National Poison Prevention Week: Anti-Inflammatory Medications

It’s National Poison Prevention Week, so I am writing special blog posts about common household toxins to your pets!

I often hear the question, “Can I give Tylenol to my dog?” or “Can I give a baby aspirin to my cat?”. My clients say that the internet leads them to believe these medications are okay to dose to dogs and cats on their own without guidance from a veterinarian. What consumers don’t know is that these substances can have detrimental effects on your pets’ health.


Ibuprofen is the most common NSAID or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication ingested by dogs and cats. This is because it frequently contains a sweet coating that attracts animals to it.

Clinical signs associated with NSAID ingestion include gastrointestinal signs, renal disease, and neurological deficits. Gastrointestinal signs can include vomiting with or without blood, diarrhea with or without blood, and abdominal pain. Acute renal failure is possible depending on the amount of NSAID ingested. Depression, seizures, and coma are at risk in the highest of dosing brackets for this class of medications.

Ferrets are also susceptible to the same toxic effects of these medications, just like dogs and cats.

Treatments for the various degrees of NSAID toxicosis are largely aimed at being clinically supportive. Maintaining adequate blood flow to the kidneys while flushing out toxic substances with IV fluids is key. Preventing gastrointestinal signs with multiple protectants and antinausea medications are vitally important as this is just the beginning of the clinical road for these patients. Monitoring blood work and urine output is also important for obtaining prognostic indicators for treatment courses.

With any toxic ingestion, it is always recommended to bring your pet to an animal hospital as soon as possible as a delay in treatment time can cost an animal their life.

Great care should be taken when keeping toxic substances in your home. Be sure to lock away toxic items to your pets just as if they were your children. Safety and prevention is our number one concern during National Poison Prevention Week!

If you have any questions that weren’t answered about this or any other toxin, please post it below.

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