I think that we spend most of our time in veterinary school learning about what can go wrong. And, a lot can go wrong with giving your dog human medications for pain. Dogs’ bodies are more sensitive to the side effects of human pain medications than we are. You may be trying to help your dog with pain medication and end up causing a serious or even deadly problem. I wish I could be more helpful but…in short, a lot can go wrong.
It is very easy to overdose your dog with human medications. Drug formulations available over the counter are typically sized for adult humans. When you are considering, “what can I give my dog for pain”, keep in mind most dogs are significantly smaller than humans. So, it is nearly impossible to grab something out of your medicine cabinet and make it into an appropriate dose for your dog. Many sick and painful dogs are dehydrated, which increases the risk of overdose.
Your dog may have an underlying medical condition or maybe on a medication that could be dangerous when mixed with over-the-counter medication
Why Can’t I Give My Dog Aspirin? Before we had safer, better drugs just for dogs, veterinarians would prescribe aspirin for canine pain. Aspirin is a little safer than Ibuprofen for dogs, but can also easily cause stomach irritation, bleeding, and rupture. I do not prescribe aspirin for pain in dogs.
Why Can’t I Give My Dog Tylenol? Tylenol (Acetaminophen) does not have much anti-inflammatory activity. In fact, scientists don’t fully understand how acetaminophen works. Tylenol can cause liver damage at inappropriate doses and can cause red blood cell damage.
I wish I had some better news to give you when you are thinking about, what can I give my dog for pain. and a simple way to ease your dog’s pain. By giving human medication to your dog, you may be causing a much bigger problem then you are solving. Before you ever reach for a human medication for your dog, call your vet and ask for their advice.