“Can I give my dog Aleve?” You probably ask this question if your dog suffers from minor aches and pains, especially those caused by arthritis. Aleve is an over-the-counter, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that humans use for pain relief, but can it treat pain in dogs? The answer is a simple and emphatic NO. Aleve is extremely toxic for dogs, and even a small dose can cause life-threatening side effects. If your dog needs treatment for pain, including chronic pain caused by arthritis, consult your veterinarian. Do not give your dog Aleve under any circumstances. Here is what you should know about Aleve when it comes to dogs.
How Is Aleve Bad For Dogs?
Even a low dose of Aleve can cause fatal side effects in dogs. In very rare cases, vets may use Aleve when all other pain killers have failed, but the difference between a safe dose and a potentially deadly dose is so small that you should never administer it to your dog without veterinary supervision. If you take Aleve, store it in a place where your dog absolutely cannot get to it. Here are a few of the health complications that dogs can suffer from if they ingest Aleve.
- Kidney failure
- Liver damage
- Stomach ulcers
- Intestinal perforations
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Anemia (low red blood cell count)
- Neurological problems
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Aleve?
If your dog ingests Aleve, you may only have a short time to act. Aleve can be absorbed into the bloodstream within 30 minutes to 3 hours. A low dose of even one pill may cause some serious side effects within 2 to 24 hours, and a large dose can cause fatal kidney failure in less than a day. Here are a few of the side effects you may see if your dog consumes Aleve.
- Changes in water consumption
- Changes in urination
- Loss of appetite
If you suspect or know that your dog has taken Aleve, call an emergency veterinarian right away. The vet may instruct you to induce vomiting, possibly with hydrogen peroxide, if your dog has swallowed Aleve within the last few minutes. They may also instruct you to give your dog activated charcoal to absorb some of the drug. Regardless of whether your dog vomits up the Aleve, you should still take your dog to the emergency veterinarian as soon as you possibly can.
If an emergency veterinarian is not available, you can also try the ASPCA Animal Poison Control hotline by calling (888) 426-4435. There may be a charge associated with using this service, but it could be the difference between life and death for your dog. This service is available all day, every day of the year.
What Are Alternatives To Aleve That Are Safe For Dogs?
If your dog suffers from aches and pains due to arthritis, talk to your veterinarian about possible safe treatments. There are many forms of treatment that can help your dog without the use of drugs. Acupuncture, hydrotherapy, massage, weight control, exercise, and dietary changes can all help arthritis symptoms improve in dogs. Several foods and supplements may reduce pain from arthritis, too, including fish oil, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and turmeric.
Veterinarians may also prescribe dog-safe painkillers. Rimadyl, Meloxicam, and sometimes Prednisone are among the many drugs that may be prescribed for the treatment of pain, especially pain caused by arthritis. There are also several over-the-counter drugs that may be safe for dogs, and several medications are created specifically for use in canines. Always ask your veterinarian before giving your dog medication, even if it is over-the-counter.
How do you treat your dog for pain caused by arthritis? What medications has your vet prescribed for pain? Let us know in the comments below!