HAVE I GIVEN A PARACETAMOL, AN IBUPROPHENE OR AN ASPIRINE TO MY DOG / CAT, DOES ANYTHING HAPPEN?
This is one of those phrases that we have to hear a thousand times. YES, IF SOMETHING HAPPENS. We will begin by explaining the effect that paracetamol (acetaminophen) causes in animals.
What is paracetamol?
Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is a common over-the-counter medication. It has antipyretic (low fever) and analgesic properties similar to those of NSAIDs, although it does not act as an anti-inflammatory.
It is a medicine that is synthesized in the liver thanks to two mechanisms, one of which is an enzyme that cats lack and dogs have less proportion, so the doses to be given to these animals is much lower than the our. In the dog a therapeutic dose of 15mg / kg has been established and in the cat 4 times lower. However one 150 mg per kilo dose for a dog and only 50mg for a cat is lethal.
Paracetamol poisoning affects the liver (hepatic necrosis), oxidative damage in erythrocytes and converts hemoglobin into methemoglobin, making it difficult to breathe. Depression, weakness, coma, tachypnea, brown or blue mucous membranes, edama on the face (swelling), blood in the urine (dark chocolate color), salivation, vomiting, abdominal pain and finally death are observed.
What is ibuprofen?
Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory widely used in humans for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic properties. The recommended human dose in adults is about 1200 mg daily, usual dose of 400 to 600 mg every 4 to 6 hours. In dogs the recommended dose is 5 mg / kg but it has been seen that prolonged use can cause side effects, in cats the therapeutic dose has not been established but it is known that from 100 mg per cat gastric ulcers appear.
The therapeutic margin for humans, that is, the safety of the product, is similar to aspirin and usually does not give problems.
In dogs, the margin is much narrower, starting at 8 mg there are problems and cats are dubiously sensitive.
Here I leave a table with the doses from which we see already very harmful effects in dogs:
25-125 mg / kg vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, anorexia
> 175 mg / kg vomiting with blood, diarrhea with blood, polyuria, polydipsia, oliguria, uremia, renal failure.
> 400 mg / kg seizures, ataxia, like, shock
> 600 mg / kg death.
If we imagine the most usual presentation of human, 400 mg, and the average dog of about 15 kilos, the toxic dose would already be with less than one pill and we could see symptoms of problems with only that we give more than a quarter of it . So it is not a good idea to use it as an anti-inflammatory because it has very narrow safety margins.
In veterinarian we have products as effective as ibuprofen and with higher margins.
What other medications are toxic to dogs?
Without going any further, most prescription drugs to humans are toxic to a greater or lesser extent for dogs. This means that you may not kill your dog in a day, but you can damage his renal system or induce a coma.
Never let yourself go with the advice you have read written in a forum or web about animals, indicating that there is no problem if you give them some of this medicine or the other, because you can simply kill your dog.
The Paracetamol It is equally toxic to dogs as for example the Aspirin, the Nolotil It is also harmful and in general, any type of anti-inflammatory, which can damage the internal organs of the dog in the short term, if it does not die first by overdose.
Can I medicate my dog without going to the vet?
No, no and absolutely not. having a dog implies a responsibility towards him, a huge responsibility, the same as having a child. Would you give your child the first thing that comes to mind if he is sick? Well the same with dogs.
If you see your dog sick, you may think that giving him this or that can help you, but in reality more than helping him, you can make it worse. Veterinarians diagnose the dog after making an intense recognition, they are a medical professional, let them and only they be the ones who prescribe medications to your dog.
what if…. We all have a friend who gave Ibuprofen to his dog and nothing happened to him. We also know people who gave their dog a quarter of Ibuprofen tablet and died. Are you going to play it? We do not recommend it.