side effects of ibuprofen for dogs & alternatives

Ibuprofen For Dogs Side Effects & Ibuprofen Alternatives

Side Effects Ibuprofen For Dogs & Alternatives

Whenever we feel pain in our body, it’s easy for us to get over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to relieve ourselves. Ibuprofen has been our go-to drug to ease our body ache. But that is not the case for our pet dogs.

Sure, it is convenient to reach in your medicine cabinet for an OTC med. It’s an instant pain relief for dogs in case of emergencies. And most importantly, it saves you from the cost of visiting a vet.

Hold it right there.

This is one common misconception that you should stop doing now. Ibuprofen IS dangerous for dogs. We know you mean well, but giving your dog ibuprofen won’t cure your pet’s condition. Rather, you are only putting him at greater risk.

What is Ibuprofen for Dogs

While ibuprofen is relatively safe for humans, it is not for pets. The intake of ibuprofen can have an adverse effect on dogs. This is why you should not give your furry friend ibuprofen to ease his pain.

But what can you give your pet?

Several NSAIDs were developed as an ibuprofen counterpart for dogs. Here are some pain medications specifically made for dogs that your vet may prescribe.

  • Carprofen (Rimadyl) – It is used in dogs to treat hip dysplasia and arthritis. It is also used for post-operative pain and inflammation.
  • Deracoxib (Deramaxx) – It is used in dogs for pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. It is also used for postoperative pain and inflammation caused by orthopedic and dental surgery.
  • Etodolac (Etogesic) – It is used in dogs for pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.
  • Firocoxib (Previcox) – It is used in dogs for pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. It is also used for post-operative pain and inflammation caused by soft-tissue and orthopedic surgery.
  • Meloxicam (Metacam) – It used in dogs for pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.


Dosage of Ibuprofen

Strictly follow the instruction of your vet when administering the above NSAIDs. Refrain from changing the way you give the med to your dog without first consulting your vet.

Generally, if you miss a dose, you can give it as soon as you are able to. But, you need to skip the missed dose if it’s almost time for the next dose. Avoid giving your dog two doses at once.

Risks of Ibuprofen on Dogs

Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that contains active ingredients that target the cyclooxygenase. Cyclooxygenase is an enzyme that produces prostaglandins, which is responsible for causing pain, fever, and inflammation in the body.

However, prostaglandins also have other roles in the body. These include producing a layer of mucus to protect the gastrointestinal tract, and maintaining adequate blood flow to the kidneys. If given incorrectly, ibuprofen can upset the balance in the body. This can cause various issues on your dog such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of coordination
  • Seizure

Your dog may also experience life-threatening symptoms like:

  • Bleeding disorders
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver damage
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers
  • Coma

Worst, ibuprofen can be fatal for dogs. Certain conditions can make the intake of ibuprofen more dangerous than normal. These include giving high dosages to your dog, concurrent use of other medications such as corticosteroids, and the dog’s sensitivity to the said human medicine.

Side Effects of Ibuprofen

In general, NSAIDs that are specifically made for dogs are safe to consume. However, they can have various side effects like any other medication. You can tell if your dog is reacting negatively to his medication through the acronym BEST:

  • Behavior changes
  • Eating less
  • Scabs, skin redness
  • Tarry stool, diarrhea, or vomiting

Stop giving your dog the NSAID if any of these symptoms show up. Then, ask your vet immediately on how you should proceed.


Cost of Ibuprofen

The price for a 30-tablet bottle of ibuprofen ranges between $4.00 and $14.00, depending on the brand. The price will go lower when purchased using coupons.

Interaction with Other Drugs

The above NSAIDs may react when taken with other drugs. Refrain from giving them when your dog is taking other medications, including supplements. Also, avoid using corticosteroids and other NSAIDs simultaneously.


Active ingredients in Ibuprofen.

Ibuprofen contains the energetic ingredient Advil, a water-soluble compound. This NSAID is conveniently soluble in natural solvents like acetone and also ethanol. Various other inactive active ingredients consist of hypromellose, colloidal silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate, and lactose monohydrate. As mentioned above, Ibuprofen is a prostaglandin-inhibiting medicine. It additionally possesses antipyretic (anti-fever) and also analgesic buildings. The majority of elements of Ibuprofen drug threaten to canines and pet cats.

Ibuprofen Alternatives

While the above NSAIDs usually work well in relieving pain, there are some instances that your dog may need more options. As such, your vet may prescribe other medications like the ones below.

  • Gabapentin – This is usually given along with other pain medications like an NSAID or opioid. It treats pain from damaged nerves in dogs. Your pet may feel sleepy for the next few days after administering the drug because of its sedative element, but it usually goes away.
  • Tramadol – Like gabapentin, tramadol targets neurotransmitters in the brain that affect your dog’s perception of pain. It also works best with other pain relievers and is usually given to aging dogs with constant discomfort. Its side effects include sedation and incoordination.
  • CBD Oil – Your vet may also recommend CBD oil if it is legal in your state. CBD oil can be used to treat arthritis and back pain among other conditions in dogs. It interacts with the receptors in the body to relieve pain. But what’s great about cannabis oil is that it has no life-threatening side effects when given in proper dosages. It does not damage the gastrointestinal tract, kidney, and liver, unlike ibuprofen.



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