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Can I Give My Dog Paracetamol?

By Ameera Mills. Updated: September 2, 2018
Can I Give My Dog Paracetamol?

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Some caregivers have the bad habit of going to their own kit every time their dog has some symptomatology that resemble human illnesses, such as a cold or vomiting. Thus, they medicate their dogs with common drugs for human use, such as ibuprofen, paracetamol (acetaminophen) or aspirin, without being aware that they are endangering their dogs. Such medications can be highly toxic to your dogs if not administered by a veterinarian and can result in severe illness or even death.

Therefore, in this AnimalWised article we are going to focus on explaining if if you can give your dog paracetamol.

You may also be interested in: Can you Give your Cat Paracetamol?

Medicating dogs

Only veterinary professionals can prescribe medicines for pets. It is not correct to assume that what works in humans will do the same for dogs.

It is true that there are drugs whose active principle serve both humans and dogs alike, however, we always insist, they must be prescribed by a veterinarian. Even commonly used human drugs that seem harmless, like paracetamol, can have a different effect on animals because of the fact that our bodies metabolize and eradicate differently.

To answer the question, yes, dogs can take paracetamol, however it must be administered under strict dosage regulation. For more information on how to administer this drug we suggest reading below.

Can I Give My Dog Paracetamol? - Medicating dogs

Paracetamol

Paracetamol is a very common drug found in homes which can be bought without a prescription. It usually has no heavy side effects for humans, and is used as an analgesic to relieve mild or moderate pain and as an antipyretic to reduce fever.

Perhaps this ease of acquisition and use makes us forget that it is a drug and, as such, will present a series of side effects that, in dogs, will be more serious than in humans. In addition, as we have said, it is not metabolized the same in all species, and can severely damage a dog’s liver.

So, can dogs take paracetamol? Yes, but never without consulting your veterinarian, as the dosage and time of administration should be prescribed by the vet.

Dog poisoning by paracetamol

Your veterinarian will be the only professional responsible for prescribing medication to your dog. As we have said, he alone is going to decide if your dog can take acetaminophen (paracetamol). If you medicate your dog with paracetamol yourself, you run the risk of intoxicating your animal, which could have fatal consequences. Symptoms observed in a dog poisoned by paracetamol are the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Salivation
  • Anorexia
  • Depression
  • Respiratory difficulty

If you observe these symptoms and have given your dog acetaminophen or think it may have been ingested accidentally, you should go to the vet, informing them of what your dog has taken. The biggest problem with paracetamol in dogs is its damage to the liver. This ingestion can cause hemolysis, a process that involves the accelerated breakage of red blood cells. The bile and hemoglobin that originate from this breakage accumulate in the body, causing a yellowish color in the mucous membranes (jaundice) and the excretion of brown urine due to the hemoglobin content.

Depending on the circumstances, the veterinarian will decide what is the most appropriate treatment, which may be to: induce vomiting, provide fluid therapy or carry out a blood transfusion. In the most serious cases the dog may die.

Can I Give My Dog Paracetamol? - Dog poisoning by paracetamol

Precautions with medication

We now know that paracetamol can only be administered under veterinary control. To avoid accidents that can result in fatality, it is advisable to note these following precautions:

  • Never medicate your dog if it is not under veterinary prescription.
  • Always keep medications away from our dogs.
  • When we have to medicate them, we must do it by scrupulously following indications by our veterinarian, as far as dose and duration are concerned.
  • If we suspect that our dog has ingested a high amount of paracetamol or we have given it to them, we should take the dog to the veterinarian immediately.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Can I Give My Dog Paracetamol?, we recommend you visit our Prevention category.

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judie roberts
My old dog Brandy was stiff and arthritic at about 13. On the recommendation of an old farmer with lots of sheepdogs I changed his diet to Pascoe's ( no longer unavailable) and put a paracetamol in his dinner every day. What an improvement Brandy lived to be 18 and got younger every year. Don't enrich Big Pharma with overpriced stuff.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Judie,

We're glad this worked for you!

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