stiffness. Here are some that are safe:
- Juniper Berry
Besides essential oils, Vegetable oils that are anti-inflammatory particularly for skin healing include Coconut oil and tamanu oil. ( good for humans too) I love coconut oil!
I hope this blog really helped answer how you can identify when your dog is in pain and the options we have to help them!
Dog Bless~ The Dog Connection
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Resources: AKC.com, PETmd.com, Rover.com